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Howler of the Month (archive)

Juan Cole

"I strongly suspect that Zionist organizations pressured the university to fire Professor Salaita. . . . This behavior is undemocratic and cult-like, and it is unacceptable in a Liberal society. We also see Jewish nationalists on the bench, in public office, and in high administrative positions who misuse their public position to engage in a sectarian vendetta so as to protect Israel from criticism or to punish its critics."

Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, on Steven Salaita, who was offered a position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that was rescinded following publicity on his inflammatory, anti-Israel Twitter posts; Informed Comment, August 7, 2014. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

Liel Leibovitz

"[W]hile we ought to fiercely insist on protecting our scholars' freedom to say whatever they please, we should also insist that speech, like action, have consequences. . . . Until academics live up to this obvious condition, until they realize that, like the rest of us, they operate in a community and enjoy no special license to speak and act with utter impunity, until they understand that public engagement is not a privilege but a responsibility, they will continue to find themselves marginalized."

Liel Leibovitz, visiting assistant professor of media, culture and communication at New York University, commenting on the Steven Salaita affair; "Tweets Cost a Professor His Tenure, and That's a Good Thing," Tablet Magazine, August 29, 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

Defending Salaita: Anti-Israel Profs Unite!
September 21, 2014 - American Thinker

Professor 'Not Sorry' Over Anti-Israel Tweets That Cost Him His Job at Top US University [on Steven Salaita]
September 21, 2014 - Daily Mail (U.K.)

Academic Who Lost Teaching Gig Over Anti-Semitic Tweets Not Sorry [on Steven Salaita]
September 21, 2014 - Fox News

Pushing Back Against the World's Oldest Hatred
September 21, 2014 - The Washington Post

Scholar Behind U. of Illinois Boycotts Is a Longtime Activist [on Steven G. Salaita, incl. Kristofer Peter­sen-Overton]
September 19, 2014 - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Title VI and Campus Bias
September 19, 2014 - The Hill

Hatred Masquerading as Scholarship in the Classroom [incl. Hamid Dabashi]
September 18, 2014 - FrontPage Magazine

Pro-Israel Groups Question Federal Funds for Middle East Centers
September 18, 2014 - Inside Higher Ed

Coalition Bidding for Ban on Federal Funding for Anti-Israel Activity on Campus
September 18, 2014 - Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Students for Justice in Palestine: Promoting Hate on Campus [incl. Hatem Bazian]
September 18, 2014 - Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers


Contrary to Georgetown Prof's Claims, Dean Says Center Receives Taxpayer Support

By Winfield Myers | Mon, 22 Sep 2014, 2:40 PM | Permalink

Asked recently if Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) receives federal Title VI funds, director Osama Abi-Mershed answered, "we are not tax supported."

His dean, James Reardon-Anderson, begs to differ.

Following the revelation that the directors of six federally-funded Middle East studies centers signed a letter pledging "not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions" in spite of "assurances" each gave to "maintain linkages with overseas institutions of higher education," Foreign Policy Research Institute president Alan Luxenberg emailed each director and asked if their pledges were personal or apply to the centers they lead.

In response to an inquiry, Reardon-Anderson, acting dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service, of which CCAS is a part, replied without commenting on Abi-Mershed's claim that:

Yes, we are very proud that the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies has been, and we hope will remain, a recipient of Title VI designation and support.

Continue to full text of posting...


Defending Salaita: Anti-Israel Profs Unite!

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Sun, 21 Sep 2014, 12:15 PM | Permalink

In the latest Campus Watch research, posted today at American Thinker, I examine the reaction of the field of Middle East studies to the case of Steven Salaita, who was offered a position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that was rescinded following publicity surrounding his offensive and hateful Twitter posts:

While Steven G. Salaita's inflammatory, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic Twitter posts and atrocious academic record may have cost him a tenured professorship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), theydid nothing to lessen his support from the field of Middle East studies. The former Virginia Tech University English professor – whose published work focuses on the Arab-Israeli conflict – was offered a position in UIUC's American Indian Studies Program that was later rescinded by Chancellor Phyllis Wise. Salaita's academic apologists immediately sprang into action, with antagonism to Israel's recent military action against Hamas only adding to the frenzy.

A number of petitions, open letters, and statements calling to reinstate or show solidarity with Salaita made the rounds, all displaying similar characteristics.

To read the entire article, please click here.


MESA Attacks Efforts to Reform Title VI of the Higher Education Act

By Winfield Myers | Thu, 18 Sep 2014, 4:28 PM | Permalink

Yesterday ten organizations, including the Middle East Forum, announced an effort to educate Congressional leaders and policy makers on the need to reform federally-funded Title VI Middle East studies centers, which have for years produced biased, anti-American and anti-Israel material.

Predictably, Amy W. Newhall, executive director of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), responded not by countering the signatories' charges, but by attacking their character and motives.

Newhall claimed "MESA resolutely opposes all forms of hate speech and discrimination, including anti-Semitism." In fact, "It supports prompt and forceful action in response to anti-Semitic incidents on college and university campuses."

Were this true, MESA would have condemned flagrantly anti-Semitic statements by Joseph Massad and Hamid Dabashi of Columbia, Ali Mazrui of SUNY Binghamton, As'ad AbuKhalil of Cal State Stanislaus, and countless others. Yet it consistently defends such speech rather than condemning it.

Continue to full text of posting...


John Esposito Takes 'Islam' Out of ISIS

By Winfield Myers | Sun, 14 Sep 2014, 1:06 PM | Permalink

John Esposito

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:

"He's the head apologist," read a note passed to this reporter from a liberal friend during Georgetown University professor John Esposito's August 28 address on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) at Washington, D.C.'s National Press Club. The Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) founding director reiterated his hackneyed arguments, long dominant in academia and government, that Islamic radicals' depredations stem from societal ills, not Islamic doctrine.

"ISIS, Radicalization, and the Politics of Violence and Alienation," accompanied by box lunches, attracted about fifty, many capital event regulars, including Georgetown's Berkley Center fellow Stanley Kober and Library of Congress Iraq specialist Michael Albin. Holocaust quasi-denier Ken Meyercord, Zainab Chaudry from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and an elderly woman who, at past events, alleged American government experiments in satellite mind control, also attended.

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


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