Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

August 15, 2014

Before there was Steven Salaita

Filed under: Academia,repression,Steven Salaita,zionism — louisproyect @ 7:08 pm

NY Times October 2, 1983

THE STONY BROOK RIFT: RACISM AND ZIONISM

By MICHAEL WINERIP

ON Aug. 17, five faculty members at the State University of New York at Stony Brook met to review the evidence against Prof. Ernest Dube.

It was skimpy evidence, those five executive committee members agreed – certainly nothing they ever dreamed would attract the attention of the Governor.

In a two-page letter, a visiting professor from Israel had charged Professor Dube with using the classroom for ”the kind of sloganeering that is practiced by the anti-Semite,” including teaching that Zionism is racist.

The Israeli professor, Selwyn K. Troen, had never been to Professor Dube’s class nor made an attempt to talk with Professor Dube. He based his letter on conversations with a single student and a copy of the course syllabus and shortly afterward flew back to Israel.

”Frankly, I thought what Professor Troen said was bull,” said Joel Rosenthal, a Stony Brook history professor and head of the committee. That same day, after reviewing the evidence available, the committee decided that Professor Dube was within the bounds of academic freedom abnd had not acted improperly.


 

NY Times, October 19, 2000

Columbia Debates a Professor’s ‘Gesture’

By KAREN W. ARENSON

When Edward W. Said, a celebrated literary scholar, Columbia University professor and outspoken Palestinian advocate, hurled a rock toward an Israeli guardhouse from the Lebanese border in July, a photographer caught the action. The photo, which captured Mr. Said with his arm reached far behind him, ready to throw, appeared in newspapers and magazines in the Middle East and the United States.

Mr. Said’s rock-throwing occurred during a visit to Lebanon with his family last summer. He has given several explanations for it. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, he said it was merely a competition with his son to see who could throw farther.

But his explanations did not satisfy critics like Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Mr. Foxman wrote to Columbia’s president, George Rupp, calling Mr. Said’s behavior ”a crude, disgraceful and dangerous act of incitement” and saying that it warranted ”clear repudiation and censure from the Columbia University community.”


 

Jewish Ledger, June 26, 2002

CCSU, Tunxis institutes for teachers lack balance, Jewish leaders say

by Adam N. Schupack

Two professional development institutes to educate Connecticut public school teachers about the Middle East and Islamic world have drawn criticism from members of the Jewish community and a Connecticut congressman for their lack of balance.

At least three professors teaching at the programs at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in New Britain and Tunxis Community College in Farmington are anti-Israel activists, according to Jewish leaders.

“We feel that it is important that middle and high school teachers receive a balanced presentation of the issues, and we’re not convinced these faculty will be able to accomplish that,” said Cathrine Fischer Schwartz, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford.


 

NY Times, November 21, 2002

Poet Who Spoke Against Israel Is Reinvited to Talk at Harvard

By ROBERT F. WORTH

Citing concerns about freedom of speech, Harvard University’s English department has renewed an invitation to the Irish poet Tom Paulin to give a lecture, just a week after he was disinvited for expressing strongly anti-Israeli views.

The new invitation, approved in a vote on Tuesday night, drew sharply differing responses from faculty members and students at Harvard, which has been troubled by heated debates and demonstrations about Israel in the past year. Some expressed relief, saying the university had crossed the line by disinviting a poet because of his political views. Others were outraged and said the decision would lead to renewed protests.


 

New York Sun, January 27, 2004

Hamas in Florida Classroom

by Daniel Pipes and Asaf Romirowsky

A visiting Palestinian professor at Florida Atlantic University, Mustafa Abu Sway, is “known as an activist” in Hamas, a group on the American government’s terrorism list, we reported in October of 2003. We also disclosed that his salary is being paid by the American taxpayer, via the Fulbright exchange program.

Our little scoop met with yawns or with disbelief. Mr. Abu Sway himself, in an interview with the Palm Beach Post, denounced our article as a “witch hunt.” Florida Atlantic University ignored the disclosure: “We have no reason to take any action,” the university’s president told the Post, a paper that published four skeptical responses, including an editorial insisting that “there is no known evidence” against Mr. Abu Sway.

Actually, being named as “a known activist” in Hamas by the Israeli government — who knows terrorism better ? — qualifies in itself as “evidence,” but since October we have learned that Mr. Abu Sway also, according to Israeli sources:


 

Berkeley Daily Planet Tuesday May 25, 2004

UC Lecturer’s ‘Intifada’ Comment Brings Death Threats

By JAKOB SCHILLER

A recent speech delivered by a UC Berkeley lecturer during an impromptu anti-war protest in San Francisco has set off a firestorm of criticism around the country, including death threats and calls for his removal from the university.

