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Howler of the Month (archive)

As'ad AbuKhalil

"It has been proven that among all area studies associations and even among the academic professional associations, MESA [Middle East Studies Association] is the most conservative and the most establishment. It will stigmatize MESA--it should--for years to come that Asian Studies and American Studies associations were ahead of MESA in adopting BDS [boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel]. . . . There is a clear Zionist or Zionist-fearing mood and currents in MESA."

As'ad AbuKhalil, a political science professor at California State University, Stanislaus, commenting on the 2014 annual convention of the notoriously politicized Middle East Studies Association (MESA), where members voted overwhelmingly for a resolution that sets the stage for MESA to adopt BDS in 2015; Angry Arab Blog, November 25, 2014. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

Kenneth L. Marcus

"Apparently, they believe that the First Amendment protects them against the unappetizing prospect of hearing views different than their own. . . . When Middle East Studies centers refuse to provide a podium for speakers who challenge their anti-Israel politics, they are the ones who stifle free speech on campus."

Kenneth L. Marcus, president and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, responding to an op-ed from UCLA's Sondra Hale and UC Hastings law student Bekah Wolf, in which they equate the campaign to hold Middle East studies programs accountable for providing the "diversity of perspectives" required by Title-VI federal funding with stifling free speech; Letter to the editor, The Hill, December 8, 2014. (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

'Palestinian Rights Activism' Panel Turns Perpetrators into Victims
December 18, 2014 - Jihad Watch

Angry Arab Rant (Welcome to the Club)
December 16, 2014 - Fousesquawk Blog

George Mason's Islamic Studies Center Founder Ali Vural Ak to Receive Honorary Degree [incl. Huseyin Yilmaz]
December 16, 2014 - News of George Mason University

Librarians: the Latest Pawns in the Debate
December 15, 2014 - Library Journal

Librarians for BDS: When Librarians Burn Books
December 14, 2014 - Commentary

Manhattan Beach, California School Board Meeting 12-10-14
December 14, 2014 - Fousesquawk Blog

Mark LeVine Unhinged on Facebook
December 12, 2014 - FrontPage Magazine

Manhattan Beach Parents Upset Over Lessons on Islam, School District Maintains it is Following the Law
December 12, 2014 - The Daily Breeze

University of Arizona International Centers Receive Title VI Funds [incl. Anne Betteridge]
December 12, 2014 - UA News (University of Arizona)

Muslim Extremism Found in Problematic Quran Translation, Forum Told [incl. Ebrahim Moosa]
December 11, 2014 - The Malaysian Insider

Blog

'Palestinian Rights Activism' Panel Turns Perpetrators into Victims

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Thu, 18 Dec 2014, 10:53 PM | Permalink

Rashid Khalidi

Middle East studies professors who engage in anti-Israel activism like to fashion themselves the victims of persecution for their views, when, in fact, the opposite is true: academia celebrates such views, while shunning pro-Israel perspectives. In the latest Campus Watch research, Andrew Harrod reports on a recent panel discussion in Washington, DC, in which speakers such as Rashid Khalidi and Steven Salaita engaged in this sort of self-proclaimed victimhood, all the while turning Israel and its supporters into the perpetrators. His article appears today at Jihad Watch:

Israel is a twenty-first century "litmus test of a real commitment to justice," the "Vietnam," the "South Africa," and "moral issue of our time" according to leftwing icon Angela Davis, quoted approvingly by Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi on November 21 before an audience of about fifty. Khalidi's panel discussion of "The Legal Assault on Palestinian Rights Activism" over a lunch of sandwiches and drinks at the Service Employees International Union's (SEIU) Washington, DC, headquarters twisted anti-Israel hatred and criminality into Israeli persecution of Palestinians.

To read the entire article, please click here.

 

Mark LeVine Unhinged on Facebook

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Fri, 12 Dec 2014, 12:46 PM | Permalink

Mark LeVine

University of California-Irvine history professor Mark LeVine has launched an unhinged Facebook rant, in which he calls for Israel to be "dismantled" and hurls insults at former AAUP president Cary Nelson, an opponent of BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) and a supporter of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's decision to withdraw an offer of tenured professorship to Steven Salaita. If you thought academic disputes were settled by reasoned argument, you haven't kept up with Middle East studies (or LeVine). In the latest Campus Watch research, CW West Coast representative Cinnamon Stillwell dissects this sorry episode today at FrontPage Magazine:

UC Irvine history professor Mark LeVine, who recently suffered a meltdown after being called "anti-Israeli," has since proven the point by posting this profanity-laden, unhinged rant on Facebook. . . . LeVine was commenting on a photograph from French freelance photographer Anne Paq, who, according to her bio, has been "based in Palestine since 2003," and who specializes in the sort of emotionally-charged—and,all too often, staged or manipulated—imagery regularly employed by Hamas and others to demonize Israel in the international media. Paq's photograph certainly elicited that reaction in LeVine.

To read the entire article, please click here.

 

Brandeis Center Responds to Hale/Wolf Op-ed on Title VI

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Wed, 10 Dec 2014, 4:11 PM | Permalink

Kenneth L. Marcus, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, has written a letter to the editor of the Hill responding to an op-ed from UCLA's Sondra Hale and UC Hastings law student Bekah Wolf. Predictably, Hale and Wolf equated the campaign (which includes the Middle East Forum) to hold Middle East studies programs accountable for providing the "diversity of perspectives" required by Title-VI federal funding with stifling free speech. As Marcus puts it:

Apparently, they believe that the First Amendment protects them against the unappetizing prospect of hearing views different than their own. . . . When Middle East Studies centers refuse to provide a podium for speakers who challenge their anti-Israel politics, they are the ones who stifle free speech on campus.

 

Will Directors of Three Title VI Middle East Studies Centers Boycott Israeli Universities?

By Winfield Myers | Fri, 5 Dec 2014, 3:43 PM | Permalink

Three of six directors of federally-funded university Middle East studies centers who signed a letter pledging "not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions" have yet to clarify whether they spoke for their centers or merely for themselves. They are:

  • miriam cooke, Middle East Studies Center, Duke.
  • John Esposito, Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown.
  • Osama Abi-Mershed, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University.

CW revealed in September that Abi-Mershed's claim that "we are not tax supported" was refuted by his dean, who confirmed that, "the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies has been, and we hope will remain, a recipient of Title VI designation and support."

Recently, New York University dean for the humanities Joy Connolly confirmed that in pledging to boycott Israeli academic institutions, incoming director of the taxpayer-supported Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies Helga Tawil-Souri speaks only for herself and not for her center or NYU. Lila Abu-Lughod, director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, and Gabriel Piterberg, who directs the Center for Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, confirmed earlier that their pledges were merely personal and will not affect the centers they lead.

Continue to full text of posting...

 

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