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.
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By Winfield Myers | Sun, 14 Sep 2014, 1:06 PM | Permalink
Reporting for Campus Watch, Andrew Harrod covered a recent Washington, DC, event featuring John Esposito of Georgetown University. His article appears today at American Thinker:
To read the rest of this essay, please click here.
By Cinnamon Stillwell | Fri, 12 Sep 2014, 6:03 PM | Permalink
Campus Watch is not at all surprised to hear that a "teach-in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" co-sponsored by Brown University's Middle East studies program and moderated by its director, Beshara Doumani (about whom we've written since his time at UC Berkeley), resulted in an Israel-bashing sideshow. According to the Brown Daily Herald, it wasn't until the audience was allowed to participate, that the real "teach-in" began:
By Cinnamon Stillwell | Tue, 9 Sep 2014, 5:46 PM | Permalink
Want to know what millions of dollars from Middle Eastern, among other, governments will buy? How about misplaced loyalty, self-censorship, and propaganda? The New York Times explores this question as it pertains to think tanks, but what about academia? The article touches on the conflict of interest involved in Qatari funding for the Brookings Institute, but the same could be said for Saudi and Gulf state funding of Middle East studies. NGO-Monitor president Gerald Steinberg, quoted in the Algemeiner, sums up the conundrum:
By Winfield Myers | Thu, 4 Sep 2014, 11:26 PM | Permalink
Will the taxpayer-supported Middle East studies centers at five American universities join a boycott of Israeli academic institutions? Or were their directors, who signed a recent letter pledging "not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions," engaged in personal protests that won't affect their schools' official relations with Israeli universities, as Middle East scholar Martin Kramer asks of the director of Columbia's Middle East Institute?
The letter, "Middle East Scholars and Librarians Call for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions," was published at Jadaliyya on August 6, 2014 "in the name of the below signatories," which an update on the site says totals 550. University of Toronto professor of Arab civilization Jens Hanssen is listed as the media contact.
As heads of U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers, the directors are administrators of bodies required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act to give "assurances" that they will "maintain linkages with overseas institutions of higher education and other organizations that may contribute to the teaching and research of the Center."
If their pledges aren't simply personal but apply to the centers they lead, they stand in conflict with the assurances they gave in exchange for federal funds.
The six directors (Georgetown boasts two) and their respective centers are:
American taxpayers deserve to know the intentions of these six directors: Are their public pledges against Israel merely personal, so that the centers they lead may cooperate with Israeli academic institutions and scholars? Or are they declaring the intention of their centers to engage in an official boycott of Israeli academic institutions despite federal policy?
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