Publisher apologizes to critics of Zionism entry


NEW YORK (JTA) — The publisher of an encyclopedia of racism apologized to Jewish groups that criticized its entry on Zionism.

Gale, whose Macmillan Reference USA imprint is the publisher of the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, apologized on its Web site this month to groups that believe it failed to adhere to standards of fairness and balance in its entry on Zionism. The entry asserts that because Zionism defines Jew by descent, it is "an ideology of race."

The Zionist Organization of American and the American Jewish Committee both complained about the article to Gale, which also publishes an updated edition of Encyclopaedia Judaica. In its message, Gale directs readers to the Web sites of both those organizations while promising to supplement the online version of the encyclopedia with articles describing alternative perspectives on Zionism.

The ZOA called those measures insufficient.

"We appreciate Gale/Macmillan’s apology to those who, like us, are appalled by the falsehoods in the existing chapter equating Zionism with racism and its undertones of anti-Semitic bigotry that help to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist," the ZOA wrote. "But there is only one way for Gale/Macmillan to rectify the wrong, and that is to withdraw the chapter from the online and print editions of the encyclopedia."


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