[Marxism] CODZ Victory Statement: Pluto Press Prevails

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 16 04:53:25 MST 2007

(Thanks to Michael Smith from whom I got this.)

CODZ Victory Statement: Pluto Press Prevails

In August of 2007, the University of Michigan Press Executive
Director, Phillip Pochoda, suspended distribution of the book
Overcoming Zionism, by Professor Joel Kovel of Bard College,
published by Pluto Press, an independent left-wing publisher in
London, U.K. His action was the result of a campaign of vilification
of the book and Pluto Press orchestrated by a group called
StandWithUs, an offshoot of the Zionist self-styled “watchdog”
organization, Campus Watch.

Following protests from supporters of Professor Kovel and Pluto
Press, the University of Michigan Press Executive Board, on September
11, 2007, resumed distribution of Overcoming Zionism but announced it
would “review” its distribution contract with Pluto Press at its next
meeting on Oct. 19, 2007.

The Committee for the Open Discussion of Zionism (CODZ) was formed.
In early September, 2007, Its immediate goal was to support Professor
Kovel and Pluto Press and to resist the suppression of their
publications. CODZ contacted thousands of progressive individuals and
organizations and successfully solicited hundreds of letters in
support of contining the distribution agreement with Pluto Press
Publications. Letters were sent to the University Press Executive
Board by writers, scholars, academics, University of Michigan faculty
and alumni, and people in all walks of life from all over the world,
urging the University to continue the distribution agreement with
Pluto Press, consistent with the principles of academic freedom, free
speech and intellectual discourse.

On October 19, 2007, the University of Michigan Press Executive Board
met and on Oct. 22, 2007, announced its decision to continue
distribution of Pluto Press publications.

In the course of its efforts to resist the suppression of Pluto Press
publications and Prof. Kovel’s book, CODZ ran an ad in the Michigan
Daily, the University’s venerable and highly regarded student
newspaper. On October 30, 2007, the entire seventeen member editorial
board of the Daily signed an editorial denouncing the University of
Michigan Press for suspending distribution of Overcoming Zionism and
threatening the distribution contract with Pluto Press in the first

This has been a rare and important victory of rapidly organized,
grass roots protest over well-funded Zionists attempting to suppress
criticism of Zionism and of Israeli government policy.

As noted on its website, www.codz.org, CODZ is planning to hold a
conference and debate in New York in 2008 that will address both the
issue of suppression and the substantive issue of Zionism itself.
Such a conference will require substantial funding for media, speaker
expenses, facility rental, materials, publicity, etc. Most urgent and
important is the need to pay a part-time conference organizer who
will be responsible for putting the conference together.

Contributions should be sent to:


Church Street Station

PO Box 374

New York, New York 10008-0374

Checks in the amount of $250 or more can be made out to the Institute
for Media Analysis with a notation on the check designating CODZ as
the ultimate recipient. The Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization so
donations are presumably tax deductible.

Checks in an amount less than $250 should be made out to CODZ. We do
not vouch for their tax deductibility.

The struggle continues. It is our understanding that representatives
of the Anti-Defamation League, the B’nai B’rith, and StandWithUs are
scheduled to appear at the monthly meeting of the University of
Michigan Board of Regents to continue their demand that the
University cease distribution of Pluto Press Publications.

If you believe that the issues of Zionism and the suppression of
critical examination of Zionism are issues that need to be publicly
examined, discussed and debated, then we ask you to contribute to
CODZ to enable us to present this conference and to respond to the
undemocratic tactics of Zionist watchdogs.

Walter Lippmann
Havana, Cuba
"Un paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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