Facts about the Withdrawal from the Publication Queue of an Accepted Paper
1. In August 2002, I submitted a paper Geopolitical Genesis of Herzlian Zionism to the international journal Political Geography, which has an established editorial practice of two editors operating equally, independently, and without hierarchy. After a long process (25 months) of reviews and suggested revisions by three anonymous reviewers, the paper was accepted (on October 5, 2004) for publication in Political Geography by the journal’s British editor, David Slater, to whom it was submitted. On October 26, 2004, the Senior Publishing editor of Elsevier Ltd (Tony Roche) sent me a letter acknowledging receipt and stating that the manuscript will be typeset and proofs will be sent to me as soon as possible. On December 15, 2004, the journal’s American editor (John O’Loughlin, to whom the paper was never submitted) sent me a letter stating that my accepted paper will be withdrawn from the publication queue and will go through another review process.
2. I wrote letters to the Editorial Board of Political Geography rejecting John O’Loughlin’s decision since he has no authority or right to accept or reject a paper that was never submitted to him. Given his known pro-Israeli state bias, his decision could only be seen as politically rather than intellectually motivated. I also believe that the withdrawal of the paper from the publication queue represents a breach of the contract Political Geography has/should have with the author of a submitted paper which has been accepted for publication. David Slater, Peter Taylor, Ghazi Falah, and other members of the Editorial Board of Political Geography wrote similar letters rejecting John O’Loughlin’s decision as unacceptable.
3. It should be noted that an earlier version of this paper (“Geopolitical Genesis and Prospect of Zionism”) was withdrawn from press in August 2003 by John O’Loughlin after it had been peer-reviewed by his colleagues (including David Slater), revised by the author according to the reviewers' comments and suggestions, copyedited by Elsevier, and posted on the website of Science Direct for about two months as an article in press in Political Geography.
4. Moreover, the Israeli Geographical Society and the [Zionist] Simon Wiesenthal Center and their associates had lobbied openly and behind the scene to remove the first abstract of this paper from the 2002 Association of American Geographers program in Los Angeles (see the May 2002 Newsletter of the Association of American Geographers). When they failed, they managed to have the content of the oral presentation editorialized and distorted in the following publications: The Jerusalem Post (3/20/02), The Simon Wiesenthal Center website (3/20/02), The Los Angeles Times (3/21/02), and The Jewish Journal (3/22/02).
5. John O’Loughlin expressed what he sees as his strongest reason for withdrawing the two papers when he wrote: “I took the unusual step of intervening twice because I am determined to uphold the journal’s reputation and I acted to prevent the publication of a paper that draws upon such ‘sources’ [Roger Garaudy’s The Founding Myths of Modern Israel, Newport, California: Institute for Historical Review, 2000; and Michael Bradley’s Chosen People from the Caucasus: Jewish Origins, Delusions, Deceptions and Historical Role in the Slave Trade, Genocide and Cultural Colonization, Chicago: Third World Press, 1992], as scurrilous and vile as some of those you have chosen to use.” He emphasized that these two sources "undermine the credibility of the whole exercise."
6. I told the Zionist groups and their supporters that their fear of academic debates (the realm of persuasion) and refuge into politics and the media (the realm of power and deception) demonstrate the weakness of their claims (when presented on the basis of historical facts, international law, and the principles of justice) and their inability to support them on a scholarly basis. I invited them to take the opportunity to refute my argument in a professional manner, not in such behind-the-scene attacks on academic freedom and ethics. I also extended the same invitation to John O'Loughlin.
د محمد ولد المي
Mohameden Ould-Mey, PhD
Department of Geography, Geology, and Anthropology
159J, Science Building
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN 47809, USA
Tel. 812 237 2253