Middle East studies in the News
Tales From The Inside...The Real Problem With Obama's Khalidi
by Gerald A. Honigman
[ANTISEMITISM] Last weekend Americans set clocks back an hour for daylight savings time.
Thus, I guess it's only fitting that, given all the current fuss about the Los Angeles Times' refusal to make public even a transcript of Senator Obama's love fest with Professor Rashid Khalidi and his ilk (no doubt, Jews included), I'll turn the clock back as well...but almost three decades.
You see, Fox News means well, and while most of the mainstream media in general is either ignoring the story or downplaying it, Fox--and even the McCain people themselves--miss the real problem.
It's not that Obama indeed has far too many friends, advisors, admirers, and so forth who are antisemites and/or anti-Zionists (not that there's really a difference--one deliberately targets Jews for "special treatment," the other, in a post-Holocaust world, carefully revises the target to the Jew of the Nations), it's that those folks demand that all others see justice only through their own eyes.
While I was a doctoral student decades ago, this problem was already well under way.
Having to be employed full time for financial reasons while doing my earlier, nicely progressing doctoral work at the Kevorkian Center For Near Eastern Studies, a consortium of Princeton, Columbia, and New York Universities based at NYU in the 70s, my bread and butter job later required a move to the Midwest. As hindsight is always the best sight, I realized later how huge a mistake that was...especially in those days. The Kevorkian has since gone the way of Khalidi's Columbia and too many other Middle Eastern Studies programs today.
Part of my Columbus-based job involved guest lecturing at dozens of universities and colleges across a multi-state region to try to minimally balance resident anti-Israel professors. The Mid East Studies Association was already hijacked by Khalidi's buddies and the only Jews that got/get ahead were/are those who out-Arab the Arabs in their hatred and vilification of Israel. In age when budgets were tightening, all remembered who buttered their own bread as well...and this undoubtedly affected what was and wasn't presented to students in the classroom. Mucho bucks have been donated to such programs via the Arab petro-spigot.
To simply get a somewhat fair--not "pro-Zionist'--hearing about Israel, students are usually forced to take courses offered by the resident Jewish Studies Department. And, as should be the case--but in stark contrast to what will be described below--they will get an honest appraisal of the imperfectly human quest of a resurrected Jewish nationalism.
Let me present just a few personal examples...
Having been invited to be one of several presenters at a Columbus Citizen-Journal-sponsored event before hundreds of people on the Middle East regarding American foreign policy considerations in the region, I prepared accordingly.
As I was slated to be the last to present, I listened carefully to the others, but when I heard an Ohio State University professor switch gears to present about how those nasty Zionists stole poor Arabs' land--Obama's friend Khalidi's same line--I had no choice. I tore up my presentation, threw it into the air and unleashed both barrels in response.
After the presentation, I was approached by another professor who introduced himself as a representative of OSU's Middle Eastern Studies program. After a chat about where I did my earlier studies, he asked me if I'd consider resurrecting my doctoral work. I laughed and asked him if he had heard what I heard coming out of the mouth of his colleague. Why would I put my fate into such an academic program's one-sided hands?
I was assured that there were others at OSU who could serve as my Ph.D. dissertation advisor. On that note, while still working full time, I reentered academia.
Not wanting to drag this painful tale of woe out, let me just say that my initial gut reaction proved to be all-too-correct.
The tenured chief honcho who covered the modern Middle East certainly knew who buttered his bread...and into his hands I was placed.
While teaching advanced classes on Arab-Israel themes, he never once mentioned such things as Britain's Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill's crucial Cairo Conference of 1921. It was that Conference which led to gift of almost 80% of the original 1920 territory of the Mandate of Palestine to Arab nationalism in 1922 with the creation of what would later be renamed Jordan. And the latter fact was never mentioned as well...! This in a graduate studies class.
