-- Profs Condemn Israel in Advance
-- About Campus Watch, the action site
-- Vicious Academic Liberals - 6/24/09
-- Ward Churchill trator - Posted 6/26/05
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About Campus Watch
Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America, with an aim to improving them. The project mainly addresses five problems: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students. Campus Watch fully respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds.
Why Middle East Studies Matters
Middle East studies have a special importance due to its many subjects at the heart of the public debate, such as the war on terror, militant Islam, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and others. Specialists have an extensive but subtle influence on the way North Americans see this range of topics. They:
The Problems in Middle East Studies
Analytical errors: University-based Middle East specialists have been consistently wrong in their analyses, as Martin Kramer showed in his Ivory Towers on Sand1. Some examples:
Extremism: Many U.S. scholars of the Middle East lack any appreciation of their country's national interests and often use their positions of authority to disparage these interests. Typical statements include:
Intolerance: The Middle East studies professorate is almost monolithically leftist due to a systematic exclusion of those with conservative or even moderately liberal views. The result is that Middle East studies lack intellectual diversity.
There are also attempts to bar alternative speakers on the Middle East from campus events - for example, in January 2003, when the Centre for International and Security Studies at York University disinvited Daniel Pipes and the York University Faculty Association tried to block his public talk on the campus.
Apologetics: Middle East studies tend to evade, ignore, or apologize for topics that do not fit their politicized agenda:
As an example of this evasion, out of the Middle East Studies Association's four-day conference in November 2002 where more than 550 papers were presented, exactly one dealt with Al-Qaeda and one with "fundamentalism." "Militant Islam" was not the subject of a single paper.
Many scholars are hostile to any discussion of these issues, lest it cast the region in an unfavorable light. Even after 9/11, Khalidi advises Washington to drop its "hysteria about suicide bombers."10 Joel Beinin, as MESA's president, disparaged the study of terrorism, mocking it as "terrorology," and lauded his colleagues' "great wisdom" in avoiding it.11 Juan Cole of the University of Michigan said "Asking MESA to hold panels on contemporary terrorism, is rather like asking literary scholars to comment on the resignation of Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil."12
Abusive of power over students: Middle East scholars impose their views on students and sometimes expect students to embrace their own politics, punishing those who do not with lower grades or weaker recommendations.
A student in a class on Contemporary Civilization taught by Columbia University's Joseph Massad wonders why he must listen to "an apoplectic rant about US foreign policy" when the subject matter at hand has nothing to do with current events.13 In a Berkeley course on "The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance" (that initially informed conservatives that they "should seek other sections"), a student who took the course found "anti-Semitism tolerated" by the instructor.14
At the University of Chicago, a doctoral student in the Middle East Studies program was discouraged by faculty from studying militant Islamic ideologies, told that this topic was created by a "sensationalist media" and forwards "Zionist" interests.15
What Campus Watch Does
Campus Watch will continue its work until the problems it addresses are resolved.
Campus Watch Goals
Campus Watch seeks to have an influence over the future course of Middle East studies through two main avenues:
Our Ideal of the University
The universities of North American are treasured institutions that build on the work of many generations. They are a trust that in no sense - not legally, not financially, and not morally - belongs to the academics who happen to administer and serve them at present. Stakeholders have not merely a right but an obligation to safeguard these vital institutions from being harmed. We call on the society at large to take an active interest in developments at the university in general, and in Middle East studies in particular.
John Dewey of Columbia University and Arthur Lovejoy of Johns Hopkins University came together with other educators in 1915 to found the American Association of University Professors, an organization designed to preserve the integrity of the academy from a donor-driven agenda.
Their 1915 Declaration of Principles set standards that we believe remain valid today:
Campus Watch calls upon Middle East studies specialists to recognize their "correlative obligations."
Replies to Our Critics
Unfortunately, Middle Eastern studies specialists responded to the launching of Campus Watch with a campaign of vilification and distortion. Lest there be any confusion, we wish to make explicit several points in response:
1 Washington: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001.
2 John L. Esposito, The Islamic Threat, Myth or Reality? New York, Oxford University Press, 1992, pp.212.
4 Rashid Khalidi, "The shape of Inter-Arab Politics in 1995," The Next Arab Decade, pp. 57-58, 61.
5 Hisham, Sharabi, "The development of PLO Peace Policy." in The Shaping of an Arab Statesman: Abd al Hamid Sharaf and the Modern Arab World, ed., Patrick Seale (London: Quartet, 1983), p. 162.
6 The New York Times, April 25, 1988
8 Norton, Augustus Richard, "Breaking the Gulf Stalemate Strategy," Los Angeles Times, Nov. 18, 1990.
9 Stephen Zunes, Q&A following lecture, panelist of "Israel's Policy of Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing", Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, Winter Conference January 23, 2003.
10 Rashid Khaildi, "Challenges and Opportunities," American Committee for Jerusalem, June 2002.
11 Joel Beinin, presidential address, MESA annual conference, Washington DC., November 24, 2002.
13 Student comments about Joseph Massad, Columbia University, Spring, 2002. http://www.columbia.edu/~msd39/
14 Roger Kimball, The Intifada Curriculum, Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2002.
15 Personal interview with student accepted in Spring 2001.
16 Reprinting published in Academic Freedom and Tenure: A Handbook of the American Association of University Professors, Edited by Louis Joughin, Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967. Appendix A., pp.155 - 176.
