Campus Watch

Campus Watch
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.

The Latest on Campus

Quote of the Month (past quotes)

Manfred Gerstenfeld

"The 1968 generation wanted to conquer the world. They went nowhere. So they took refuge in academia, the only part of the world where they found a real home. This often failed generation ended up in that one refuge, where they could promote each other - and bring in their buddies. This is, among others, particularly true of Middle Eastern studies departments in the United States."

Manfred Gerstenfeld, author of "Academics Against Israel and the Jews," in an interview published in the Jerusalem Post, December 12, 2007. (link to source)

Islam vs. Free Speech [on libel tourism, incls. "Alms for Jihad," Khalid bin Mahfouz]
December 28, 2007 - Human Events

The Selective Indignation of Israel's Academic Critics [on L. Roland Matory, Middle East studies]
December 27, 2007 - The Jewish Press

'Palestinian' 'Moderate' Sari Nusseibeh Shows His True Colors
December 25, 2007 - Israel Matzav Blog

Language Courses May Get Big Boost [on Utah schools, incls. Arabic]
December 23, 2007 - Deseret Morning News

Muslim Studies too Political: Islamic Scholar [on Tariq Ramadan]
December 22, 2007 - The Ottawa Citizen

Federal Judge Wrongly Allows Exclusion of Renowned Muslim Scholar [on Tariq Ramadan]
December 21, 2007 - American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Rights Group to Appeal Judge's Ruling Against Muslim Scholar Barred from Entering US [on Tariq Ramadan]
December 21, 2007 - Associated Press

Court: State Law Won't Protect Terror Author from Libel Judgment [on Rachel Ehrenfeld, Khalid bin Mahfouz]
December 21, 2007 - Associated Press

Federal Judge Rules Against Tariq Ramadan in Visa-Denial Case
December 21, 2007 - Chronicle of Higher Education

Publishers Beware: NY State Says First Amendment Inapplicable [on Rachel Ehrenfeld, Khalid bin Mahfouz]
December 21, 2007 - Democracy Project Blog


U.S. Universities' Partner, Al-Quds President Nusseibeh, Makes Anti-Semitic Remarks


Sari Nusseibeh


(Updated Below)

As Anti-Racist Blog brought to my attention, the indispensable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has translated the tape of an interview in which the president of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, Sari Nusseibeh, makes anti-Semitic remarks during a rant against the presence of Jews in any future Palestinian state. (See them, indented, below.)

Key to the interest of Campus Watch in this case is that Al-Quds has partnered with several American and Canadian universities to offer programs, classes, and research opportunities. The schools involved include the University of Michigan at Dearborn, Northeastern University, York University in Ontario, Brandeis, and George Washington University. Al-Quds also receives U.S. government support.

This afternoon, I sent the email below to the heads of each of these schools. If they reply, we'll make their remarks available; they may choose to speak through the media. Most important is that they not stand for such blatant anti-Semitism from the head of an institution that is supported by the schools they lead.

Dear President X,

I am the director of Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has released the translation of a November 30, 2007 interview in Arabic of the president of Al-Quds University, Sari Nusseibeh.

In this interview, President Nusseibeh states:

The Israelis now living in the territories of the future Palestinian state should return to living within the borders of the state of Israel. No Jew in the world, now or in the future, as a result of this document, will have the right to return, to live, or to demand to live in Hebron, in East Jerusalem, or anywhere in the Palestinian state.

Given that X University has close relations with Al-Quds ( link to university web page ), I wondered if you had any public comment on the remarks of President Nusseibeh.

Thank you very much,

Winfield Myers
Campus Watch

Update: James R. Russell, Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard, sends the following comment for posting:

I, James Russell, Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University, have read the statement by Sari Nusseibeh in his official capacity as President of Al Quds University: "No Jew in the world, now or in the future... will have the right... to live... in East Jerusalem" and so on. In response I declare that I refuse to teach or collaborate in any way professionally with any person having any connection whatsoever to Al Quds University, which must be regarded as an anti-Semitic and racialist entity. Furthermore I will oppose by every possible means, including prosecution under the laws of the United States, any association or cooperation of Harvard University with Al Quds. I urge all scholars and teachers of good will to join me.

