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Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

The Israel Lobby vs the First Amendment
by Ramzy Baroud
Al-Jazeera
August 15, 2017

Categories:
False allegations of attacking professors who criticize Israel
False allegations of suppressing free speech
False allegations of being a Zionist organization
False accusations of being part of a lobby or conspiracy
False allegations of connections to other organizations

Original text from The Israel Lobby vs the First Amendment:

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.

Campus Watch Responds:

[Cross-posted at the Campus Watch Blog as "Campus Watch and 'The Lobby': An Ongoing Fantasy"]

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.

"Entrusted?" He never explains who "entrusted" this mission to Pipes, but the clear implication points to—who else—"the lobby." This echoes the contention of John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt in their book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, where they claimed:

The Lobby also monitors what professors write and teach. In September 2002, Martin Kramer and Daniel Pipes, two passionately pro-Israel neo-conservatives, established a website (Campus Watch) that posted dossiers on suspect academics and encouraged students to report remarks or behaviour that might be considered hostile to Israel.

Pipes responded to this accusation in a 2006 letter to the editor in the London Review of Books (and reprinted at his blog), making clear that it was nonsense:

This account is inaccurate in several ways (e.g. Martin Kramer had no role in founding Campus Watch), but I write specifically to state that no "Lobby" told me to start Campus Watch. Neither the Middle East Forum nor myself has ever taken orders from some mythical "Lobby," and specifically I decided to establish Campus Watch on my own, without direction from any outside source.

Mearsheimer and Walt did not correct their transparent error, instead issuing countless, error-riddled swipes at Pipes and CW over the years, swipes that live on with the hapless Baroud.

Baroud ends his harangue against CW with a back-handed endorsement, asserting that "Not only did Pipes miserably fail, but his tactics unwittingly inspired real, often heated debates and discussions across American campuses." But if Pipes had failed, Baroud would hardly be ascribing such powers to CW fifteen years later. And those "often heated debates and discussions across American campuses" were hardly unwittingly inspired. Would that such debates carry on indefinitely. That is, if "the lobby" permits.

(By Cinnamon Stillwell)

© 2002 - 2017 The Middle East Forum. Campus Watch contact e-mail: campus-watch@meforum.org

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