While also--but a bit more subtlety than Khalidi--promoting the theme of nasty Zionists and the need to create Arab state # 22 (2nd, not first, one in Palestine), Carter Findley never once mentioned the plight of over thirty million Kurds who remain stateless to date, who have been gassed and slaughtered by Arabs (and others as well), and who had their one best chance at statehood aborted by a collusion of British petroleum politics and Arab nationalism. My work on this subject can be found on the recommended reference list of Paris's acclaimed Institut d'Etudes Politiques--Science Po.
Indeed, the only time Findley ever mentioned Kurds at all was when he mocked their plight in Turkey.
To his credit, the other professor (I was his T.A.) invited me to do a presentation to students on the Kurds. Notice, however, that he too wouldn't touch this subject himself with a ten-foot pole. Afterwards, the Arabs in class caused such a commotion that I caught hell for merely presenting the plight of another non-Arab people--besides Jews--who were seeking a tiny slice of justice in a region proclaimed by Arabs to be purely Arab patrimony. The Arab genocide against blacks in the Sudan, subjugation and murder of Copts, Assyrians, Berbers and so forth were going on back then as well...and, again, not a peep out the Findleys, Khalidis, and their brother Hebrew derriere-kissers and hypocrites over any of this.
As just one last personal example of the problem Obama's Khalidi-type friends and advisors present, let me return to Findley's graduate seminars.
I'll never forget one Greek Orthodox woman who I'm sure has a great position at some university today. I can't think of her name, but I do remember her well.
Her idol was Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who spent World War II in Berlin at Hitler's side and organized a division of Muslim Nazis, 'the Hanzar.' He also played a first-hand role in instigating the genocide of Europe's Jews, Serbs and Gypsies. After World War II, he actively recruited Nazi officers into Arab governments of the Middle East.
When she presented her research on the Mufti at our doctoral seminar, all the above was either white-washed or mostly ignored altogether...and Findley, of course--her mentor and featured guest at her wedding--sat through it all approvingly.
Now, contrast this with my own research about Ze'ev Vladimir Jabotinsky...the man most responsible in the early Mandate era for Jewish defense against Arab slaughter. Findley had no problem emphasizing his alleged "fascist connections."
When it came time for me to prepare for the last leg of my doctoral work, guess who was denied a dissertation advisor? So much for that other professor's earlier assurance that not all teachers were of the same "persuasion" of the one whom I shared a stage with that night in Columbus. Wasted time, thousands of dollars, etc...Left hanging in the wind, we moved to Florida not long afterwards.
The above is too often the story on campus these days as well.
A little bit of good news is that now there are at least some watch dog organizations and endeavors like Professor Daniel Pipes' Campus Watch and David Horowitz‘s Academic Bill of Rights. Still, academia largely proceeds full speed ahead, intimidating all who dare to disagree and dismissing critics simply as right-wing fanatics.
Israel continues to thus be placed under the high power lens of moral scrutiny by academic practitioners of the double standard, and woe unto all who beg to differ.
So, my friends, the above is the real problem with Osama's Khalidi-type friends and associates.
Being "pro-Arab" is not the concern--as Fox, meaning well, has nevertheless presented the case. At least they have made an issue of this...
The problem has always been that for Arabs, anyone who claims that scores of millions of non-Arabs (whom Arabs once conquered during their own imperialist expansions) also deserve a slice of the justice pie in the region is by definition anti-Arab. There is no justice other than Arab justice. To be pro-Arab one must demonize and deny any others any justice at all.
Whether Obama's alleged statement about Israel's "genocide" against Palestinians (Arabs by another name--most of whom came from elsewhere) and other gems reported to be on that unreleased LA Times video tape are true or not, Obama's admiration, association, and so forth of, by, or with the likes of Farrakhan, Rezko, Khalidi, Wright, Jackson, Brzezinski, Mr. Apartheid Israel Peanut, Malley, Soros, McPeak, Khalid Al Mansour, etc. and so forth have to be beyond coincidental.
And this should be the cause of real concern--even for those all-too-many let's jump onto the cattle cars for relocation again Jews.
Source: Article submitted by the author, an IHC Featured Writer
Edited by IHC staff, www.infoisrael.net
Published 12 November 2008Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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