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Howler of the Month (archive)

Mark LeVine

"However fitfully, America recognizes its race problems. Israelis are still living in the American 1950s, while Gazans remain trapped in a ghetto in which no Ferguson resident would want to live."

Mark LeVine, professor of Middle Eastern history at the University of California, Irvine, drawing a parallel between the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Operation Protective Edge, Israel's military response to Hamas rocket fire; "Ferguson is Not Gaza . . . Yet," Al-Jazeera, August 18, 2014. (link to source)

We Couldn't Have Said it Better (archive)

Jeffrey Herf

"[P]olitical struggles are ultimately battles about ideas and their meaning. What begins in the universities and enjoys the prestige associated with them filters into journalism, the highbrow journals of opinion, the editorials of the media, and the policy think tanks in Washington. In the process, it fosters at best a language of moral equivalence regarding Israel and Hamas. It is also reflected in courses taught in the universities, which in turn have an impact on coming generations."

Jeffrey Herf, professor of history at the University of Maryland, College Park, on the anti-Israel ideas behind the open letter to President Obama and Congress signed by "Historians Against the War" denouncing Israel's actions in Operation Protective Edge; "A Pro-Hamas Left Emerges," The American Interest, August 26, 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

Hamas's Academic Apologists
August 31, 2014 - American Thinker

University of Illinois Scrutinized Over Withdrawing Job Offer for Professor Who Criticized Israel on Twitter [on Steven Salaita]
August 29, 2014 - Associated Press

U.S. Academic's Career Suffers Due to Anti-Israel Tweets [on Steven Salaita; incl. Hatem Bazian]
August 29, 2014 - Daily Sabah

After Gaza Conflict, Preparing for a Potentially Stormy Year for Israel on Campus [incl. Hatem Bazian]
August 29, 2014 - JNS.org

Tweets Cost a Professor His Tenure, and That's a Good Thing [on Steven Salaita]
August 29, 2014 - Tablet Magazine

'Civility' A Divisive Issue in University of Illinois Faculty Decisions [on Steven Salaita]
August 29, 2014 - The Chicago Tribune

University Departments Issue No Confidence Vote in Chancellor Phyllis Wise [on Steven Salaita]
August 29, 2014 - The Daily Illini (student newspaper of the University of Illinois)

Another Department Votes No Confidence in University of Illinois Trustees, Wise [on Steven Salaita]
August 29, 2014 - The News-Gazette

AAUP 'Deeply Concerned' Over Salaita
August 29, 2014 - The News-Gazette

Ingrid Mattson, Paving the Way for Women Scholars
August 28, 2014 - Aquila Style

Blog

Hamas's Academic Apologists

By Cinnamon Stillwell | Sun, 31 Aug 2014, 3:01 AM | Permalink

Hamas in action.

Who said, "Hamas cannot hurt Israel at all militarily. . . . Israeli citizens enjoy relative security"? Or, "Hamas has not chosen the option of a military or violent confrontation with Israel"? How about, "Israel's only real strategy is causing war, not ending war"? Answer: Middle East studies academics.

In the latest Campus Watch research, posted today at American Thinker, CW West Coast Representative Cinnamon Stillwell highlights such quotes to demonstrate how professors act as cheerleaders for Hamas and Palestinian terrorism:

Reaction by Middle East studies professors to Israel's recent effort to destroy Hamas's terrorist infrastructure epitomizes their perennial pro-Hamas, anti-Israel, and anti-American biases. In lieu of reasoned, informed, and balanced assessments, they proffer extremist rhetoric that demonizes Israel and America while ignoring Hamas's misdeeds: rockets aimed at Israeli civilians, kidnappings and murder, disregard for ceasefires, and the cynical use of Palestinian civilians--including children--as human shields.

Two groups--Middle East Scholars and Librarians and Historians Against the War--signed letters advocating a boycott of Israeli academic institutions and accusing Israel of war crimes that demand the end to U.S. military aid, respectively.

To read the entire article, please click here.

 

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.

 

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