"The American empire is going down."
So declared history professor and former president of the Middle East Studies Association, Joel Beinin, on the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center (PPJC) cable television program, "Other Voices" (watch here) last week in Palo Alto.
Following an "extended leave" from Stanford University in 2006 based on what Beinin then described as the university's "minimal institutional interest in the study and teaching of the modern Middle East," a two-year stint as director of Middle East Studies at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt, and rumors earlier this year that he was to land a position as director of the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University, Beinin is back at Stanford this Fall.
If the PPJC interview was any indication, Beinin's anti-American, anti-Israel venom remains intact. At the same time, he made a number of surprisingly candid statements not often heard from Middle East studies academics.