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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

Dreaming of 'Palestine's South Africa Moment' at Columbia U.
December 23, 2014 - FrontPage Magazine

Federal Funding to Support UChicago Language Instruction, Graduate Education
December 23, 2014 - News of The University of Chicago

Anti-Vegan Rant by Shawndeez Davari Jadali [incl. Hatem Bazian]
December 21, 2014 - Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers

High School: Islamic Vocabulary Lesson Part of Common Core Standards
December 20, 2014 -

UCLA Prof Assigns Pro-Israel Book in Order to Trash It
December 19, 2014 - American Thinker

More "Education" at UCLA [on James Gelvin, incl. Mark LeVine]
December 19, 2014 - Fousesquawk Blog

Something Is Rotten in UCLA's Center for Near East Studies [incl. James Gelvin, Richard Falk, Sondra Hale]
December 19, 2014 - FrontPage Magazine

UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies: A Post-AMCHA Look [incl. Steven Salaita]
December 19, 2014 - Ha'Am: UCLA's Jewish Newsmagazine

Hassan Diab Destined For Long Wait in Paris Prison
December 19, 2014 - The Ottawa Citizen

Viral Video Alleges Pitt County High School Promoting Islam
December 19, 2014 - WNCT News (Greenville, NC)


Dreaming of 'Palestine's South Africa Moment' at Columbia U.

By Winfield Myers | Wed, 24 Dec 2014, 10:18 AM | Permalink

Mahmood Mamdani

Boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) activists dream of turning Israel into an international pariah on the level of Apartheid South Africa and are perfectly willing to lie, invent history, and distort the present to achieve their goal. All this was evinced at a recent event at Columbia University, which Mara Schiffren, a Harvard educated scholar of comparative religion, covered for Campus Watch. Her article appears at Frontpage Magazine:

Has the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement succeeded in bringing Israel to the point of South Africa when it ended apartheid and reformulated itself into a non-racist state? Despite the egregious falsity of the historical comparison, the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University recently held an informal debate on this question titled, "Palestine's South Africa Moment? The Boycott, Divest and Sanctions Movement." The audience of approximately 140 people—a mix of students, self-described Palestinians, activists, and fellow travelers—filled the Columbia Law School lecture hall.

Rashid Khalidi, Columbia's Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies, restated a point often made by political interlocutors, in an intonation that fully communicated his contempt:

"If you're Palestinian and you live in certain places, say New York City, like myself . . . you are lectured that the Palestinians should be non-violent. . . . What usually follows that is . . . "Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?"

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


UC Berkeley 'Islamophobia Studies' Protege Laments Israeli 'Vegan-Washing'

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Tue, 23 Dec 2014, 2:54 PM | Permalink

Shawndeez Davari Jadali

It was just a matter of time before "vegan-washing" was unveiled as the latest diabolical tool in Israel's arsenal for luring unsuspecting progressives to its defense. Shawndeez Davari Jadali, a research assistant for UC Berkeley's Islamophobia Studies Journal and a protege of Hatem Bazian, Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project director, authored an inadvertently hilarious column on the subject at Turkey Agenda. According to Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers:

Shawndeez, [a] graduate of UC Berkeley's peace and conflict program, takes issue with Israel's growing vegan movement, accusing the country of "enticing vegans from all over the world with a myriad of vegan eateries," motivated by a desire "to conceal the violence embedded in the occupation of Palestine." Alas, for the poor helpless Palestinians, this tofu-driven Zionist conspiracy is succeeding, as characterized by the "booming vegan tourism and international praise for the Israeli vegan movement."


UCLA Prof Assigns Pro-Israel Book in Order to Trash It

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Fri, 19 Dec 2014, 12:30 PM | Permalink

James Gelvin

Imagine for a moment that a Middle East studies professor known for being a critic of Israel, to the point where students have complained of bias, assigns his class a pro-Israel book. This exactly what happened in the case of UCLA history professor James Gelvin, but, as it turns out, there's a twist. In the latest Campus Watch research, CW West Coast representative Cinnamon Stillwell lays out the details at American Thinker:

It seemed too good to be true: the required reading in UCLA history professor James Gelvin's fall 2014 class, History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1881 to Present, includes a pro-Israel book, Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Israel (2004). Described by the New York Times Book Review as "[e]specially effective at pointing to the hypocrisy of many of Israel's critics," the Washington Post Book World called it a "lively, hotly argued broadside against Israel's increasingly venomous critics."

Why would a professor so openly critical of Israel assign such a work? To balance his own unfavorable views on the topic, perhaps? To spark classroom debate on complex issues?

Not quite . . .

To read the entire article, please click here.


'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.


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