Academics Urge McGraw-Hill Education to Reverse Decision to Destroy Textbook


April 12, 2016 

Dozens of Prominent Academics Urge McGraw-Hill Education to Reverse Decision to Censor Palestinian Loss of Land Maps

Last month, publishing giant McGraw-Hill Education withdrew and destroyed copies of a US college level textbook because of complaints from supporters of Israel over a series of maps showing loss of Palestinian land from 1946, shortly before Israel was established, to 2000.

In response to this shocking and outrageous act of censorship of the Palestinian narrative from US schoolbooks, dozens of respected Palestinian, Israeli, and American academics have signed onto the enclosed open letter calling on McGraw-Hill Education to reverse its decision. Signatories include Rashid Khalidi, Noura Erakat, Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Sarah Schulman, Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappé, and Angela Davis.

Press Contacts:
Naomi Dann, Jewish Voice for Peace: 845-377-5745

Ramah Kudaimi, US Campaign to End the Israeli, 703-312-6360

Academics Urge McGraw-Hill Education to Reverse Decision to Destroy Textbook

We, the undersigned, urge McGraw-Hill Education to reverse its recent decision to withdraw and destroy the US college level textbook, “Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World”, which was made following complaints about a series of maps showing loss of Palestinian land from 1946 to 2000.

This blatant act of censorship, in response to complaints from those who seek to suppress a free exchange of knowledge and ideas about Israel and Palestine, is shocking and unacceptable.

The maps in question are historically accurate and vividly illustrate Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinian people and appropriation of their land, which is why the Israeli government and its supporters wish to suppress them. If there were in fact any minor errors with the maps they should have been corrected rather than removed altogether. Last year, in a similar act of censorship, the cable news network MSNBC apologized for airing a similar series of maps and retracted them.

It is imperative that students be able to visualize history, including through the use of maps, in order to learn how to analyze and understand it. Further, it is essential that faculty and students have access to educational materials that speak to the dispossession Palestinians have experienced, and continue to experience today. We cannot have a truly comprehensive understanding of Palestine or Israel without this information.

We urge McGraw-Hill Education to reverse its decision and reinstate the maps and textbooks in question.


Nadia Abu-El-Haj, Professor at Barnard College and Columbia University

Rebecca Alpert, Professor of Religion, Temple University

Sofya Aptekar, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Boston

Sa’ed Atshan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Swarthmore College

Elsa Auerbach, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts Boston

Daniel Boyarin, Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, University of California at Berkeley

George Bisharat, Emeritus Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco

Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley

Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Omar Dajani, Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law

Angela Davis, Author and activist

Estelle Disch, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Boston

Lisa Duggan, Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University

Nada Elia, Program Manager, Global Cultures Program, Northwest Language Academy

Noura Erakat, Assistant Professor at George Mason University

Andrés Fabián Henao Castro, Political Science Department, University of Massachusetts Boston

Margaret Ferguson, Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Davis

Katherine Franke, Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Director of the Open University Project, and member of the steering committee of the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University

Marilyn Frankenstein, Professor of Media and Society, University of Massachusetts Boston

Randa Jarrar, President of Radius of Arab American Writers

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies, Columbia University

Martha London, University of Massachusetts Boston

David Lloyd, Distinguished Professor of English, University of California, Riverside

Saree Makdisi, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, UCLA

Ussama S. Makdisi, Professor of History and Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies, Rice University

Bill V. Mullen, Professor of American Studies, Purdue University

Nadine Naber, Associate Professor, Gender & Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

David Palumbo-Liu, Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor, and Professor of Comparative Literature, Stanford University

Ilan Pappé, Professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter, director of the university’s European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies

Rachel Rubin, University of Massachusetts Boston

Sarah Schulman, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, City University of New York, College of Staten Island

Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, St. Antony’s College, Oxford

C. Heike Schotten, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Boston

Jack Shaheen, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute and The Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies

Simona Sharoni, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh

Barry Trachtenberg, Director, Judaic Studies Program, University at Albany – SUNY

Judith E. Tucker, Professor of History, Georgetown University


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