Michael Sinnott

individual

Overview

  • Former professor at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
  • Vehement critic of Israel
  • “Uniformed Israeli troops murder and mutilate Palestinian children.”

Michael Sinnott, who earned a degree in chemistry from Oxford University, was a professor of “paper science” at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) from 1996 until his retirement in 2003. Prior to that, he had taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) from 1989-1996. He was known not only for his scientific expertise, but also for his intense hatred of Israel.

Sinnott stirred controversy when he supported the June 2002 actions of his UMIST colleague, Professor Mona Baker, who dismissed a pair of Israelis — Miriam Shlesinger of Bar-Ilan University and Gideon Toury of Tel Aviv University — from the boards of the two journals which she owned and edited, The Translator and Translation Studies Abstracts. The dismissals were made solely because the individuals in question were “affiliated to … Israeli institution[s].” Baker also announced that thenceforth, The Translator would no longer accept “articles or book reviews authored or co-authored” by scholars with ties to Israel, and that books originating from her own private publishing house (St. Jerome) would no longer be sold to Israeli institutions.

Professor Sinnott asserted that Baker’s critics were guilty of peddling “sanctimonious claptrap”; that the state of Israel was in fact a unique menace to the world because of “the breathtaking power of the American Jewish lobby”; and that during his years in Chicago, he himself had become aware that “the Israeli atrocities for which my tax dollars were paying were never reported in the American news media, which were either controlled by Jews, or browbeaten by them.”

In an email addressed to one of Baker’s more vocal critics, Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt, Sinnott denounced what he described as “a real Zionist conspiracy” on a global scale. “Uniformed Israeli troops murder and mutilate Palestinian children,” he said, “destroy homes and orchards, steal land and water and do their best to root out Palestinian culture and the Palestinians themselves. With the recent crop of atrocities, the Zionist state is now fully living down to Zionism’s historical and cultural origins as the mirror image of Nazism. Both ideologies arose in the same city, within 30 years of each other, and are both based on ideas of a superior/chosen people whose desires override the rights of the rest of us. Zionist atrociousness has been slower to develop, but victims learn from their victimisers, and with the atrocities in Jenin, Israel is about where Germany was around the time of Kristallnacht.” 

Further Reading:Boycotting Israel: Back to 1933?” (by Edward Alexander, Jerusalem Post, 6-7-2003); “Professor’s Anti-Israeli Tirade Revives Sacked Academics Row” (Telegraph, 9-29-2002).

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