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UCLA's Gelvin Buries Obama's Middle East Policy Failures

James Gelvin

The Trump administration's airstrikes against a Syrian military airfield following a chemical attack has focused attention on the previous president's Middle East foreign policy failures. Yet, in a lecture at UC Berkeley, UCLA professor James Gelvin persisted in downplaying Barack Obama's record regardless of the chaos it sparked. In a report for Campus Watch that appears today at the Daily Caller, Michael Lumish provides the details:

"How will history judge Barack Obama in terms of his policies and actions toward the Middle East?" asked UCLA Professor of Middle Eastern History James Gelvin at UC Berkeley. . . . Gelvin's answer to his opening question—that Obama's policies were in line with his predecessors' during the Cold War—strained credulity and mirrored the Middle East studies establishment's strategy to defend Obama's record regardless of the chaos it sparked.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  April 14, 2017 at 5:56 pm  |  Permalink

Georgetown's Jonathan Brown Kicks Out Critic, Again

Jonathan Brown

Thin-skinned Georgetown University prof. Jonathan Brown has ejected Andrew Harrod, a correspondent for Campus Watch and Jihad Watch (JW), from an event for the second time. Harrod's crime? Being a "noted Islamophobe" who has "slandered" Brown or, in other words, a critic of the professor's apologias for Islamism. Harrod still managed to attend the next day's screening of "The Sultan and the Saint," a film that whitewashes Islamic history, and his report on both appears today at Jihad Watch.

Jonathan Brown, director of Georgetown University's Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU), brooks no disagreement. Having expelled this writer from a February 7 apologist lecture on Islamic slavery that provoked nationwide outrage, Brown ejected me from another Georgetown event on March 16.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  April 14, 2017 at 2:41 pm  |  Permalink

San Francisco State U. Partner An-Najah Still Promoting Terrorism

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat's decision to cancel a return lecture at San Francisco State University after last year's disruption highlights what he rightly calls SFSU's "continuing marginalization and demonization of the Jewish state." So, too, does the Middle East Forum/Campus Watch campaign (sign petition here) to end SFSU's Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with radical Palestinian An-Najah National University. As CW's Cinnamon Stillwell points out at the Algemeiner, Najah students are still promoting terrorism against Israel:

Last month, Palestinian Media Watch reported that Shabiba — the Palestinian Authority (PA) student movement at Najah — displayed a logo on Fatah's official Facebook page featuring a coat of arms on a "resistance" fist. The coat of arms was in the shape of the PA map, claiming all of Israel as "Palestine." It was accompanied by the violent slogan, "From the sea of blood of the martyrs, we will create a state."

Then, on March 29, Fatah's Facebook page featured Shabiba's call for a day of terror against Israel on April 17. Shabiba promised to "to burn the land under the feet of the tyrants," and threatened to replicate a previous terror attack in which 16 people were murdered.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Winfield Myers  |  April 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm  |  Permalink

Sari Nusseibeh Advocates Peace--at Least at CUNY

Sari Nusseibeh

It's noteworthy when a well-known Palestinian academic with a mixed record advocates peace while speaking English in an American university. It's also prudent to be skeptical that such good news heralds a complete change of heart, especially when the speaker is Sari Nusseibeh, whose record on such things is mixed. Campus Watch correspondent Mara Schiffren attended a recent lecture by Nusseibeh at CUNY and filed a report that appears today at The Algemeiner:

It's a strange experience to attend a panel discussion at the City University of New York (CUNY) with a former PLO representative who served under Yasser Arafat — and to find him more restrained in his language and optimistic about the current Arab-Israeli stalemate than either his fellow panelist or the audience.

Such was the case with Sari Nusseibeh, a professor of philosophy and the former president of al-Quds University in Jerusalem, who joined journalist Dan Ephron at CUNY's Leon Levy Center for a panel on Israel.

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

By Winfield Myers  |  April 3, 2017 at 1:44 pm  |  Permalink

UPenn Professor Rejects Islamic Supremacism

Amel Mili

At a conference in Washington, DC earlier this month, the University of Pennsylvania's Amel Mili and a fellow Tunisian offered a refreshing rebuttal to the Islamic supremacist dogmas dominating Middle East studies. Andrew Harrod's report for Campus Watch appears today at Jihad Watch:

"We don't only want to be Muslim and eradicate anything before or after," stated the University of Pennsylvania's Lauder Arabic Language and Culture Program Director Amel Mili . . . [at] a small breakout panel at the Policy Studies Organization's Middle East Dialogue 2017. Her lecture examining a 1982 Tunisian court decision denying a woman her inheritance on the basis of sharia law shed light on the difficulty of reinterpreting Islamic scriptures for the modern world.

During audience questioning, Mili focused on Tunisia's uniquely cosmopolitan culture within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. "In Tunisia, so far, we have this global approach of history. I am happy, even if it was through colonization, that I had the chance, for example, to master the French language and the French culture." In post-panel communications, she added that in Tunisian history, "French language bears the ideas of equality, democracy, human rights, etc."

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  March 31, 2017 at 2:30 pm  |  Permalink

Essay Mischaracterized Mission of Campus Watch

[The following appeared as a letter to the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education on March 27, 2017.]

