Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Journal axes gene research on Jews and Palestinians|
|11/25/01 at 21:28:14|
as salaamu alaykum,
email I received.
Please thank the Guardian/Observer, especially the Science Editor Robin
Mckie, for publishing this story.
Journal axes gene research on Jews and Palestinians
Robin McKie, science editor
Sunday November 25, 2001
A keynote research paper showing that Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinians
are genetically almost identical has been pulled from a leading journal.
Academics who have already received copies of Human Immunology have been
urged to rip out the offending pages and throw them away.
Such a drastic act of self-censorship is unprecedented in research
publishing and has created widespread disquiet, generating fears that it
may involve the suppression of scientific work that questions Biblical dogma.
'I have authored several hundred scientific papers, some for Nature and
Science, and this has never happened to me before,' said the article's lead
author, Spanish geneticist Professor Antonio Arnaiz-Villena, of Complutense
University in Madrid. 'I am stunned.'
British geneticist Sir Walter Bodmer added: 'If the journal didn't like the
paper, they shouldn't have published it in the first place. Why wait until
it has appeared before acting like this?'
The journal's editor, Nicole Sucio-Foca, of Columbia University, New York,
claims the article provoked such a welter of complaints over its extreme
political writing that she was forced to repudiate it. The article has been
removed from Human Immunology's website, while letters have been written to
libraries and universities throughout the world asking them to ignore or
'preferably to physically remove the relevant pages'. Arnaiz-Villena has
been sacked from the journal's editorial board.
Dolly Tyan, president of the American Society of Histocompatibility and
Immunogenetics, which runs the journal, told subscribers that the society
is 'offended and embarrassed'.
The paper, 'The Origin of Palestinians and their Genetic Relatedness with
other Mediterranean Populations', involved studying genetic variations in
immune system genes among people in the Middle East.
In common with earlier studies, the team found no data to support the idea
that Jewish people were genetically distinct from other people in the
region. In doing so, the team's research challenges claims that Jews are a
special, chosen people and that Judaism can only be inherited.
Jews and Palestinians in the Middle East share a very similar gene pool and
must be considered closely related and not genetically separate, the
authors state. Rivalry between the two races is therefore based 'in
cultural and religious, but not in genetic differences', they conclude.
But the journal, having accepted the paper earlier this year, now claims
the article was politically biased and was written using 'inappropriate'
remarks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its editor told the journal
Nature last week that she was threatened by mass resignations from members
if she did not retract the article.
Arnaiz-Villena says he has not seen a single one of the accusations made
against him, despite being promised the opportunity to look at the letters
sent to the journal.
He accepts he used terms in the article that laid him open to criticism.
There is one reference to Jewish 'colonists' living in the Gaza strip, and
another that refers to Palestinian people living in 'concentration' camps.
'Perhaps I should have used the words settlers instead of colonists, but
really, what is the difference?' he said.
'And clearly, I should have said refugee, not concentration, camps, but
given that I was referring to settlements outside of Israel - in Syria and
Lebanon - that scarcely makes me anti-Jewish. References to the history of
the region, the ones that are supposed to be politically offensive, were
taken from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and other text books.'
In the wake of the journal's actions, and claims of mass protests about the
article, several scientists have now written to the society to support
Arnaiz-Villena and to protest about their heavy-handedness.
One of them said: 'If Arnaiz-Villena had found evidence that Jewish people
were genetically very special, instead of ordinary, you can be sure no one
would have objected to the phrases he used in his article. This is a very
|Re: Journal axes gene research on Jews and Palestinians|
|11/25/01 at 21:35:19|
LOL. I wonder if someday we will all be required to worship the goddess Israel.
I think I may as well be headed for slaughter for writing on Israel in my article for the college newspaper. pray for me. ;)
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