Campus Watch contact email: email@example.com
Campus Watch This pointer takes you to the page you have just read and beyond. My Campus Watch was here first but is used as a news site rather than an action site. Please take this problem serious your freedom may depend on it.
Profs Condemn Israel in
By Martin Kramer
Campus-Watch.org | December 27, 2002
The latest absurdity to emanate from Middle Eastern studies is an open letter suggesting that Israel might exploit a war against Saddam to engage in "ethnic cleansing" against Palestinians. (The letter, released last Wednesday, is ostensibly in support of a small group of extreme-left Israelis who issued a letter with the same message back in September.) After quoting the shrill and partisan rant of "our courageous Israeli colleagues," the American profs go on to make a recommendation: "Americans cannot remain silent while crimes as abhorrent as ethnic cleansing are being openly advocated. We urge our government to communicate clearly to the government of Israel that the expulsion of people according to race, religion or nationality would constitute crimes against humanity and will not be tolerated."
Are these people serious? The claim that Israel is plotting the mass explusion of Palestinians is one more lunatic-fringe conspiracy theory, hatched by Palestinian propagandists who want "international protection" as the wage for their two disastrous years of insurrection. Unfortunately for them, Israel has done nothing that constitutes a "crime against humanity," and so Palestinians have had to fabricate one that never happened (Jenin) and cry wolf over another one that won't happen (forced "transfer"). Let me not put too fine a point on it: anyone signing this letter, effectively condemning Israel in advance for something it has no intention of doing, is either an ignoramus or a propagandist.
It's not surprising, then, that a majority of the original signatories of the American letter (eight of fifteen) are academic Middle East "experts." Here are their names:
Joel Beinin, Stanford
Beshara Doumani, UC Berkeley
Zachary Lockman, New York University
Timothy Mitchell, New York University
Gabi Piterberg, UC Los Angeles
Glenn E. Robinson, Naval Postgraduate School
Ted Swedenburg, University of Arkansas
Judith Tucker, Georgetown University
Some of them are leaders of their field. Beinin is the immediate past president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). Mitchell directs the Middle East center at NYU. Tucker directs Arab studies at Georgetown. At the end of this entry, you'll find the names of more MESA types who appear as "additional signatories." One of them, Laurie Brand of the University of Southern California, is president-elect of MESA.
I'm not surprised to see the names of Noam Chomsky and Edward Said on this letter. Joel Beinin is no surprise either. But I'm disappointed that so many purported Middle East "experts," whose very profession is the first-hand examination of textual evidence, would mindlessly repeat the shrill claims of Israeli political activists. For example, did the Israeli chief of staff suggest the possibility of "transfer" in a recent interview, as both letters claim? Read the interview yourself. I see nothing in it that could even remotely be considered a proposal of "transfer." Quite the opposite: "We do not have intentions to annihilate them," said Israel's top soldier, "and we have also expressed readiness to grant them a state, whereas they are unwilling to recognize our right to exist here as a Jewish state." Did any of the American signatories bother to check the text of this interview? Obviously not—and these are tenured "specialists," several of whom teach the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The academics who now warn the U.S. government against the possibility of Israeli "transfer" of Palestinians are the same ones who failed to warn that very government, before 9/11, of the possibility that radical Islamists might commit a "crime against humanity"—specifically, against Americans. After 9/11, they warned that the greatest threat to peace had become—you guessed it—the American response at home and abroad. The real Middle East, with its real threats to peace and security, is so boringly predictable. Leave it to the "experts" to invent a Middle East and fill it with imaginary threats—it's much more interesting.
So the professors have posed as saviors of the Palestinians from imaginary "transfer." How ennobling. And there's no downside, right? Well, you also get your credibility questioned (see above), and your name listed (see below). Never trust the judgment of anyone whose name appears here. I don't.
