Since Israeli/Canadian citizen Ghazi Falah was detained by Israel on July 8 on espionage charges, international attention has been focused on his case. The University of Akron professor of geography insists on his innocence, and an Israeli judge has ordered the police and the Shin Bet security service to either charge him or set him free by Sunday, July 30.
Hilal Khashan, a professor of political studies at the American University of Beirut who has known Ghazi Falah for years, recently approached Campus Watch to express his concern over Prof. Falah's detention. At Prof. Khashan's request, Campus Watch is publishing the statement below, which argues for Ghazi Falah's innocence. Campus Watch takes no position on this matter, and offers this merely to disseminate additional information on the story as it unfolds.
"I came to know Professor Ghazi-Walid Falah in his capacity as editor of The Arab World Geographer six years ago and have spent much time with him on at least four visits he has made to Lebanon over the past three years. Our professional acquaintance has since grown into friendship, enabling me to vouch confidently for both his professional and personal integrity. Professor Falah is, unquestionably, an individual of the highest moral caliber and is fully committed to his academic career: he guards it jealously and would never foolishly jeopardize it. Even a cursory look at his impressive curriculum vita leaves no doubt that Professor Falah has no time for, or interest in spying activities. The free time he has, while in Lebanon, is consumed entirely by culinary pursuits and futile matchmaking. Of course, food in Israel is no delight, so I imagine he spends less time eating there. That, however, does not mean he spends his time spying. Professor Falah is an academician, not a partisan. I see Professor Falah daily when he is in Beirut and I can report with certainty that he has never involved himself in espionage, or the like. I am fully aware of Professor Falah's circle of colleagues, friends and acquaintances in Lebanon, and they are all in concurrence on Professor Falah's moral rectitude and this is a country where agreement is almost never reached."