Jay Schalin, senior writer at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in Raleigh, NC, reports today on a recent Duke University "teach-in" on Gaza. He learned a great deal--about the biases of academics. Here are the opening paragraphs of Schalin's article, "What I Learned at Duke University's Gaza 'Teach-In'" which appears at The American Thinker:
I attended a "teach-in" about Israeli-Palestinian relations at Duke University the other night. Part of my job is to attend college lectures and report on them, in order to provide the public with some idea of who is being invited on to the American campus and what ideas they present. As I entered the lecture hall, I saw a stack of blank Amnesty International petitions, asking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to support a U.N. investigation into the commission of war crimes by the Israel during the recent Gaza conflict.
The lecture was attended by perhaps 50 people, mostly young, and mostly of Middle Eastern descent (head scarves outnumbered yarmulkes by about six-to-one). There was also a smattering of American students.
Before the event, I was curious whether any of the four "teachers" would give a balanced presentation, or whether the affair would be totally one-sided. The two main speakers were young pro-Palestinian activists: Laila El-Haddad, a former Al-Jazeera journalist, and Duke graduate student Rann Bar-On. There was little reason to expect much ideological balance from them, given descriptions of their activities on the Web. I particularly expected Bar-On, who has been active in such organizations as the International Solidarity Movement, which used foreign college students to disrupt anti-terror activities in Israel, to make a few inflammatory statements.
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