Setting The Record Straight
Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.
In an opinion piece masquerading as hard news, Jonathan Cook smears Campus Watch in targeting two independent Israeli academic monitoring groups for their critiques of radical Israeli professors. Eschewing evidence for his argument, his unfounded assertions crescendo in a self-pitying dirge one hears frequently from far-left academics: criticism is censorship.
The first sentence sets the tone:
Note the buzz-words of the left: "right-wing groups," "climate of fear," "'witch-hunt"--the latter term printed within quotation marks, one assumes, as a nod to the objectivity expected of news stories but never reached in this unintentional parody.
The charge is unfounded and absurd: CW has never launched a "witch-hunt," however one defines the term. We critique professors who, one would hope, could defend themselves without resorting to a kind of whiningthat is more embarrassing than edifying.
Cook's next salvo at CW is as lacking in evidence as his first:
Buzzwords again substitute for argument: "neoconservative," "intimidating" critics of Israel, "pressure" brought to bear to thwart hiring or tenuring "left-wing" lecturers. All because CW "has been widely accused."
Accused by whom? Accurately? With or without substance? If Cook has performed any research into CW's mission or record, he's done a masterly job of keeping it hidden.
We offer rigorous critiques of professors of Middle East studies in North America to a wide popular audience. If this is "intimidation," the word has lost all meaning. Our policy on university employment decisions is simple:
Underlying Cook's attack on CW are two conceits of the academic left and the journalists who love them:
Amidst such attacks, CW will continue to pursue its mission of critiquing Middle East studies with an aim to improving them.
(Posted by Winfield Myers)
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