Nadia Abu El Haj's latest genetics paper is now in print. "The Genetic Reinscription of Race." It is… unoriginal. Since it's a review article on the medical use of genetic data, that is hardly surprising. The purpose of a review article, after all, is to review what is already known. The better review articles synthesize that knowledge, put it in a new perspective, or use the opportunity to bring new ideas to the fore. El Haj's review just… reviews.
But here's the thing. The woman seems to be capable of doing fair-minded if pedestrian work when dealing with topics like medical genetics – even though this is controversial territory because it separates us into black and white– but when writing about the Jews she becomes unhinged, succumbs to fantasies about the genealogy of the Palestinian Arabs, writes an entire book asserting that the ancient Israelite kingdoms are "a tale best understood as the modern nation's 'origin myth'... transported into the realm of history," and publishes false summaries of the genetic data on Jewish ancestry.
We all have our little problems with the truth. Some of us deny that we color our grey hair. Some of us lie about how often we get to the gym. Some of us even tell the dentist that we floss daily. But does Columbia really want a professor who apparently cannot stop herself from publishing falsehoods about the Jews?