On August 5, Robert Lieber, a professor of government and international affairs at Georgetown University, wrote a letter objecting to Romirowsky's mention of Georgetown. Romirowsky replied on August 6. In the interest of airing both sides of this matter, Campus Watch has agreed to post both letters.
Robert Lieber's letter is immediately below; Romirowsky's letter appears at bottom.
Dear Professor Lieber,
Thank you for your note and comments relating to my recent piece in the Washington Times, "In Academia, hiring Token Jews" at http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/5433. I am very much aware of your commendable efforts in bringing to Georgetown such pro-Israel Middle East Scholars as Michael Oren and Avi Beker, both of whom who I know and admire on a personal and professional level.
That said, nowhere in my piece do I accuse Georgetown of hiring Israeli scholars for cynical political gain. I only mention Georgetown in the last paragraph as an example to illustrate a larger trend in Middle East Studies:
In Middle East studies, politicized writing and teaching have displaced scholarship, and academic freedom has been redefined as the liberty to dispense with academic standards. Hence, Middle East departments at Columbia, University of Michigan, Georgetown, and elsewhere are populated or even run by individuals like Rashid Khalidi, Juan Cole, and John Esposito. Hiring token Israeli Jews who share their views eliminates debate while providing the illusion of balance.
This simply states that Georgetown, like Columbia and Michigan, has a Middle East Studies department that is "populated or even run by" the men listed, including Esposito. My point is clearly to illustrate that Middle East Studies in North America is a highly politicized, tendentious field.
Furthermore, although the steps taken by you and others in the Program for Jewish Civilization are certainly praiseworthy, the subject of my article is Middle East studies and not PJC. And Georgetown's Middle East studies program does indeed have serious problems: the amount of Saudi money that has gone to fund the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Walsh School of Foreign Service has given Esposito, John Voll, and others effective megaphones from which to broadcast their apologias for Islamism and the Saudis. Moreover, the highly politicized scholarship of the individuals associated with the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at http://views.georgetown.edu/?ViewID=623&CFID=4903721&CFTOKEN=16556710 (which I didn't mention) only strengthens my argument.
My article by no means diminishes what you have already accomplished; I hope you will be able to do much more. I would be more than happy to discuss the above in greater detail and even meet face-to-face when I am next in Washington.