Khaled Abou El Fadl, UC Los Angeles School of Law
Ervand Abrahamian, CUNY, Baruch College
Janet Lippman Abu-Lughod, New School University
Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University
Naseer Aruri, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Talal Asad, CUNY, Graduate Center
Raymond William Baker, Trinity College
Laurie A. Brand, University of Southern California
Edmund Burke, III, UC Santa Cruz
Juan Cole, University of Michigan
M. Elaine Combs-Schilling, Columbia University
Miriam Cooke, Duke
Kenneth M. Cuno, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Ahmad Dallal, Stanford
Lawrence Davidson, West Chester University
Fred M. Donner, University of Chicago
Nadia Abu El-Haj, Barnard College, Columbia
Mansour O. El-Kikhia, University of Texas, San Antonio
Khaled Fahmy, New York University
Samih Farsoun, American University
Carter V. Findley, Ohio State University
Nancy Gallagher, UC Santa Barbara
Irene Gendzier, Boston University
Elaine C. Hagopian, Simmons College, Boston
Lisa Hajjar, UC Santa Barbara
Clement M. Henry, University of Texas, Austin
Suad Joseph, UC Davis
Jamil E. Jreisat, University of South Florida
Resat Kasaba, University of Washington
As'ad Abu Khalil, CSU, Stanislaus
Bruce B. Lawrence, Duke
Fred H. Lawson, Mills College
Ian Lustick, University of Pennsylvania
Ernest McCarus, University of Michigan
Brinkley Messick, Columbia University
Farouk Mustafa, University of Chicago
Ibrahim M. Oweiss, Georgetown University
Alan Richards, UC Santa Cruz
George Saliba, Columbia University
May Seikaly, Wayne State
Ella Shohat, New York University
Mary Ann Tetreault, Trinity University
Lisa Wedeen, University of Chicago
Farhat J. Ziadeh, University of Washington
Stephen Zunes, University of San Francisco
(There may be other signatories of the letter who teach the Middle East, and who I didn't identify by a quick read. I invite additions and corrections, and I may make a few myself.)
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| Vicious Academic Liberals
June 24, 2009 By Walter E. Williams CNSNews
Ward Connerly, former University of California Regent, has an article, "Study, Study, Study – A Bad Career Move" in the June 2, 2009 edition of Minding the Campus (www.mindingthecampus.com) that should raise any decent American's level of disgust for what's routinely practiced at most of our universities.
Mr. Connerly tells of a conversation he had with a high-ranking UC administrator about a proposal that the administrator was developing to increase campus diversity. Connerly asked the administrator why he considered it important to tinker with admissions instead of just letting the chips fall where they may.
His response was that that unless the university took steps to "guide" admissions decisions, the University of California campuses would be dominated by Asians. When Connerly asked, "What would be wrong with that?", the UC administrator told him that Asians are "too dull -- they study, study, study."
Then he said to Connerly, "If you ever say I said this, I will have to deny it." Connerly did not reveal the administrator's name. It would not have done any good because it's part of a diversity vision shared by most college administrators.
With the enactment of California's Proposition 209 in 1996, outlawing racial discrimination in college admissions, Asian enrollment at UC campuses has skyrocketed. UC Berkeley student body is 42 percent Asian students; UC Irvine 55 percent; UC Riverside 43 percent; and UCLA 38 percent.
Asian student enrollment on all nine UC campuses is over 40 percent. That's in a state where the Asian population is about 13 percent.
When there are policies that emphasize and reward academic achievement, Asians excel. College officials and others who are proponents of "diversity" and equal representation find that outcome offensive.
To deal with the Asian "menace," the UC Regents have proposed, starting in 2010, that no longer will the top 12.5 percent of students based on statewide performance be automatically admitted. Students won't have to take SAT subject matter tests. Grades and test scores will no longer weigh so heavily in admission decisions.
This is simply gross racial discrimination against those "dull" Asian students who "study, study, study" in favor of "interesting" black, white and Hispanic students who don't "study, study, study."
This is truly evil and would be readily condemned as such if applied to other areas lacking in diversity. With blacks making up about 80 percent of professional basketball players, there is little or no diversity in professional basketball.
Even at college-level basketball, it is not at all unusual to watch two teams playing and there not be a single white player on the court, much less a Chinese or Japanese player. I can think of several rule changes that might increase racial diversity in professional and college basketball.
How about eliminating slam dunks and disallowing three-point shots? Restrict dribbling? Lower the basket's height? These and other rule changes would take away the "unfair" advantage that black players appear to have and create greater basketball diversity. But wouldn't diversity so achieved be despicable? If you answer yes, why would it be any less so when it's used to fulfill somebody's vision of college diversity?
Ward Connerly ends his article saying, "There is one truth that is universally applicable in the era of 'diversity,' especially in American universities: an absolute unwillingness to accept the verdict of colorblind policies."
Hypocrisy is part and parcel of the liberal academic elite. But the American people, who fund universities either as parents, donors or taxpayers, should not accept this evilness and there's a good way to stop it – cut off the funding to racially discriminating colleges and universities.
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Ward Churchill backs fragging
Controversial '9-11 prof' suggests rolling grenades under line officers
Posted: June 26, 2005
10:39 p.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
Prof. Ward Churchill
University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill suggested to a forum on conscientious objection they might be more effective in opposing war if they supported the "fragging" or killing of line officers.
In a Portland meeting on resistance to military recruiting, Churchill, famous for comparing Sept. 11, 2001, victims in the World Trade Center to "little Eichmanns," twice suggested anti-war activists should support those who kill their officers.
"For those of you who do, as a matter of principle, oppose war in any form, the idea of supporting a conscientious objector who's already been inducted [and] in his combat service in Iraq might have a certain appeal," he said. "But let me ask you this: Would you render the same support to someone who hadn't conscientiously objected, but rather instead rolled a grenade under their line officer in order to neutralize the combat capacity of their unit?"
Later, in a question-and-answer period, Churchill was asked whether the trauma "fragging" inflicts on that officer's family back home should be considered, he responded: "How do you feel about Adolf Eichmann's family?"
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