The speech, given by Hatem Bazian of UC’s Near Eastern Studies Department, at one point noted the intifada in Palestine and uprising in Iraq and then asked the crowd why the U.S. has not had its own political intifada to protest the lies U.S. government has used to lead this country to war.

Critics took offense with his use of the word “intifada” and are claiming Bazian could be calling for an armed uprising like the ones in Iraq and Palestine. In Arabic, Intifada comes from a root word which means “shaking off,” but the word has come to be associated with the armed Palestinian struggle against Israel.


 

NY Sun, October 22, 2004

Rep. Weiner Asks Columbia to Fire Anti-Israel Prof

By JACOB GERSHMAN, Staff Reporter of the Sun

A congressman from New York City is calling for the dismissal of a Columbia University professor he accuses of “displays of anti-Semitism.”

Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Democrat of Brooklyn and Queens, has written a letter to Columbia’s president, Lee Bollinger, urging him to “fire” Joseph Massad, an assistant professor of Arab politics and one of the harshest critics of Israel on campus.


 

NY Sun, November 22, 2004

Professor Fearful of Attack

By JACOB GERSHMAN, Staff Reporter of the Sun

After receiving an e-mail from a Columbia University graduate student accusing him of anti-Semitism, the chairman of Columbia’s Department of Middle East and Asian languages and cultures told university officials he felt physically threatened by the student and urged them to alert school security.

Columbia’s provost, Alan Brinkley, told the professor, Hamid Dabashi, he was overreacting, and declined to notify security about the letter from the student, according to an e-mail obtained by The New York Sun.

Mr. Dabashi, whose department at Columbia has come under public scrutiny for its promotion of anti-Israel sentiment and its alleged harassment of Jewish students, was responding to an e-mail he received in late September from Victor Luria, a Ph.D. student who works in a Columbia genetics lab.


 

NY Times, February 28, 2005

Some Limits on Speech in Classrooms

By JOYCE PURNICK

WHILE Columbia University struggles to find the line between academic freedom and unacceptable classroom behavior, the city’s Department of Education has found a facile but provocative solution: banish the guy.

Earlier this month, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein barred Rashid Khalidi, director of Columbia’s Middle East Institute, from again lecturing to city teachers enrolled in a professional development course because of “a number of things he’s said in the past,” said Michael Best, the department’s general counsel. Asked if the department had verified those purported remarks, Mr. Best did not answer directly: “He’s denied saying certain things; he has not denied saying others.”

Set against the backdrop of a simmering campus dispute over Jewish students’ charges of intimidation by pro-Palestinian teachers, the Khalidi affair has inevitably been linked to the larger controversy. “In this feeding frenzy for finding culprits, he sort of got lumped in with others, and it’s been unfair to him,” said Ari L. Goldman, dean of students at Columbia’s journalism school.


 

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

No 3, 1 September 2005, 27 Av 5765

Faculty Efforts to Combat Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israeli Bias at the University of California, Santa Cruz

By Leila Beckwith, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, and Ilan Benjamin

The University of California-Santa Cruz (UCSC), founded in 1965, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, a public institution. The attractive campus is situated on two thousand acres of hills and redwood forests overlooking Monterey Bay. Fifteen thousand students attend, of whom about 20 percent are Jewish, the highest proportion of Jewish students among all the UC campuses.1

Nevertheless, UCSC is home to a great deal of virulent anti-Israeli rhetoric, which creates an intimidating environment for many Jews on campus. Although such hostility can be found at many other universities, what is unique at UCSC is that the animus is not directed by the usual sources, such as well-funded Muslim student groups2 or faculty in a Middle East studies program.3 In fact, the UCSC Muslim Student Alliance is not very active; nor are other pro-Palestinian/anti-Israeli student groups such as the Committee for Justice in Palestine. And while there is a Jewish studies program, there is none for Middle East studies, and no known Arab/Muslim funding of university faculty or activities. Instead, at UCSC the anti-Israeli sentiment is primarily generated by a leftist faculty scattered throughout the university’s academic units.


 

Associated Press, December 7, 2005

Not Guilty Verdicts in Florida Terror Trial Are Setback for U.S.

By ERIC LICHTBLAU

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 – In a major defeat for law enforcement officials, a jury in Florida failed to return guilty verdicts Tuesday on any of 51 criminal counts against a former Florida professor and three co-defendants accused of operating a North American front for Palestinian terrorists.

The former professor, Sami al-Arian, a fiery advocate for Palestinian causes who became a lightning rod for criticism nationwide over his vocal anti-Israeli stances, was found not guilty on eight criminal counts related to terrorist support, perjury and immigration violations.


