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Howler of the Month (archive)

Hamid Dabashi

"[T]hey will bomb Gaza back to the Stone Age they said, and that they did--and yet there are very few spots on planet earth today nobler to the human spirit of resistance to tyranny and injustice than Gaza--now held like a shining jewel on the loving ring of humanity around the globe--I kiss that noble ground and hold it dearer than cities full of ignoble postmodern architecture built on the stolen land of other people."

Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, referring to Israel's Operation Protective Edge; Facebook, August 6, 2014. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

Adam Shatz

"[T]he critique of Orientalism has often resulted in a set of taboos and restrictions that inhibit critical thinking. They pre-emptively tell us to stop noticing things that are right under our noses, particularly the profound cleavages in Middle Eastern societies—struggles over class and sect, the place of religion in politics, the relationship between men and women; struggles that are only partly related to their confrontation with the West and with Israel."

Adam Shatz, a visiting professor at New York University's Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, in "Writers or Missionaires," an essay adapted from the 2014 Hilda B. Silverman Memorial Lecture at Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies; The Nation, July 15, 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

Middle Eastern Studies Graduate Students Distort Truth About Israel
August 20, 2014 - The Daily Texan (student newspaper of University of Texas at Austin)

Campuses Hone Tactics As BDS Wars Loom [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
August 20, 2014 - The Jewish Week

Boycott Battles Ahead
August 19, 2014 - Inside Higher Ed

The "Historians" Confront Israel
August 19, 2014 - Minding the Campus

University of Illinois, Professor Steven Salaita Remain Tight-Lipped as Fight Rages On
August 17, 2014 - The News-Gazette

The Limits of Academic Freedom [on Steven Salaita]
August 16, 2014 - The College Fix

Arts Council Honors Vida Samiian with Horizon Special Award
August 15, 2014 - Fresno State News

Cary Nelson Faces Backlash Over his Views on a Controversial Scholar [on Steven Salaita]
August 15, 2014 - Inside Higher Ed

University Rescinds Job Offer to Incoming Professor Steven Salaita
August 15, 2014 - The Daily Illini (student newspaper of the University of Illinois)

Professor's Tweets About Israel Crossed the Line [on Steven Salaita]
August 14, 2014 - Chicago Tribune

Blog

Profs Blame Pro-Israel Bias for Stereotyping Muslims

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Thu, 31 Jul 2014, 1:13 PM | Permalink

Jack Shaheen

Writing for Campus Watch at Frontpage Magazine, Andrew Harrod reports on recent comments by Edmund Ghareeb and Jack Shaheen, professors at American and New York Universities, respectively, that blamed Israel for Arabs and Muslims' image problems in American media and entertainment:

Arabs and Muslims have an image problem in media and entertainment as a result of a pro-Israel political agenda. So claimed Edmund Ghareeb and Jack Shaheen, professors at American and New York Universities, respectively, on June 11, 2014, before an audience of forty middle-aged individuals at Washington, D.C. Jerusalem Fund think tank.

Ghareeb and Shaheen's presentation, "Portraying Arabs: 30 Years Later," commemorated their respective 1984 publications, Split Vision: The Portrayal of Arabs in the American Media and The TV Arab. Drawing upon personal experiences, Ghareeb decried a "lack of balance" in Middle East news coverage in Israel's favor, although groups such as CAMERA and Honest Reporting routinely demonstrate the reverse. According to Ghareeb, this allegedly biased media stereotyping "dehumanizes a people" and "allows for the use of force" against Arabs.

To read the entire article, please click here.

 

The Early Roots of Anti-Israel Lawfare

By Winfield Myers | Tue, 24 Jun 2014, 9:00 AM | Permalink

Sreemati Mitter

Although the use of lawfare to delegitimize Israel is lamentably common today, enemies of the Jewish state have in fact employed this weapon since the Jewish state's 1948 re-birth. In a CW-sponsored essay appearing today at FrontPage Magazine, Andrew Harrod reports on one Harvard scholar's recent attempt to put a positive spin on the first instance of this odious practice.

Anti-Israel lawfare actually has a longer pedigree than usually imagined, dating from a seemingly obscure lawsuit arising from Israel's 1948 re-birth. Sreemati Mitter, an Ernest May Fellow at the Belfer Center of Harvard University's Kennedy School and Harvard history Ph.D. candidate detailed the matter in a May 20 lecture. About forty mostly middle-aged and older pro-Palestinian individuals at the like-minded Jerusalem Fund think tank heard Mitter.

Mitter recounted the June 12, 1948 freezing by the newly reborn state of Israel of all bank accounts belonging to Arab refugees from Israeli-controlled territory during the country's independence war. She focused on the Palestine branches of Barclays and the Ottoman Bank in London, the two of which held deposits from the Arab Bank, a "Palestinian nationalist bank."

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

 

No Debate Allowed at Anti-Israel UCLA 'Debate'

By Winfield Myers | Mon, 16 Jun 2014, 10:57 AM | Permalink

Gabriel Piterberg

UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) has for years sponsored biased, anti-American, anti-Isael research and lectures. As Eric Golub reports today in a CW-sponsored article for FrontPage Magazine, a recent conference there that featured UCLA's Gabriel Piterberg, among others, continuted this lamentable tradition:

Outside of the United Nations, few institutions are as dedicated to anti-Israel rants as the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES). A recent CNES conference titled "The Settler Colonial Paradigm: Debating Gershon Shafir's 'Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict' on its 25th Anniversary," was a case in point.

The mouthful of a title refers to University of California, San Diego sociology professor and director of the human rights minor Gershon Shafir's 1995 book, Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Ignoring 3,000 years of archeological evidence connecting Jews to what is now the land of Israel, Shafir's unoriginal thesis was that carpet bagging Zionists bought up land and displaced indigenous Palestinians. Calling the conference a "debate" was a misnomer, for that typically requires at least two opposing views. In this case, the Israeli Gershon Shafir offered the Palestinian point of view and none of the speakers' contested him.

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

 

Professors Shill for Islam

By Winfield Myers | Fri, 6 Jun 2014, 3:24 PM | Permalink

Carl Ernst

Writing today at FrontPage Magazine for Campus Watch, Andrew Harrod reports on UNC-Chapel Hill professor Carl Ernst's recent lecture at a Washington, DC, institute founded by the self-professed "anti-Zionist" Norton Mezvisnky. Any problems within Islam are of course the West's fault:

Merely ten people, including two imams and a reporter, heard University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, professor of religious studies Carl W. Ernst deliver the "First Annual Ibrahim Abu-Rabi Lecture" on May 7 at the International Council for Middle East Studies (ICMES) in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Ernst was introduced by ICMES founder and president Norton Mezvinsky, who came to ICMES after a 42-year career teaching Middle East history at Central Connecticut State University.

A self-professed "anti-Zionist," Mezvinsky endorsed the infamous 1975 Zionism-is-racism U.N. resolution, developed amiable relations with the deranged anti-Semitic Lyndon LaRouche movement, and once spoke at the LaRouchite Schiller Institute in Germany. He also co-authored Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel with the late Israel Shahak, whose work, MEF Fellow Asaf Romirowsky wrote, "rests on his conviction that Judaism is the font of all evil and that most global issues can ultimately be traced back to Judaism via a world-wide Jewish conspiracy."

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

 

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