Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, two men closely linked to the Bush administration's Middle East policies and strategies, have started the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa. Middle East studies, they say, has become too "politicized."
The dominant organization for scholars of the region is the Middle East Studies Association, which is often accused of favoring scholarship critical of American and Israeli policies.
Mr. Lewis, a professor emeritus of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, will be chairman of the new association. Mr. Ajami, a professor of Middle East studies at the Johns Hopkins University, will be vice chairman of its academic council.
"Given the importance of these regions," Mr. Lewis said in a statement, "there is an acute need for objective and accurate scholarship and debate, unhampered by entrenched interests and allegiances."