 

Inside Higher Education, June 5, 2006

Blackballed at Yale

By Scott Jaschik

One of the most closely watched — and criticized — faculty searches this academic year is ending with Juan Cole apparently being rejected for a post in Middle Eastern history at Yale University.

Cole is a professor of history at the University of Michigan and president of the Middle East Studies Association. He also has one of the largest audiences of Middle Eastern studies experts through his blog, Informed Comment, on which he publishes numerous updates a day about events in the Middle East. Cole is a tough critic of U.S. foreign policy and of Israel’s government — and his blog comments have been used for months by opponents of his appointment to kill it.


 

NY Times, June 11, 2007

Outspoken Political Scientist Denied Tenure at DePaul

By PATRICIA COHEN

Norman Finkelstein, the political scientist whose bid for a permanent position at DePaul University stirred up charges of anti-Semitism, personal vendettas and outside interference in the hiring process, was informed Friday that he had been denied tenure by the university.

Mr. Finkelstein said he clearly ”met the publishing standards and the teaching standards required for tenure” and that DePaul’s decision was based on ”transparently political grounds” and an ”egregious violation” of academic freedom.

DePaul’s political science department had voted to award Mr. Finkelstein tenure, but the University Board on Promotion and Tenure rejected his bid. DePaul’s president, the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, upheld that decision. In a letter to Mr. Finkelstein, Father Holtschneider wrote that Mr. Finkelstein is an excellent teacher and a nationally recognized public intellectual but does not ”honor the obligation” to ”respect and defend the free inquiry of associates.”


 

NY Times, September 10, 2007

Fracas Erupts Over Book on Mideast by a Barnard Professor Seeking Tenure

By KAREN W. ARENSON

A tenure bid by an assistant professor of anthropology at Barnard College who has critically examined the use of archaeology in Israel has put Columbia University once again at the center of a struggle over scholarship on the Middle East.

The professor, Nadia Abu El-Haj, who is of Palestinian descent, has been at Barnard since 2002 and has won many awards and grants, including a Fulbright scholarship and fellowships at Harvard and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. Barnard has already approved her for tenure, officials said, and forwarded its recommendation to Columbia University, its affiliate, which has the final say.

It is Dr. Abu El-Haj’s book, “Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society,” that has made her a lightning rod, setting off warring petitions opposing and supporting her candidacy, and producing charges of shoddy scholarship and countercharges of an ideological witch hunt.


 

Record-Courier (Kent, Ohio), November 30, 2007

History chairman ousted Removed from KSU post over professor’s trip

By Dave O’Brien

John Jameson said Thursday his ouster as chair of the Kent State University history department earlier this month and the means by which it was done disrupts the learning process and “rips asunder a pretty good history department.”

KSU and Jerry Feezel, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, assert Jameson was removed from his post for violating written university policy by improperly granting academic study leave to a controversial KSU history professor.

Jameson, who remains a full professor of history, was notified Nov. 7 that he was being removed as department chair in an e-mail sent by Feezel. Feezel said Jameson failed to go through him in requesting mid-semester leave for associate history professor Julio Assad Pino.

Jameson said Pino came to him earlier in the fall semester seeking six weeks of leave to study Arabic in the United Arab Emirates because his research is on black Muslim slaves brought to Brazil.

Pino has come under fire for writings in which he expressed sympathy for Palestinian suicide bombers. Jameson said he has gone over these writings and “certainly” defends Pino’s right to his beliefs even if he does not agree with them.


 

Inside Higher Education, February 19, 2009

Anti-Israel Prof Loses Post at Bard

By Scott Jaschik

Joel Kovel — one of the more outspoken professorial critics of Israel on American college campuses — is out of his job at Bard College. This week Kovel sent a letter to all Bard faculty members denouncing the way he has been treated and charging that his politics cost him the position.


 

The Washington Independent, Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The New McCarthyism?

By Daphne Eviatar

In January 2004, Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss professor of Muslim studies and visiting fellow at St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford, was offered a tenured position as a professor of religion, conflict and peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame. He applied for and received a visa to come to the United States that May. But just nine days before the 44-year-old academic and his family were to move to Indiana, Ramadan was informed by the United States Embassy in Switzerland that his visa had been revoked.

At a press conference on August 25, a spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Department of Homeland Security said that Ramadan’s visa had been revoked based on a part of the USA Patriot Act that allows the government to exclude those who have “endorsed or espoused” terrorism.


