Middle East studies in the News
Impossible to Please [on Lee Bollinger; incl. Nadia Abu El-Haj, Rashid Khalidi, Lila Abu-Lughod, Qais Al-Awqati, Edward Said, George Saliba, Hamid Dabashi, et al.]
by Marty Peretz
Poor Lee Bollinger. He has done much of the dirty work for the faculty Left at Columbia University, especially in maintaining the regime and
And suddenly the issue has become one of politesse. Bollinger's rebuke of the holocaust-denying and genocide-threatening tyrant "sullied the reputation of the University with its strident tone," reads one point in a letter denouncing the president and signed by more than 100 faculty. Oh, yes, Bollinger's fit of distemper also "allied the University with the Bush administration's war in Iraq." All of this is described in an article in Wednesday's Times and Tuesday's Sun.
It is in the Sun that you can read which faculty make up this list: the newly tenured archaeology professor Nadia Abu El-Haj, Lila
Half a century of systematic maiming and murdering of another people has left its deep marks on the faces of these people. The way they talk, the way they walk, the way they handle objects, the way they greet each other, the way they look at the world. There is an endemic prevarication to this machinery, a vulgarity of character that is bone-deep and structural to the skeletal vertebrae of its culture.
And, yes, Mahmood Mamdani and Zainab Bahrani. There you have the core of the Middle Eastern faculty. At least one Jew in the department has also signed: Mark Mazower. Then there are the radicals by genetic inheritance: Peter Marcuse and Eric Foner. About the Jews: there are almost certainly more Jewish signatories than Muslims. In fact, as usual, Jews are attracted to a certain self-righteous
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