To the Editor:

Brian Leiter, in "Academic Ethics: Defending Faculty Speech" (The Chronicle, March 22), smears Campus Watch and mischaracterizes its mission.

Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, critiques Middle East studies by holding professors accountable for their work. It does not "police faculty speech"; how could it when it lacks any and all police power? It does not "inflame public opinion and incite harassment" of academics but engages in careful, multiple fact-checked analyses. Nor need it hide behind the law's "wide latitude to malicious speech," because it offers facts. Finally, it does not partake in "orchestrated" onslaughts against professors but engages in its own research according to its unique priorities.

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By Winfield Myers  |  March 27, 2017 at 3:51 pm  |  Permalink

This Week at Campus Watch

To keep you up to date on what's happening at Campus Watch (CW), we're introducing "This Week at Campus Watch," a compilation of weekly postings at the CW website that we'll send to CW subscribers each week. The postings are categorized by subject and include both in-house and external material: Campus Watch Research (original CW articles and research); Campus Watch Blog (original blog posts); Middle East studies in the News (external articles on current developments in Middle East studies); Moonlighting: Non-Specialists in the News (external articles by non-specialists); and Setting The Record Straight (CW corrects false allegations made against it). Stay updated on CW's efforts to replace the bias and politicization that has overtaken the field of Middle East studies with scholarship and accountability. Follow Campus Watch on Facebook and Twitter.

Campus Watch reports the following from March 14-20, 2017:

Campus Watch Research

Mara Schiffren at The Daily Caller, "Noura Erakat Preaches Intersectionality at NYU":

Campus Watch Blog

Winfield Myers highlights Mara Schiffren's article on George Mason University professor Noura Erakat:

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By Campus Watch  |  March 23, 2017 at 6:43 pm  |  Permalink

Noura Erakat Preaches Intersectionality at NYU

"Intersectionality" is among the hottest buzzwords in academe, and like most other chic terms, it substitutes pretention for content. Ostensibly signifying the connections between oppressed groups, in practice it's used as a weapon for professional (fake) victims to silence anyone who deigns to thwart their will to power. Writing at the Daily Caller, Campus Watch contributor Mara Schiffren details a recent NYU lecture by rabid anti-Israel activist Noura Erakat of George Mason University:

Israel-bashing in the name of "intersectional solidarity" is now a feature of Black History Month, according to New York University's Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies. In late February, it co-sponsored a panel discussion, "When I See Them, I See Us: Black Palestinian Solidarity," with the NYU chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

Over one hundred people filled the Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts, while a few stragglers sat on benches off to the side unable to fully view the panel. Based on "intersectionality," the latest fad in academic theories, the panel promoted an alliance between black and Palestinian "social justice" activists.

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

By Winfield Myers  |  March 15, 2017 at 11:01 am  |  Permalink

Georgetown's Tamara Sonn Declares the West the Enemy of Islam

Tamara Sonn

Andrew Harrod reports on a lecture from Georgetown University professor Tamara Sonn that began with her asking, "Is Islam an enemy of the West? It does seem like such a ridiculous question, doesn't it?" and went downhill from there. His Campus Watch-sponsored article appears at Jihad Watch:

"Is Islam an enemy of the West? It does seem like such a ridiculous question, doesn't it?" asked Georgetown University professor Tamara Sonn on February 22 at its Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). What seemed manifestly obvious to this Qatar-funded Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in the History of Islam at the ACMCU presentation of her new, eponymously-titled book, is not clear at all to skeptical observers. Thus, her work resembles that of many of her Middle East studies colleagues, who long ago replaced rigorous scholarship of Islam with a fawning approach that blames the West for the region's systemic problems.

To read the entire article, please click here.

By Cinnamon Stillwell  |  March 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm  |  Permalink

Sixty-three California Scholars Falsely Charge Campus Watch with Making Violent Threats

Sondra Hale

Sondra Hale of UCLA and Lisa Rofel of UC-Santa Cruz have penned a mendacious screed signed by 61 other "scholars" (see the full text and list of signers here) in which they make outrageous, slanderous charges against Campus Watch along with numerous factual errors.

Writing at the website of "California Scholars for Academic Freedom," Hale, Rofel, and their colleagues accuse CW of slandering and threatening violence against those with whom it disagrees:

A recently formed "Professor Watchlist" purports to alert students about professors they claim "advance a radical agenda in lecture halls." This watchlist echoes Horowitz's project, Campus Watch. The latter lists both faculty and students, threatening the latter with slanderous public information for use by prospective employers and the former with threats of violence. The Professor Watchlist names numerous professors from California institutions of higher learning. In response to the Professor Watchlist, faculty from throughout California, at public and private universities, have followed the lead of faculty at the University of Notre Dame, in sending the Professor Watchlist our names to be added to their list. We refuse to be intimidated by such harassment tactics.

CW challenges the authors and signers of this letter to prove that it has ever threatened anyone in any way, with either "violence" or "slanderous public information." It is a lie. We have never issued any kind of threat or slander against any person.

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By Winfield Myers  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:46 pm  |  Permalink

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