 

The Jewish Exponent

October 28, 2010

Anti-Israel Views Draw Fire

by Bryan Schwartzman

Pressure is mounting on the administration at Lincoln University to repudiate the views of a longtime literature professor who has called for the destruction of Israel and promoted denial of the Holocaust.

So far, Lincoln — a state-funded, historically black college in Chester County — has stood by Pakistani-born Kaukab Siddique, a tenured instructor, and affirmed the right of faculty members to express their views outside of the classroom and away from campus — no matter how controversial the subject matter.

Two state senators have scheduled a meeting Oct. 28 with university president Ivory V. Nelson, and were planning to ask that he condemn Siddique’s rhetoric. Also this week, several Jewish advocacy organizations in the region were planning to meet and devise a coordinated response plan.

Siddique made headlines last week when a speech he made on Labor Day in Washington was posted by http://www.investigativeproject.org and reported by the Christian Broadcasting Network.

In the footage, Siddique tells a crowd at an anti-Israel rally: “We must stand united to defeat, to destroy, to dismantle Israel — if possible by peaceful means.”


 

NY Times, May 4, 2011

CUNY Blocks Honor for Tony Kushner

By PATRICK HEALY

In a rare move, the trustees of the City University of New York have voted to shelve an honorary degree that one of its campuses, John Jay College, planned to award to Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of “Angels in America.” The vote on Monday evening came after a CUNY trustee said that Mr. Kushner had disparaged the State of Israel in past comments, a characterization that the writer attacked on Wednesday.

Amid calls from CUNY faculty and staff members for the board to reverse its decision, Mr. Kushner said in an interview that he believed the trustees had slandered him and owed him an apology. Even if the board was to reconsider and approve the degree, Mr. Kushner said, he would not accept it.


 

The Algemeiner, DECEMBER 21, 2011

Anti-Israel Agenda at Harvard Middle East Center

Following the controversy this summer over the closure of Yale’s Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, another Ivy League school is taking heat as questions have recently been raised about the agenda of Harvard University’s Middle Eastern Studies’ Outreach Center. On it’s website, the Center – which promotes its program in the Boston area and provides curricular materials to public and private schools – says its mission is to promote “a critical understanding of the diversity of the Middle East region.” But according to a recent report, the record of its director and its programming reveal a pattern of promoting a one-sided narrative rather than presenting diverse viewpoints.

The detailed report, published by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) highlights the Center’s Director Paul Beran’s longtime activism in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. In 2004 it says, he participated in the Presbyterian Church’s BDS campaign and claimed that he formed an alliance with an extreme anti-Israel group in order to counter criticism from “Zionists and their ilk.” The report details how following the failure of a similar BDS petition in Somerville, MA, Beran accused the town mayor, pension-fund manager and elected state representatives who voted against it of being “recruited by pro-Israel groups” and urged divestment activists to counter “Zionist backlash.”

The report mentions that in 2007 Beran protested the enrollment of former Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz into a Harvard Business School course, calling him “a noted war criminal,” although the General was never tried or found guilty of any war crimes.


 

American Thinker, January 7, 2012

Islamism at UCLA Law School

by Jamie Glazov

My guest today is George Aaron, an alumnus and graduate of the 1976 class of the UCLA School of Law. He practices Social Security disability law in Tarzana, California. He is starting a public campaign for alumni to withhold donating money to the UCLA School of Law.

Glazov: George Aaron, thank you for taking the time out to talk about your public campaign.

Tell us about this effort you are starting to convince alumni to withhold donating money to the UCLA School of Law. It is connected to Prof. Khaled Abou El Fadl, a champion of sharia law, presently being a law professor at your law school, yes?

Aaron: That is correct, Jamie. I first found out about Dr. El Fadl when I read his story in a 2003 L.A. Times article. The picture painted was of a “moderate” Muslim legal scholar courageously fighting the jihadis. I bought the puff-piece profile hook, line, and sinker. Later on, I read an article (containing 62 footnotes!) by Daniel Pipes, claiming that the professor was a stealth jihadist. I read other devastating critiques by Pipes regarding the double-talking El Fadl, all meticulously footnoted, such as a 2003 essay entitled “Khaled Abou El Fadl’s Disastrous Interview.”

G: Tell us some more about Dr. Abou El Fadl and his “scholarship.”

A: Around December of 2010, I read an exposé by Pipes on El Fadl that made my blood boil. Entitled “Answering Khaled Abou Fadl,” Pipes recounted the totally false smears El Fadl lobbed at his critics Steven Emerson and Robert Spencer (as detailed in “UCLA’s Professor of Fantasy” by Cinnamon Stillwell and Eric Golub) and opined that he should be “sacked” for his lies about Emerson and Spencer. I read a withering critique of Dr. El Fadl’s arguments by the indomitable Andrew Bostom, a true scholar and walking encyclopedia on Sharia Islam. The last straw was when I read Campus Watch’s May 2011 column “Pushing ‘Islamaphobia’ at UCLA” by Judith Greblya,” strongly critical of the deceptions, obfuscations, and meritless claims deployed by El Fadl in a lecture on sharia.

