Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


The European Institute For The Study Of Contemporary Anti-Semitism is live! As is its blog! Which has five entries in the last three months! The most recent of which is this effort from Dr Winston "No I Do Not Know Mustang Sally" Pickett!

The mission statement has subtly changed:

EISCA aims to provide an on-line, web-based resource to the most comprehensive scholarship and writing on antisemitism, drawing on and linking the reader to the latest research conducted by authors and institutions working in the field. Comprehensive in its scope, EISCA is nevertheless particularly devoted to the examination of the discourse of antisemitism as manifested in the written, visual and electronic media.

whereas a year ago Pollard was saying that it was going to commission original research, this one seems to have fallen off the board - maybe it will, maybe it won't, but at the moment it's basically a list of links to other people's papers, some of them rather old. The Board of Directors is Pollard, the chairman of the JLC[1], the chief executive of the Board of Deputies and someone who I can't be sure who he is, but if he is who I think he is, he's rich as Croesus and might be writing the cheques. The Advisory Board is practically a Who's Who of British Decency, tendence Likud, plus Martin Bright. Put it this way; all perfectly reasonable people (maybe not so much Janet Daley), but not much overlap with the Cluster Munitions Coalition.

It looks like the work is being done by Winston "No I Am Not Going To Wait Til The Midnight Bloody Hour" Pickett (he's the PR director for the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, which is not affiliated to Stax or Atlantic Records) and Research Fellow Abe Sweiry, who is a PhD student at Essex apparently.

The website is pretty funky and the list of contemporary anti-Semitism related papers is quite a big piece of scholarship (albeit that I rather suspect that it is basically the bibliography of Abe Sweiry's thesis), but I still maintain that this is a Potemkin thinktank. There is nobody involved with it, including Pollard, who doesn't have a much more important day job. When you compare it to the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism at Tel Aviv University, it's pretty flat. I am not sure what it would take to change my mind on this - maybe a piece of genuine commissioned work for EISCA, or EISCA being recognised as a sponsor of proper work published elsewhere. Not really a conference, because they are quite easy to organise, but even a good conference would raise it a lot in my estimation. Even a few posts on the blog that weren't the contents of someone's bottom drawer would help. For the meantime, I remain suspicious that the only purpose of EISCA is to add spurious credibility to its members' CVs and opinions about Middle East policy, and I am not at all a fan of this.

[1] The Jewish Leadership Council Jewish community organisation mainly made up of businessmen that nobody seems to know quite what it is for. Presumably the name is meant to be analogous to the Democratic Leadership Council in the US - ie soft-right of liberal politics.

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