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Howler of the Month (archive)

Juan Cole

"Israeli complaints that Gaza is controlled by the party-militia, Hamas, freely elected in 2006, and that Hamas fires (mostly small, home-made and ineffectual) rockets into Israel, are irrelevant to the requirement that civilian noncombatants in Gaza be provided with basic staples by the occupying authority."

Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, in "Flint and Gaza: Water Crises of Colonialism"; The Nation, February 3, 2016. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

David Pakman

"This is at the core of what makes [UC Riverside professor] Reza Aslan probably dangerous in discussions about Islam, terrorism, and human rights in Muslim countries. He aggressively helps to enforce an overbearing political correctness among intellectuals, politicians, and media about Islam which makes it nearly impossible to criticize certain strands of bad ideas in the world without being labeled an Islamophobe. . . . In a post-Enlightenment world, any idea itself should be subject to criticism."

David Pakman, television, radio, and internet host, on UC Riverside creative writing professor Reza Aslan; The David Pakman Show, January 11, 2016. (link to source)

CAMPUS WATCH, a project of the Middle East Forum, reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them. The project mainly addresses five problems: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students. Campus Watch fully respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds.

The Latest on Campus

Why Israelis and Jews Must Always Fight for the Truth [on Jasbir Puar]
February 12, 2016 - The Algemeiner

U.S. Colleges: Middle East Money Speaks to Silence Socrates
February 11, 2016 - The Blaze

Religious Studies Program Hosts Film Screening [incl. Ihsan Bagby]
February 11, 2016 - The East Carolinian

Academic Foxes Guarding the Henhouse [incl. Joseph Massad, Jasbir Puar]
February 11, 2016 - The Jerusalem Post

UCLA Allows Professor in Ongoing Title IX Lawsuit to Resume Teaching [on Gabriel Piterberg]
February 10, 2016 - The Daily Bruin (student newspaper of University of California, Los Angeles)

Islamophobia Distorts Political Rhetoric [incl. John Esposito]
February 10, 2016 - The Daily Tar Heel

Religion Scholar Aslan Talks 'Holy Wars' at Willamette
February 10, 2016 - The Statesman Journal

The Politics of Language: Teaching Arabic in U.S. Colleges
February 10, 2016 - The Tufts Daily

US Professor: Israel Assassinates Teens, Harvests Organs [on Jasbir Puar]
February 9, 2016 - Arutz Sheva

Blood Libeling at Vassar [on Jasbir Puar]
February 9, 2016 - Commentary Magazine


Blood Libels and BDS: Rutgers Prof Jasbir Puar's Vassar Lecture

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Tue, 9 Feb 2016, 6:52 PM | Permalink

Jasbir Puar

Rutgers University associate professor Jasbir Puar's February 3 lecture at Vassar College has ignited a firestorm. Co-sponsored by the Jewish studies department, Puar's jargon-ridden talk featured Israel-bashing, BDS cheerleading, and anti-Semitic blood libels. Specifically, she accused the IDF of harvesting organs from Palestinians killed while perpetrating knife attacks.

Puar---an advisory board member of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel---also admitted that BDS, despite proponents' frequent claims to the contrary, is "part of . . . armed resistance in Palestine."

For the rest of the gory details, go to Legal Insurrection.


BDS on American Campuses Echoes 1930s' Anti-Semitism

By Winfield Myers | Mon, 8 Feb 2016, 9:24 AM | Permalink

University administrators ignore the anti-Semitism lurking beneath the boycott/divestment/sanctions movement against Israel.

American university leaders' condemnation of BDS in the name of academic freedom while ignoring the anti-Semitism behind the movement echoes their predecessors' willful blindness to Nazi policies that "cleansed" German universities of Jewish scholars. Writing in the Miami Herald, Winfield Myers, MEF director of academic affairs and Campus Watch, condemns their moral preening, which lends a veneer of legitimacy to attacks on Israel:

In the aftermath of the American Studies Association's (ASA) December 2013 vote to support the boycott/divestment/sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli universities and scholars, the heads of 250 American universities voiced their opposition to both the ASA's decision and to academic boycotts in general as violations of academic freedom.

Typifying their stance was that of Brown University president Christina Paxson, who said that such action "would be antithetical to open scholarly exchange and would inhibit the advancement of knowledge and discovery."

Yet in failing to address the odiousness of singling out Israel for boycott, such reactions ignore the black heart of BDS: its profound anti-Semitism hiding under the guise of anti-Zionism, anti-colonialism or any cause de jour. A university president harboring intensely anti-Israel or anti-Semitic beliefs could still oppose BDS on academic freedom grounds while leaving unaddressed this key moral issue.

To read the rest of this article, please click here.


Pro-Israel Profs Marginalized on Campus, Not the Other Way Around

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Fri, 5 Feb 2016, 6:36 PM | Permalink

It's an article of faith among anti-Israel academics that their views are marginalized on campus, when, in fact, the opposite is true. Speaking to the Algemeiner, Alexandra Marcus, founder of the Columbia University chapter of Students Supporting Israel, confirms as much. She points to the example of Connecticut College professor Andrew Pessin, who remains on leave following a campaign of vilification perpetrated by faculty, administration, and student groups alike:

The professors who support us have said they can't come out publicly on our side, because they're afraid it would jeopardize their careers. And they're right. Look what happened to [Connecticut philosophy professor] Andrew Pessin. And to tell you the truth, I am also petrified that my pro-Israel activism could ruin my career.


From BDS to Ferguson: Columbia U. Panel Takes Aim at Israel

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Wed, 13 Jan 2016, 1:15 PM | Permalink

Academe has been quick to exploit the manufactured connection between the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and Black Lives Matter movements that began with the 2014 protests following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. A recent Columbia University panel discussion featuring specialists in Middle East studies and African-American history proved the point. In an article written for Campus Watch and appearing today at FrontPage Magazine, Mara Schiffren reports on the panel's ominous conclusion: "There's no future for a Jewish state."

The second in an annual BDS series sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies, "The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement: Struggle and Solidarity" took place at Columbia Law School. Students, faculty, BDS activists, and community members socialized prior to the event as the capacious, semi-circular lecture hall began to fill with about 100 people.

To read the entire article, please click here.


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