Setting The Record Straight
Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.
Franklin Lamb, a self-styled "Middle East expert and commentator" with a long history of involvement in anti-Israel and anti-American activism, has written an op-ed on Middle East Forum founder and president Daniel Pipes that is more suited to a novelist. That's because Lamb's op-ed, up until the section on Pipes's recent Washington Times column, "Eventually, All Humans Will Be Palestine Refugees," is pure fiction. He fabricates story after story about Pipes, creates nonexistent quotes, and misrepresents Campus Watch in the process. The fact that the op-ed first appeared at the website for Al-Manar, the media arm for the terrorist group Hezbollah, only adds to its lack of credibility. So, too, do the countless misspellings, typos, and editing errors.
Let's take a moment to address just a few of the false claims in Lamb's oped.
Beyond the baseless clichés such as "Islamophobic," "McCarthyesque," and "Anti-Arab" to which Campus Watch has become accustomed, Lamb provides no documentation for this unlikely quote from an unnamed Middle East Forum employee. The fact that his op-ed is filled with made-up and inaccurate statements doesn't exactly inspire confidence in its validity. As for Pipes's state of mind—more on which below—his recent writings are hardly emblematic of a "terrified" or "spooked" man.
Lamb goes on:
He can't be bothered to get even the most basic information correct: the Middle East Forum was founded in 1994 and Campus Watch in 2002. Moreover, this isn't the first time Lamb's gotten CW wrong, having erroneously described the Zionist Freedom Alliance (ZFA) as "a spin-off of Campus Watch" in a 2009 article. In fact, ZFA has no ties whatsoever to Campus Watch.
In the same vein, Lamb claims that:
In contrast, CW's function, per the mission statement on the homepage of our website, is as follows:
Dossiers posted at CW's launch—in September 2002—stayed on the site for two weeks. While Middle East studies academics did indeed respond with outrage to the intrusion of outside criticism into their insular world, the dossiers were not removed because of "civic pressure," but rather, because they had already served their purpose. As to the alleged "terrorist list," it never existed. Neither Pipes nor CW "still circulates" these dossiers to anyone, let alone the "select and executive subscribers" or "hate groups" to which Lamb falsely alludes. All of the research, analysis, and criticism of Middle East studies academia at the CW website is available to anyone with an internet connection.
Engaging in a time-honored tradition of taking Pipes's quotes out of context in order to depict him as anti-Muslim, Lamb writes:
It gets worse, with Lamb making the following ludicrous assertions:
Pipes did serve as an advisor to Rudy Giuliani in his 2008 campaign for president, but never wrote so-called "anti-Muslim screeds;" indeed, he did no writing at all for the campaign. He also never stated that he "liked the job and seeks to do the same for Mitt Romney," nor for Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich. He never described Mormonism as "a cult," Rick Santorum as "one of those kook dispensationalist Christians," or told an invented "copy editor at the Washington Times" anything whatsoever. These are fantastical creations by Lamb.
Of the latter fabrication, Lamb then elaborates:
While he seems to be referring obliquely to Pipes's aformentioned Washington Times op-ed on Palestinian refugees, the rest is sheer fantasy. No such "application for a position as Middle East adviser" exists, nor did Pipes express any such wishes at "a recent MEF seminar." Pipes has neither endorsed a Republican candidate for president nor sought a position with any candidate.
Lamb claims of Newt Gingrich and Pipes that:
These are lies. Not only has Pipes never advocated the forced transfer of Palestinians out of the West Bank, he has argued against it. Far from advocating an increase in U.S. aid to Israel, Pipes has written that it would be in both countries' interests for it to come to an "orderly and gradual end." Regarding "demographic and existential threat[s]," it is the one-state solution that implies the "collapse of Israel" and its replacement with something else.
Returning to the fanciful idea that Pipes is "terrified," Lamb concludes that [all errors are in the original],
There is no "panic," "savage crime," "evil perpetrator," or "suicidal insanity" to speak of, however much Lamb may wish to push a lurid, spooky Poe narrative. One can almost hear the creaking of doors and wolves howling at the moon in the background.
The rest of the op-ed consists of overheated, rhetoric-laden, and vitriolic arguments against the specifics of Pipes's Washington Times column, including labeling Pipes an "Israel firster," a term straight out of the anti-Semitic playbook.
It's hard to imagine a more egregious example of blatant dishonesty and slander than exercised by Lamb in this op-ed. With journalists like Lamb, who needs novelists like Poe?
(Posted by Cinnamon Stillwell)
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