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Howler of the Month (archive)

Steven Salaita

"Civility is the language of genocide. It's inherently a deeply violent word. It's a word whose connotations can be seen as nothing if not as racist."

Steven Salaita, a former Virginia Tech University English professor whose offer of a position at the University of Illinois was withdrawn, speaking on the "Scholars Under Attack" panel at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association; Jewish Telegraph Agency, November 11, 2014. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

Martin Kramer

"MESA [the Middle East Studies Association] meets once every three years in Washington, to demonstrate its relevance to the powers that be. University-based Middle East centers feed at the taxpayers' trough, and so it's important to show up every few years at the doorstep of Congress, in an effort to prove that academe is 'relevant' to the national interest."

Martin Kramer, president of Shalem College, on the occasion of MESA's 2014 annual conference; "Me and My MESA," Commentary Magazine, November 23 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

Fired Anti-Israel Professor Receives Standing Ovation at Middle East Studies Conference [on Steven Salaita]
November 26, 2014 - The Algemeiner

Hero's Welcome for Hater of Israel at MESA [on Steven Salaita, incl. Lisa Hajjar]
November 25, 2014 - Commentary Magazine

Was It Something I Said, Professor? [on Mark LeVine]
November 25, 2014 - Fousesquawk Blog

Profs Blame ISIS on 'Islamophobia' and 'Grievances'
November 25, 2014 - FrontPage Magazine

Middle East Studies Association Members Defend Boycotts of Israel
November 25, 2014 - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Panel Finishing Its Probe of Salaita Decision
November 25, 2014 - The News-Gazette

Disgraced Anti-Israel Professor Cheered in Washington [on Steven Salaita, MESA]
November 25, 2014 - The Washington Free Beacon

Evil spirit taking over Middle Eastern studies
November 25, 2014 - Ynet News

Academics Vote To Be Forum On Israel Boycotts, Adopts No Stance For Or Against
November 24, 2014 - Associated Press

Zaid Shakir's Propaganda Show in Australia
November 24, 2014 - Fousesquawk Blog


Mark LeVine's Meltdown

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Wed, 26 Nov 2014, 3:54 PM | Permalink

Earlier this week at an event at UC Irvine, UCI history professor Mark LeVine, who is well-known for his anti-Israel views and activism, had a temper tantrum after UCI instructor and blogger Gary Fouse, in the course of asking a question from the audience, dared to describe LeVine as "an anti-Israeli activist." Fouse recounts the meltdown at his blog:

When the event concluded, I approached LeVine and said that I had intended no disrespect. . . . At this point, with many of his students and other attendees still in the room, a visibly angry LeVine began to shout at me. He told me that my writing was "sh--" and he was not embarrassed to say that it was "sh--" in front of the room. He also shouted that if I ever called him "anti-Israel" again, I was going to have a problem--that it was "slander." He finished by saying that I was not qualified to teach at this university and that he didn't want to talk to me--"Goodbye!"

Apparently, the truth hurts.


Profs Blame ISIS on 'Islamophobia' and 'Grievances'

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Tue, 25 Nov 2014, 12:28 PM | Permalink

ISIS flag

How is Middle East studies academia addressing the rise of ISIS? All too often, by denying the group's Islamic supremacist ideology, blaming "Islamophobia" or "grievances," and equating its atrocities with the defense of the U.S. and Israel. Reporting for Campus Watch, CW West Coast representative Cinnamon Stillwell examines these professors in their own words. Her article appears today at FrontPage Magazine:

President Obama's infamous proclamation that ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is "not Islamic" was received sympathetically within the ranks of Middle East studies. While many scholars of Islam and the Middle East have condemned ISIS's heinous actions, a stubborn refusal to acknowledge their theological underpinnings lingers. Those who do concede ISIS's Islamic supremacism are branded "Islamphobes." Others attribute ISIS's rampage of mass murder, beheadings, rape, slavery, and strict Sharia law in pursuit of a caliphate to Western-inspired "grievances" or "root causes."

To read the entire article, please click here.


Peace Train to Nowhere: Profs on Israeli-Palestinian 'Negotiations'

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Mon, 24 Nov 2014, 2:40 PM | Permalink

Daniel Kurtzer

Reporting for Campus Watch, Andrew Harrod covered a recent Washington, DC, panel discussion on the vagaries of the Arab-Israeli "peace process" featuring Princeton University's Daniel Kurtzer. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, panelists blamed Israel for the lack of progress and diverted blame from Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Harrod's article appears today at Jihad Watch:

"What can you tell" an audience "that they haven't already heard" at yet "another conference on the Arab-Israeli conflict?" asked Middle East Policy Council (MEPC) Board Chairman Omar Kader at a recent Washington, DC, panel. About fifty attendees, who enjoyed coffee, juice, and pastries at the Phoenix Park Hotel, encountered typical anti-Israeli animus and sterile discussion of a "peace process" stillborn amidst abiding Palestinian hatred for Israel.

Former ambassador and Princeton University professor of Middle Eastern policy studies Daniel C. Kurtzer advocated an uninspiring "process that keeps the process going" for largely hopeless Israeli-Palestinian negotiations so that "situations on the ground" do not "fester." . . . He praised Secretary of State John Kerry's "brilliant diplomacy" and the 1991 Madrid Conference leading to the dead-end Oslo Accords, which he labeled a "critical breakthrough in the Middle East," further illustrating his disconnect from an all-too violent reality.

To read the entire article, please click here.


Steven Salaita's Historiography of Victimhood

By Winfield Myers | Sun, 23 Nov 2014, 10:28 AM | Permalink

Steven Salaita

Steven Salaita's academic work emerges from a highly politicized, Manichaean historiography that champions anachronistic concepts of victimhood over a rigorous examination of sources. CW director Winfield Myers examines this work today at American Thinker:

Had the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign not nixed Steven Salaita's appointment as professor of American Indian studies after his extended string of vituperative, vulgar Tweets, blog posts, and other communications exposed his anti-Semitism and radicalism to a broad audience, he would have likely remained an obscure academic. Today his legions of professorial supporters view him as a cause célèbre and alleged victim of the "Israel lobby" and rich alumni.

Salaita may not have presented himself as a victim of academe's alleged perfidy before Chancellor Phyllis Wise's action in August, but his fields of study assume the victimhood of indigenous peoples worldwide. Since world history is replete with conquests, intermarriage, assimilation, and the rise and fall of expansive empires, separating victims from victimizers through the millennia is a difficult process -- unless, that is, the purpose of one's academic work has less to do with the pursuit of truth than with achieving political goals through a quixotic, politicized reading of history.

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


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