A Petition Calling on Simcha Jacobovici to Drop His Suit Against Joe Zias

Please, if you’re so inclined, add your voice to those asking Mr Jacobovici to drop his suit against Joe Zias.  Here’s why Simcha’s being asked to do so:

1- Because suing persons with whom one disagrees over ideological matters and scholarly issues is inappropriate.

2- Because Joe Zias certainly isn’t the only person to object to Mr Jacobovici’s various ‘findings’ and thus shouldn’t be singled out in what for all appearances looks to be a simple vendetta.

3- And though we certainly understand that every person is free to travel legal avenues to redress wrongs, we feel that this suit simply harms the field of academic research and may stifle dissident voices to variant theories.

4- If successful, Mr. Jacobovici’s (who according to all accounts is a humorous and engaging person) action may inadvertently choke out dissident voices by means of monetary threatenings and academics simply cannot sit by and allow that chilling effect on scholarship to take place.

Signatories as of  12:16 p.m., Feb. 10th, 2012:

Jim West Petros TN 37845 United States
Oded Lipschits Tel Aviv 69978 Israel
Yuval Goren Tel Aviv 69978 Israel
Antonio Lombatti parma 43125 Italy
Emanuel Pfoh La Plata 1900 Argentina
Thomas L. Thompson Copenhagen Denmark
Travis Kolber Hod Hasharon 45201 Israel
David Willner Efrat 90435 Israel
Loren Crow Eugene OR 97401 United States
james m nordlund Fargo ND 58102 United States
Rochelle Altman Arad 89000 Israel
Carol Ann Bernheim Jerusalem 91080 Israel
Hani Davis Jerusalem 92302 Israel
Thomas Verenna Easton PA 18042 United States
Mark Goodacre Durham NC 27708-0964 United States
Niels Peter Lemche Copenhagen 1150 København Denmark
Shaul Porrat Jerusalem 9672 Israel
Oded Borowski Decatur GA 30033 United States
Robert Dietel Everett WA 98201 United States
Matthew Collins Lilburn GA 30047 United States
Nancy Ainsworth Shelburne VT 5482 United States
Claude Vigneau, Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada
Peter Wong Fanling Hong Kong
Zachary Wong Hong Kong L4c 8t1 Hong Kong
Yvonne Ip Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong
Ho Chit Lun / Hong Kong Hong Kong
Alan Chan Hong Kong Hong Kong
Zev Radovan Jerusalem 93108 Israel
Piers Mitchell Cambridge CB2 1QH United Kingdom
sam tsang NT Hong Kong
Murphy Yeung HONG KONG Hong Kong
Anderson Chan Kowloon Hong Kong
Victoria Wong hong kong Hong Kong
Ada Lui NT 852 Hong Kong
Kennie Kam Yen Yin Mansion Jordan Hk Hong Kong
Jack Kilmon Houston TX 77090 United States
Frances Oppenheimer Jerusalem 97277 Israel
Addi Baker Melle 49326 Germany
Carmen Yau Hong Kong 852 Hong Kong
Prof. Donald Ortner Washington DC 20013-7012 United States
Phillip Davies Sheffield S7 1HL United Kingdom
Koon Pong Lau HKSAR 852 China
Steven Cox Salt Lake City UT 84119 United States
Robert Brenchley Birmingham B16 8JQ
Ed Wright Tucson Arizona 85721
Frank Strazzulla Rockwell North Carolina 28138 United States
John Granger Cook LaGrange Georgia 30240 United States

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15 thoughts on “A Petition Calling on Simcha Jacobovici to Drop His Suit Against Joe Zias

  1. Thomas L. Thompson 25 Jan 2012 at 10:50 am

    Dear Jim
    I will sign your petitione too.


  2. Robert Deutsch 25 Jan 2012 at 11:55 am

    Dear Jim

    I will join the absolute majority and will not sign the petition.



    • Jim 25 Jan 2012 at 11:59 am

      that’s certainly your right. as it’s the right of the absolute majority. but as we all know, ‘right’ isn’t subject to a vote.


  3. e neiburger 27 Jan 2012 at 12:28 pm

    The members of the Ethnic Minority Council (US/Canada) believe that law suits of this nature harm our efforts to know and understand our ethnic heritages. We will urge our member families to publicly boycott all advertisers associated with TV stations who air Simcha J. productions until this matter is resolved. We support this petition.