G: What was the upshot of this “last straw”?

A: I wrote to the dean of the law school, pointing out that Prof. El Fadl was assiduously whitewashing and soft-soaping Sharia Islam, that in so doing he [El Fadl] was committing academic/scholastic misfeasance and malfeasance, and that these well-documented improprieties should be rigorously looked into by the law school. I pointed out that the belief system and values undergirding Sharia Islam are the antithesis of American/Western beliefs and fundamental values, and therefore Dr. Fadl’s scholarship relentlessly sanitizing sharia was “deceptive and dishonest.”


 

NY Times, February 7, 2013

Pro-Palestine Speakers at Brooklyn College Attract Protests Outside

By VIVIAN YEE

Tensions were evident everywhere as two pro-Palestinian speakers arrived Thursday night at Brooklyn College. Protesters began gathering across the street from the student center, where the college-sponsored talk was scheduled, more than an hour before the event was to start. And police officers were stationed at the entrance to the building, searching bags and checking attendees’ names and identifications against an approved list.

Controversy had grown over the past week at the Midwood college, where nearly a fifth of the undergraduate population is Jewish, over the event organized by a student group, Students for Justice in Palestine. The college’s political science department agreed to co-sponsor the speakers along with more than two dozen other groups.


 

The Chicago Reader, April 1 2014

At Columbia College, a film screening is followed by a charge of bias

Iymen Chehade’s course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has given rise to a conflict of its own.

By Deanna Isaacs

Last fall, shortly after Columbia College instructor Iymen Chehade showed the documentary 5 Broken Cameras in his course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he was summoned to a meeting with Steven Corey, chair of the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Science.

The Oscar-nominated film is a nominally Israeli work (an Israeli codirected, and it had some Israeli funding) with an entirely Palestinian point of view. Mostly filmed by its protagonist, Emad Burnat, it chronicles the life of his young West Bank family, along with six years of protests against Israel’s wall of separation, which had cut off part of the Palestinian village of Bil’in’s agricultural land. In the end—thanks to an Israeli court decision in the village’s favor and the increasing visibility of the protests—a portion of the wall is moved back toward the Israeli settlements that loom on the near horizon.

Chehade recalls that in their meeting Corey informed him a student had complained of bias in his class, and had mentioned 5 Broken Cameras in particular. Chehade, who’s been a part-time faculty member at Columbia since 2007, says Corey also questioned his qualifications and told him that he should be “more balanced” in his teaching. Chehade describes the meeting as adversarial, and says he asked why the student hadn’t been sent to him, which would have been the normal procedure.

Chehade had already been contracted to teach two sections of the same course for the spring semester, but a week after this meeting, and just hours after registration opened, one of those sections was canceled.


 

Chronicle of Higher Education, August 7, 2014

Kent State U. Denounces Professor’s Letter Blasting ‘Academic Friends of Israel’

by Nick DeSantis

Kent State University this week denounced a professor and vocal critic of Israel for a letter that accused “academic friends of Israel” of being “directly responsible for the murder of over 1,400 Palestinian children, women, and elderly civilians,” The Plain Dealer reported.

Julio Pino, an associate professor of history, reportedly wrote an open letter stating that pro-Israel academics have “chosen to openly work for and brag about academic collaboration with a regime that is the spiritual heir to Nazism.”

In 2011, Mr. Pino drew scrutiny for shouting “Death to Israel” during a speech by a former Israeli diplomat. In 2007 he was cited online as being linked to an extremist Islamic website, though the university said at the time that he had no connection to the site.

4 Comments »

  1. Who was it? Alexander Cockburn? Who said something like, “And now, for a fair and balanced view of the Holocaust, we present Hitler’s side of the story”?

    Comment by Todd — August 15, 2014 @ 11:09 pm

  2. See http://ginsbergvsncsu.wordpress.com for yet another set of documents concerning an attack on a professor for supporting Zionism.

    Comment by Shadia Ashrawi — November 10, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  3. Shadia, I think you meant “opposing Zionism”…

    Comment by louisproyect — November 10, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

  4. […] my newer readers, I would recommend a look at the dossier I collected on victims of this well-organized,  well-funded and utterly reactionary crusade a […]

    Pingback by In reply to an Islamophobe | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — July 2, 2015 @ 7:25 pm


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