Pro-Palestinian Activists Pressured Scientific Journal ‘Molecules’ to Cancel Special Issue by Guest Editor from Ariel University

30.09.2020

Editorial Note

A special journal giving an overview of recent advances in organic fluorophores was intended to be published by Molecules. The journal provides an advanced forum for the science of chemistry, and is published by Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI).  But, the Special Issue was canceled. 

The special issue was titled, “Advances in Organic Fluorophores: Design, Synthesis, and Applications,” part of Organic Chemistry. The deadline for submissions was 15 January 2021. The guest editor was meant to be Prof. Mindy Levine from the Department of Chemical Sciences at Ariel University. 

The webpage of the Department of Chemical Sciences at Ariel University introduces Levine as a brand new immigrant to Israel from the US and a chemistry enthusiast, who says, “I want to create chemical sensors that make environmental sense.” Levine came to Ariel University from the University of Rhode Island, Columbia, and MIT, where her first exposure to chemistry was at Columbia University. She decided she wanted to devote her life to scientific research and teaching. “It makes me sad to meet so many people who studied chemistry but remained uninspired. I love it!” She said. Levine, 36, focuses on fields such as supramolecular organic chemistry and chemical education and outreach. She has published more than fifty articles, given hundreds of research presentations, and received numerous prestigious research grants and awards. 

Instead, the scientific journal succumbed to pressure by the group Academics for Palestine, which opened an Ariel University Non-Recognition Campaign, published on the website noarielties.org. The campaign includes 2018 Nobel Chemistry Laureate George P. Smith and Royal Society Fellow Malcolm H. Levitt. The group wrote the Molecules editors and urged the journal to change Prof. Levine’s affiliation to “Ariel University, illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Molecules urged the guest editor to change her affiliation, but she refused and as a result, Molecules withdrew the special issue and removed it from its website.

Prof. George P. Smith, the group advisory board member, welcomed the news: “All we asked in the original petition was for Professor Levine to correct the address of her university to comply with international law: Ariel is an Israeli Jewish settlement in Occupied Palestinian Territory, not a town in Israel. Sadly, she has refused, effectively choosing pro-occupation propaganda over her own academic freedom and the larger interest of the global science community in unfettered publication of scientific ideas and results. The editors of Molecules are to be commended for taking the only responsible course of action in the circumstances.”  Prof. Malcolm H. Levitt, said: “It is a wise and excellent move by Molecules to request that the guest editor from Ariel University correct her affiliation to one recognized under international law, and to discontinue the Special Issue when she refused to do so. Hopefully many other academic journals will follow suit.” 

The affair touches on a broader aspect of the Palestinian modus operandi and its supporters.  Since 1948, the Palestinians and their allies have concentrated all their efforts on hurting Israel and degrading its standing in the international community.  But the Jewish state has overcome wars, economic boycotts, and other hardships to become one of the most technologically advanced countries, the so-called “Silicon Valley of the Mediterranean.” It has some of the finest universities in the West and boasts of 12 Nobel Prizes, an amazing achievement for a relatively young and small country.   Bowing to this reality, the UAE and Bahrain normalized their relations with Israel, with other Arab countries expected to follow soon.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, have been brutalized by the authoritarian rule of the Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank and kept as virtual hostages of the terrorist Hamas group whose deluded dream of wiping Israel from the map of the world has not changed since its genocidal Charter promulgated in 1988.  Needless to say, Hamas does not broker any opposition to its rule, and critics are dealt with harshly.

Professors Smith and Levitt, and the academics who support BDS are not helping the Palestinians.  They could be more productive if they spoke out against the brutal treatment the Palestinians receive from their own authorities.  

The BDS campaign made significant inroads in the social sciences, but it is a relatively rare occurrence in the natural science journals which try to stay away from politics. This is a regrettable incident, and the editors of Molecules should reinstate the special issue of the journal.  By succumbing to the BDS crowd, the journal has deprived its readers of knowledge that could benefit the field.

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/molecules/special_issues/organic_fluorophores


    

Error 404 – File not found

The webpage you are looking could not be found.
The URL may have been incorrectly typed, or the page may
have been moved into another part of the mdpi.com site.Return to the main page
Contact

=======================================

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/molecules/special_issues/organic_fluorophores

Molecules, EISSN 1420-3049, Published by MDPI AG     

Special Issue “Advances in Organic Fluorophores: Design, Synthesis, and Applications”

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section “Organic Chemistry“.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 January 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mindy LevineWebsite
Guest Editor
 Department of Chemical Sciences, Ariel University, 65 Ramat HaGolan Street, Ariel, Israel

Interests: supramolecular chemistry; chemical sensors; catalysis; organic methodology; fluorescence spectroscopy
Special Issue Information
Dear Colleagues,Fluorescence provides a mechanism for achieving contrast in biological imaging that enables investigations of molecular structure, dynamics, and function at high spatial and temporal resolution. Organic fluorophores have proven essential for such efforts and are widely used in advanced applications such as single-molecule and super-resolution microscopy. This Special Issue intends to give an overview on recent advances in the design, synthesis, and applications of organic fluorophores. Both review and research articles in this area are welcome.

Assoc. Prof. Mindy Levine
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information 

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

organic fluorophores fluorescence synthesis imaging detection

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.


