In this article, posted above, the reactionaries at the International Committee of the Fourth International take a brave stand for anti-anti-Semitism. And their World Socialist Web Site, a redoubt for conspiracy theorists from, one would assume, around the world, comes perilously close to mimicking the troubling attitudes now chic among the haute bourgeoisie (or is it the other way 'round?) in "Zionists Seek to Silence Critics of US Policy Toward Israel."
Moreover, in their tone, vocabulary, and lack of concern for accuracy, they could pass for many contemporary practitioners of Middle East studies.
Among their targets in the article in question (in addition to the usual mix of diplomats, donors, bankers, intellectuals, lawyers, politicians, dramatists [not including themselves], et al.) is Campus Watch.
Considering the source, this may not come as a shock, but their criticism of CW is both dated and mendacious. Wait, you say, do you mean the International Committee for the Fourth International sounds as old-fashioned as terms like "New Soviet Man," "Workers' Paradise," or "Capitalist Running Dog?" Well, yes; and even the general attributes of those employing them--ideological rigidity, a conspiracist's mentality, imperviousness to truth, the intellectual subtlety of Stalin--remain the same.
The socialists' charges against CW are as erroneous as they are tiresome. Here's the text:
"The censorship attempts have extended onto university campuses. Campus Watch, a right-wing web site established by Daniel Pipes several years ago, has drawn up a blacklist that targets professors of Middle Eastern studies for alleged "bias" because they have dared to criticize Israel and defend the Palestinians. Supporters of Campus Watch have encouraged the sending of hate mail and threats to these professors, along with calls for their removal from their academic positions."
Where to begin? CW does not now, nor has it ever, attempted to censor anyone. The very charge is absurd, since we clearly have no ability to prevent any professor, anywhere, from speaking his mind, nor would we do so if we could. We engage not in censorship, but in critiques; not in silencing critics, but in taking them to task and in publicizing what they say and write.
The charge of censorship against CW has no more weight than when similar charges are made against federal funding agencies for the arts, wherein some artistes and their defenders believe that disallowing them from feeding at the public trough amounts to censoring their work. In both cases, the charges are spurious and self-serving.
Nor have we ever, under any circumstances, "encouraged the sending of hate mail and threats to these professors," nor have we called for removing anyone from an academic position. Such absurd charges reflect the sloppiness typical of critics who place ideology ahead of accuracy.
Moreover, as anyone with a passing familiarity with our website would know, we have no blacklist of professors. Campus Watch about four years ago posted dossiers of professors. They were removed after about a week, but they will live forever in the uninformed mind of the radical left.
Finally, CW has not critiqued, much less "targeted," anyone for daring to "criticize Israel and defend the Palestinians." Our mission is to critique substantively and accurately the scholarship and teaching of professors of Middle East studies in North America—always with an eye toward improving them.