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Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

Few Classes to Address Current Arab-Israeli Affairs
by Will Marble
The Daily Penn
December 9, 2012

Categories:
False allegations of attacking professors who criticize Israel
False allegations of suppressing free speech
Misc. Corrections
False accusations of being part of a lobby or conspiracy

Campus Watch Responds:

A recent claim by Ian Lustick, Bess W. Heymen Chair of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, that he has sent Campus Watch material it missed to "establish the record," in fact distorts the record of what occurred.

Lustick complained to a reporter of the Daily Penn that off-campus critics, especially CW, strike such fear into the hearts of his colleagues that they're afraid to address the Arab-Israeli conflict:

Many of my colleagues who teach Middle East studies go out of their way to avoid ever doing research on the Arab-Israeli conflict or teaching about it, because they don't want to be subjected to hostile attacks from either direction.

Invoking Cold War lingo to depict students' free speech rights as somehow nefarious, he told the reporter that "spies" from CW had infiltrated his classes, thus demonstrating a conceit endemic among academics: criticism is to be delivered, not received.

Lustick apparently sees himself as made of sterner stuff than his peers, since, far from avoiding the subject, he told the reporter that he "welcomed the increased scrutiny associated with teaching a polarizing topic."

Bravado aside, his next claim falls short of his own ostensibly high standards:

[Lustick added] that he had sometimes 'even sent [Campus Watch] things that they missed, because I want to establish the record.'

For the record, Lustick's last contact with CW occurred in October, 2006, when he emailed us to request that we "correct" the text of a "Quote of the Month" (now called the "Howler of the Month") that CW took from an article in the Daily Penn that, he claimed, was erroneous. The Daily Penn reported that Lustick had said:

The war on terror needs enemies, so [the administration] will generate enemies by invading Iran.

Yet Lustick claimed, both in an email to CW and in a comment below the original Daily Penn article, that he said:

There is no winning this war, because the war on terror is the enemy.

CW duly changed the wording of the Quote of the Month and reproduced Lustick's comment from the website of the Daily Penn below our archived copy story. The Daily Penn did not change the wording of its story, which still reads as it was originally published.

Lustick, then, far from sending CW "things [we] missed" to "establish the record," merely called our attention to what amounted to his claim in the comment section of a campus newspaper that he had been misquoted--again, a claim the paper did not act on, even though CW did after Lustick emailed us about it. How this obscure item amounts to something CW "missed" is anyone's guess.

If Lustick can demonstrate that he sent CW other items to "establish the record," we welcome him to send them again. In the mean time, he might wish to take steps to ensure that the claims he makes against others are themselves accurate.

(Posted by Winfield Myers)

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