CUP pulls book over anti-Semitism claims

<p>Cambridge University Press has pulled a religious studies textbook from sale in Australia and New Zealand, and temporarily suspended its publication in the UK, after local Jewish authorities expressed concerns about potential anti-Semitic interpretations.<br /><br />The publisher is seeking the advice of &quot;an independent expert in Judaism&quot; over the content of the <em>Cambridge Studies of Religion</em>, which first came out last year.<br /><br />The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies raised concerns over the description of Passover celebrations, that polygamy is &quot;commonly practiced&quot; in Israel, which they believed could be read to suggest that polygamy is permitted in Judaism, and a &quot;few passages that they believed were poorly worded&quot;, a CUP spokesperson said.<br /><br />Chief executive of the board, Vic Alhadeff was reported as saying: &quot;Some of the statements could perpetuate myths and inaccurate stereotypes about Judaism and the Jewish people and fuel anti-Semitism.&quot; He added: &quot;It is alarming that a book which is widely used in schools across NSW could contain so many inaccuracies and such appalling statements - one of which is in the realm of racial vilification.&quot;<br /><br />No copy has been sold from CUP&#39;s UK warehouse, and there are no copies on order in the UK. The book now shows as being held up in the manufacturing process, so that no order received in any of the two major warehouses outside Australia will be serviced until the revised contents have been cleared.</p><p>Mark O&rsquo;Neil, executive director for CUP Australia and New Zealand, said: &quot;We will make a decision on whether to re-issue the book following this additional review process. We are treating these concerns with the utmost seriousness as we strive to ensure we reach the highest standards of academic integrity.&quot; He added: &quot;It is part of Cambridge University Press&rsquo; ethos to produce publications that are accurate and of educational value.&quot;</p>