    E. Neiburger, Director


  4. James Tabor 27 Jan 2012 at 7:57 pm

    I find it more than a bit amazing that colleagues would sign a petition against a lawsuit they have not read and know nothing about. It is absolutely not the case that this lawsuit has anything whatsoever with Simcha going after Joe because he objects to his criticisms of any differences over idealogical or academic matters. The lawsuit has to do with specific charges of libel and personal slander, strictly and legally defined. These matters are of such a nature that any one of us would feel the same if he or she was so attacked. I suggest that anyone who cares enough to get the facts straight rather than basing conclusions on what is stated here just write Simcha and ask him what the issues are. I am sure he would be glad to fill anyone in on the facts who was interested in the facts.


    • Jim 27 Jan 2012 at 7:59 pm

      what’s to know? simcha is suing. suing is just improper, in my estimation, in academic circles. if people who disagreed sought recourse to the courts they’d be clogged with academics suing each other for ‘lost income’ when their books didn’t sell because of a bad review.

      i realize that simcha isn’t an academic and doesn’t claim to be. i think there are better ways, nonetheless, for people to settle disputes than rushing to court just because they can.


  5. Claude Vigneau 27 Jan 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I a siding with Jim on that. Please add my name on the petition.
    Claude Vigneau, Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada


  6. James Tabor 28 Jan 2012 at 3:41 am

    That was precisely my point Jim. It is not an lawsuit about academic matters or some trivial matters of opinion but legal libel and slander. What there is to know, surely before signing something like this, would be the substance of the suit. The wise one once said “he that answers a matter before it is heard is a fool” 🙂


    • Jim 28 Jan 2012 at 7:09 am

      if every time someone criticized a film then the world would overflow with lawsuits. and it isn’t about libel or slander is it? it’s about money.


  7. James Tabor 28 Jan 2012 at 9:07 am

    I give up here Jim. If you have read the lawsuit and still maintain it is about someone not wanting to be critized about his films and wanting money then I am truly amazed at your mischaracterization. If you have not read it but nonetheless urge others to support this, well that was the point of my original comment.


    • Jim 28 Jan 2012 at 9:23 am

      Im not sure how ive misrepresented the simple fact that simcha is suing joe.


  8. James Tabor 2 Feb 2012 at 10:59 am

    Intended to follow up Jim but had to have major surgery last week so did not want to write “under the influence…” or who knows, maybe that would have helped!

    In terms of the issues here as I understand them see the following imaginative scenarios. Neither of these are specific to this case but are intended to show the difference, as I see it at least, between your petition–which would not be grounds for a lawsuit, and what actually is the case. Scenario A, nasty enough indeed, and maybe untrue, is nonetheless nothing with any substance for a lawsuit. Scenario B crosses a line and anyone so attacked has the right to defend oneself legally:

    Scenario A: Mr. X is a worthless authority, poorly trained and pandering to media for attention. He always puts forth views without any basis in fact, manipulates sources for his own advantage and lacks any sound authorities in his field that would support even one of his bogus ideas. His books, articles, and the films he appears in are clearly motivated by greed and money. He is a shame to the profession.

    Scenario B: Mr. X regularly supports his latest scams by both inventing fake sources, planting evidence, and buying off support with cash payments. He openly lies about his work and tries to suppress those who oppose him by illegal means. He is not what he says but through payoffs and bribes he has managed to achieve success despite his many illegal activities.


    • Jim 2 Feb 2012 at 11:00 am

      sorry to hear that you haven’t been well. i wish you a speedy recovery


  9. Mark Goodacre (@goodacre) 3 Feb 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I appreciate your comments, James, and I’ll admit that I have not read the lawsuit. I signed the petition because I felt a sense of profound distaste over the very notion of a journalist suing a colleague in the field. It’s a question of power relations and precedent. Those of us who engage with the media on a regular basis are likely to feel alienated and suspicious about that engagement in the face of this action. I have always been keen to encourage colleagues to engage critically with the media and that is not always an easy message to convey. Actions like this will make colleagues think twice. I know that I, for one, will be much less inclined to take Simcha’s work seriously and to invest a lot of time in attempting to understand and analyze the merits of his case if he is likely to go to the courts rather than to engage with his critics with public evidence and argument.


    • Jim 3 Feb 2012 at 4:16 pm

      nicely said mark.


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