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Howler of the Month (archive)

Steven Salaita

"Despite applying to positions on four continents, I was unable to find an academic job, so I no longer count myself among the professoriate. A number of colleagues have attempted to recruit me, but their efforts always get shut down by management. . . . I don't intend to slosh around in self-pity. . . . Zionists have worked overtime to incriminate me . . . ."

Steven Salaita, infamous for his vicious, vulgarity-laced anti-Semitic rants, announcing that he is leaving academe because he is unable to find academic employment after searching on four continents; Steven Salaita's Facebook page, July 22, 2017. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

Miriam F. Elman

"The process [of indoctrinating youth with anti-Israel, pro-Islamist material] often starts with federally-funded university centers for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, many of which have also been generously supported for years by multi-million dollar gifts from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab states, and are top-heavy with faculty at the forefront of the anti-Israel movement, and who favor anti-Western perspectives."

Miriam F. Elman, associate professor of political science at Syracuse University, in "Palestinian Propaganda Is Infiltrating U.S. Public Schools"; The Algemeiner, August 7, 2017. (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

Anti-Israel Pro-BDS Professors Organizing Antifa Campus Network [incl. David Palumbo-Liu]
August 17, 2017 - Legal Insurrection

Delaware Muslims, State Officials Discuss Racism, Domestic Terrorism [incl. Muqtedar Khan]
August 17, 2017 - The News Journal

McGill Institute of Islamic Studies Digitizing Books by Iranian Scholars
August 14, 2017 - Tehran Times

A New Boycott Battle [incl. MESA, David Palumbo-Liu]
August 11, 2017 - Inside Higher Ed

What Congress Can Do About Extremism in Saudi Textbooks
August 11, 2017 - The Hill

Professor Sounds the Alarm: Palestinian Propaganda is 'Infiltrating' American Education
August 10, 2017 - Red Alert Politics

How Foreign Governments Influence What Americans Learn In College
August 10, 2017 - The Federalist

Professor Argues Genocide Is Sometimes Morally Required [on Mohammed Abed]
August 9, 2017 - The Daily Caller

Muslim Professor at CA University: "Genocide" of White Racists "Morally Required" [on Mohammad Abed]
August 9, 2017 - The Gateway Pundit

The Most Embarrassingly Wrong Book Ever on the Middle East?
August 9, 2017 - The Washington Times

Blog

Campus Watch and 'The Lobby': An Ongoing Fantasy

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Fri, 18 Aug 2017, 12:53 PM | Permalink

Conspiratorial Fantasies About 'The Lobby' Live On

Of all the baseless accusations against Campus Watch (CW), the charge that CW is a member of an all-powerful, all-seeing "lobby" is the most absurd. Writing for Al-Jazeera, Ramzy Baroud, a journalist and non-resident scholar at UC Santa Barbara's Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, is the latest to employ this tired canard against CW and its founder, Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes.

According to Baroud:

In its early years, the mission of combating any kind of dissent against Israel within the US was entrusted to the likes of notorious Zionist Daniel Pipes and his "Campus Watch," a Big Brother type of organisation aimed at intimidating teachers, scaring off students, and monitoring and reporting nonconformist educational institutions across the country.

Continue to full text of posting...

 

MESA 'Crying First Amendment Wolf' in Opposing Israel Anti-Boycott Act

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Wed, 16 Aug 2017, 6:15 PM | Permalink

As reported by Inside Higher Ed, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has issued a statement opposing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, a bill with bipartisan Congressional support and 48 Senate cosponsors that "would prohibit U.S. persons or companies from participating in or supporting boycotts of Israel organized by international governmental organizations like the United Nations."

MESA claims the bill, which targets commercial activity and is based on current law, "poses a grave threat to academic freedom." But as Northwestern University law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh points out, "This is a great disservice to claims of academic freedom and [the] First Amendment. They're really crying First Amendment wolf."

Given MESA's antipathy towards Israel and the fact that it removed the word "non-political" from its bylaws in March, most likely for the purpose of supporting BDS, the organization should look to itself for threats to academic freedom.

 

Trump Budget Defunds Title VI, Affirms Middle East Forum Campaign for Accountability

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Tue, 15 Aug 2017, 4:15 PM | Permalink

As noted by Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage Magazine, the Trump administration's 2018 higher education budget defunds "Title VI from $72 million to zero." Given the anti-Western, pro-Islamist bias afflicting Title VI-funded Middle East studies centers, which, ironically, were intended to strengthen national security, this is a welcome development. It's an affirmation of the ongoing campaign initiated in 2014 by the Middle East Forum and a coalition of partners to ensure that such centers offer the "wide range of views" required by a 2008 amendment or face reduced funding. It is now up to Congress to implement Trump's budget and the likelihood of eliminating Title VI funding is slim, but it's a conversation that's long overdue in the nation's capital.

 

The Most Embarrassingly Wrong Book Ever on the Middle East?

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Wed, 9 Aug 2017, 5:36 PM | Permalink

Lesch & Assad in Damascus

Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes examines another in a long list of Middle East studies specialists whose predictions about the region have been utterly wrong, Trinity University professor David Lesch. Pipes sums up Lesch's fawning 2005 book about "compassionate" Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad as "a monument of scholarly humiliation" and quite possibly, "the most embarrassingly wrong book ever on the Middle East." His article appears at the Washington Times.

"The Middle East is the graveyard of predictions" notes the left-wing writer and editor Adam Shatz. That's partly because it's so volatile (no one in 2014 imagined the revival of an executive caliphate after eleven centuries) and it's perverse (Turkey's President Erdo─čan started a near-civil war against the Kurds to win constitutional changes he does not need).

In part, too, predictions fail because of the general incompetence of the specialists in the field. Often, they lack the common sense to see what should be self-evident. Case in point: the collective swoon upon the accession of Bashar al-Assad to the presidency of Syria in 2000.

To read the entire article, please click here.

 

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