(Posted by Winfield Myers)

(December 21, 2007) Permalink

Muqtedar Khan's Smoke Screen

Muqtedar Khan

My latest article, which appears today at FrontPage Magazine, examines University of Delaware political scientist Muqtedar Khan's four (4) reasons, given over a period of weeks, for his October 23 objection to appearing on a panel with Israel Defense Forces veteran Asaf Romirowsky.

In a move one would hope student groups nationwide might emulate, this past fall the College Republicans and College Democrats at the University of Delaware organized a panel discussion on "Anti-Americanism in the Middle East." Participants for the October 24 panel were to include two UD political scientists, Muqtedar Khan and Stuart Kaufman, and a graduate student.

But the panel was ideologically imbalanced. Kahn is a nonresident senior fellow at the left-of-center Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and Kaufman a former member of Bill Clinton's National Security team. Both are on record as critics of American foreign policy in the region, and the graduate student was known to be sympathetic to their views.

So the students invited a fourth participant to offer a different perspective of the problem: Asaf Romirowsky, whose resume includes a stint at Campus Watch, a project of Daniel Pipes's Middle East Forum, which defends American interests in the Middle East. A resident of nearby Philadelphia, Romirowsky could drive easily to Newark, Delaware, thereby keeping the logistics of his participation simple. Like most Israeli males (he holds joint American/Israeli citizenship), Romirowsky served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Continue reading "Muqtedar Khan's Smoke Screen."

(Posted by Winfield Myers)

(December 21, 2007) Permalink

Iran's Nuclear Program Never Existed? So Says U. of Minnesota Prof. William O. Beeman

The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) downplaying Iran's "nuclear intentions and capabilities" released earlier this month has been met with well-founded skepticism by experts, members of Congress, and foreign intelligence services alike. Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes summed up this state of affairs like so:

The NIE's main point, contained in its first line, famously holds: "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program." Other analysts – John Bolton, Patrick Clawson, Valerie Lincy and Gary Milhollin, Caroline Glick, Claudia Rossett, Michael Rubin, and Gerald Steinberg – have skillfully dissected and refuted this shoddy, politicized, outrageous parody of a piece of propaganda, so I need not dwell on that here. Further, leading members of Congress are "not convinced" of the NIE's conclusions. French and German leaders snubbed it, as did the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and even the International Atomic Energy Agency expressed doubts. British intelligence believe its American counterparts were hoodwinked, while Israeli intelligence responded with shock and disappointment.

But for those who are inclined to believe the Iranian regime's farcical claims that their nuclear ambitions are based on energy and not weaponry, the NIE is seen as vindication that dialogue and diplomacy, rather than sanctions and threat of force, is the correct approach.

One of these is professor and chair of the department of anthropology at the University of Minnesota and author of The ‘Great Satan' vs. the ‘Mad Mullahs': How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other, William O. Beeman. As Campus Watch has noted previously, Beeman has long been a proponent of negotiating with Iran's bellicose leadership and has consistently urged the U.S to be more conciliatory in its approach. He even went so far as to encourage the use of "language" that is "unfailingly polite and humble."

With the release of the NIE, Beeman now not only fancies himself an expert on the art of diplomacy, but he appears to be clairvoyant. Either that or he has an inside line to the Iranian regime and its intelligence services. What else would allow him to declare with utter certainty: "Iran has never had a proven nuclear weapons program. Ever. …the report does not offer a scintilla of evidence that the weapons program was ever an established fact"?

Yet it is Beeman who, in the New American Media article in question, offers not a scintilla of evidence to back up this incredible assertion.

In light of Beeman's predictable and naïve conclusion:

The only positive outcome of this debacle may be that the Bush administration may finally accept that differences with Iran can only be solved by actually talking to the leaders of the Islamic Republic. Restoration of diplomatic relations, even at a low level, will begin the process of reducing the hostile atmosphere that has been created, and will start the long, slow process toward the restoration of productive and peaceful relations.

Campus Watch would really like to know the answer to the question, what does Beeman know that the rest of us don't?

(Posted by Cinnamon Stillwell)

(December 13, 2007) Permalink

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