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David Myers: Wrong Choice by Center for Jewish History

The Center for Jewish History (CJH) has chosen UCLA professor David N. Myers, who supports a "limited boycott" of Israel and has repeatedly opposed efforts to combat campus anti-Semitism, to be its new president and CEO. Campus Watch West Coast representiave Cinnamon Stillwell explains why CJH has made the wrong choice at Arutz Sheva - Israel National News:

When a respected and apolitical institution like the New York-based Center for Jewish History (CJH) hires an anti-Israel academic to be its new CEO and president, something has gone terribly wrong. UCLA Jewish studies professor David N. Myers may present a moderate fa├žade, but his academic and political affiliations expose his radical core.

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By Winfield Myers  |  September 15, 2017 at 1:45 pm  |  Permalink

Qatar Foundation Funding for U.S. Public Schools A Cause for Concern

Qatar Planting Its Flag?

The Wall Street Journal reports on the upsurge in U.S. K-12 public education funding from the Qatar Foundation, ostensibly to encourage the growth of Arabic language instruction:

Benefactors from foreign governments, including other Arab nations, have long made donations to American higher education, but the Qatar Foundation's appears to be one of the few foreign organizations targeting K-12 public schools with lofty grants. It wants to ramp up spending.

But there are concerns about the foundation's independence owing to its co-founder and chairwoman being the mother of Qatar's emiri. Moreover, Qatar, which houses the foreign campuses of six American universities, is currently embroiled in a conflict with its Arab neighbors and the Trump administration over its alleged ties to terrorism.

Meanwhile, the foundation has funded "cultural events" for Arizona students, a visit to the Qatari embassy for Washington D.C. students, and a trip to Doha for Oregon students.

Given that Arabic language programs have a propensity to include what Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes calls "Arabist and Islamist baggage," the fact that an illiberal country like Qatar is providing an education to increasing numbers of American public school students is alarming.

Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at stillwell@meforum.org.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  September 6, 2017 at 1:54 pm  |  Permalink

Ken Stein Tells Middle East Studies Students How to Avoid Anti-Israel Profs

Ken Stein

Emory University Middle East studies professor Ken Stein offers up some useful advice for incoming college freshmen planning to take courses in his highly politicized field: "read the whole syllabus when you receive it the first day of class."

He provides two examples that reveal such academics' propensity for bashing Israel in lieu of teaching history. One is a University of South Carolina course titled "Middle Eastern Politics 1945-Present" in which "80 percent of the . . . content dealt with Palestine from 1945 to 1949" and the other, a "Palestinian-Israeli literature" course initially missing a syllabus that turns out to be "80 percent . . . focused on Palestinian claims against Israelis."

As Stein concludes, "Those professors had agendas."

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  August 25, 2017 at 12:42 pm  |  Permalink

Steven Salaita Claims Zionists 'Ousted' Him From AUB

Steven Salaita

Steven Salaita, who recently announced his departure from the American University of Beirut (AUB), and academe in general, with no intent "to slosh around in self-pity" before blaming "Zionists" for his travails, is now whining that he was "ousted" due to "Zionist pressure."

Salaita denies that he's exhibiting "an unjustified sense of self-importance," while launching into a conspiratorial rant on the alleged omnipotence of "pro-Israel groups," even in the "Arab World." So powerful are "the Zionists," whom he thought he could escape with "a gig in Lebanon," that they "traversed a supposedly ironclad border" to get Salaita fired.

The fact that AUB hired Salaita in 2015 to hold the Edward Said Chair of American Studies hardly bespeaks a Zionist plot. Moreover, it is Salaita's shoddy, politicized scholarship, not to mention his penchant for deranged, profanity-laden, anti-Semitic tweets, that hobble his career (before AUB, it was a rescinded position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

With all the free time on his hands, perhaps Salaita will start looking in the mirror.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  August 24, 2017 at 1:32 pm  |  Permalink

BDS Supporter & MESA President Beth Baron Named CUNY Distinguished Professor

Beth Baron

Middle East Studies Association (MESA) President and City College of New York historian Beth Baron has been named a City University of New York (CUNY) Distinguished Professor.

Missing from the announcement is Baron's endorsement of the academic boycott of Israel (BDS); her insistence that not only is the Muslim Brotherhood the farthest thing from a terrorist organization, but is the creation of Western Christian missionaries; MESA's attempts, under her leadership, to obstruct Trump's ban on immigration from several failing, violence-ridden Middle Eastern countries; and MESA's opposition to the Middle East Forum/Campus Watch campaign to end San Francisco State University's partnership with terror-promoting An-Najah University.

If this is what the academic world considers distinguished, the term has lost all meaning.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  August 23, 2017 at 1:02 pm  |  Permalink

Stanford BDS Prof. David Palumbo-Liu Starts Campus Antifa Network

David Palumbo-Liu

Legal Insurrection (LI) reports that in the wake of Charlottesville, radical pro-BDS Stanford University prof. David Palumbo-Liu is co-organizing a Campus Antifascist Network (Antifa) "to drive racists off campuses and to protect the most vulnerable from fascist attack."

Given the violent suppression of free speech for which Antifa is notorious, not to mention that most universities aren't exactly teeming with Neo-Nazis and white supremacists, the concern is that faculty and students who dissent from anti-Israel and pro-Islamist campus politicization will be targeted. As LI's William Jacobson puts it, "The teaming of the BDS and Antifa movements is the single most dangerous development I have witnessed in the many years I have been covering campus BDS. Antifa will give BDS even more muscle to intimidate and threaten those who oppose the BDS agenda."

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  August 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm  |  Permalink

Juan Cole Politicizes the Solar Eclipse; Declares Americans 'Climate Criminals'

Juan Cole

Leave it to University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, who never met an anti-American---or anti-Israel---conspiracy theory he couldn't support, to politicize the one event uniting the country right now, the solar eclipse.

Cole (by way of a tweet from leftist physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson) uses the momentous occasion to ponder why "there are no eclipse denialists the way there are dedicated climate change denialists?" After blaming the usual bogeymen, ExxonMobil and Koch Industries, Cole then declares all Americans "climate criminals and saboteurs." "You're endangering your grandchildren," he rants, before lecturing the country to follow his enlightened example and install solar panels, ride bikes to work, and eat "less beef."

While he's at it, Cole might try spewing less hot air.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  August 21, 2017 at 4:30 pm  |  Permalink

Campus Watch and 'The Lobby': An Ongoing Fantasy

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.

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By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  August 18, 2017 at 12:53 pm  |  Permalink

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

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.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  August 16, 2017 at 6:15 pm  |  Permalink

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

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.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  August 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm  |  Permalink

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