=====================================================


Scientific Journal Refuses Normalization of Illegal Israeli Settlement-Based Ariel University
Date: September 28, 2020

Chemistry journal Molecules decides against false geographic labellingNobel Chemistry Laureate George P Smith and Royal Society Fellow Malcolm H Levitt congratulate journal on principled decisionThe scientific journal Molecules has taken steps to avoid normalization of Ariel University, an Israeli academic institution located in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law.Molecules recently announced a special issue with a guest editor from Ariel University, whose affiliation was falsely listed as “Ariel University, 65 Ramat HaGolan Street, Ariel, Israel.”Academics supporting the call from authoritative Palestinian higher education bodies for non-recognition of Ariel University raised concerns with Molecules over this misleading information. In a letter to the editors, they urged the journal to “correctly and factually” indicate the professor’s affiliation as “Ariel University, illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, Occupied Palestinian Territory.”Molecules invited the guest editor to correct her affiliation, which she refused to do. As a result, Molecules was forced to withdraw the special issue, which has now been removed from its website.George P. Smith, 2018 Nobel Chemistry Laureate and Ariel University Non-Recognition Campaign Advisory Board member, welcomed the news:“All we asked in the original petition was for Professor Levine to correct the address of her university to comply with international law: Ariel is an Israeli Jewish settlement in Occupied Palestinian Territory, not a town in Israel. Sadly, she has refused, effectively choosing pro-occupation propaganda over her own academic freedom and the larger interest of the global science community in unfettered publication of scientific ideas and results. The editors of Molecules are to be commended for taking the only responsible course of action in the circumstances.”Malcolm H Levitt, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said:“It is a wise and excellent move by Molecules to request that the guest editor from Ariel University correct her affiliation to one recognised under international law, and to discontinue the Special Issue when she refused to do so. Hopefully many other academic journals will follow suit.” The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court considers settlement of occupied territory a war crime. In 2016, the United Nations Security Council reconfirmed the illegality of Israel’s settlement enterprise, stating it “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” In a legal opinion, esteemed South African international law scholar John Dugard noted that Ariel University “is part of an illegal and criminal enterprise under international law” and the Rome Statute holds that those aiding, abetting or otherwise assisting in the commission of crimes provided for in the Statute “shall be criminally liable”.MDPI, the publisher of Molecules, includes more than 260 scholarly journals in its portfolio. Molecules was MDPI’s first journal.In 2018, more than half of the invited speakers withdrew from a scientific workshop at Ariel University following appeals from Palestinian and international scholars. Prominent scientists published a letter in the Guardian stating that science should not be used “to normalise [Israel’s] occupation of the Palestinian territories.” The Israeli Sociological Society, the Israeli Anthropological Association, the European Association of Social Anthropology and the ExeterLeedsOpen, Aberdeen, Brunel and Brighton University and College Union branches have all pledged not to collaborate with Ariel University.A number of media outlets have corrected reporting on Ariel University that falsely indicated it as located within Israel.





https://noarielties.org/
A Campaign for Non-Recognition of and No Ties With Ariel University

Authoritative Palestinian academic bodies are calling on states, academic institutions, multilateral research bodies and international academics not to recognize Ariel University and to refrain from any institutional relations with it.Ariel University is an illegal institution, and is deeply and directly complicit in Israel’s system of oppression that has denied Palestinians their basic rights guaranteed by international law, including the right to education and academic freedom.Complicity in international law violationsAriel University is the most prominent of several Israeli institutions of higher education built in illegal Israeli colony-settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank.The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip were occupied by Israel in 1967 and are internationally considered as Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court considers such settlement of occupied territory a war crime.United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 reconfirmed in 2016 that Israel’s settlement activity “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”Moreover, Ariel University is deeply and directly complicit in Israel’s system of oppression that denies Palestinians their basic rights guaranteed by international law.Obligations for institutionsRespecting international law, as a peaceful and universal means of conflict resolution, requires denying recognition to, and severing institutional relations with Ariel University as an illegal settlement institution.Support for non-recognition of Ariel UniversityThe original decision to upgrade Ariel college to a university was opposed by the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities and by over 1,000 Israeli academics on the grounds that “involving Israeli academia in the ideology of conquest … threatens the ability of the Israeli academia to function.”In August 2018, the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) voted overwhelmingly (164-0, with 17 abstentions) to support the Israeli Anthropological Association in its refusal to cooperate with the illegal institutions of higher education (located in Israel’s illegal settlements in the OPT) and to “pledge its own non-cooperation with these institutions.”Who launched the call?Palestinian Ministry of Education
Council of Palestinian Universities’ Presidents
Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE)
Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC)What you can do:Urge international institutions and governments to avoid being complicit in illegality, by:(1) Refraining from accrediting or recognising any diplomas or qualifications conferred by Ariel University;(2) Conditioning agreements with the Israeli Council for Higher Education on non-recognition and non-accreditation of Ariel University.International academics are called upon to:(3) Decline to write or referee for journals published by Ariel or based in it;(4) Refuse to participate in projects or attend conferences fully or partially sponsored by Ariel University or which include its representatives (dean, head of department or spokesperson) as participants;(5) Urge universities, conferences and workshops not to host individual academics from Ariel University unless their affiliation is properly indicated as “Ariel University, illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, Occupied Palestinian Territory” in conference material;(6) Urge academic journals not to publish material identified with Ariel University unless it is properly indicated as “Ariel University, illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, Occupied Palestinian Territory;”(7) Advocate for academic societies to approve motions supporting the call from Palestinian academic bodies not to recognise/sever existing links with Ariel University;(8) Reject any collaboration with Ariel University as an institution or with any of its bodies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s