Media professor Dorit Naaman of Queens College in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, accuses Campus Watch and B'nai B'rith Canada of repressing free speech by professors who believe in Mideast peace.
She pulled that hair trigger over an ad taken out by B'nai B'rith Canada in the National Post that criticizes a conference held at York University.
In her words, "The attack on the York conference was part of a well-coordinated and well-financed trans-Atlantic strategy to prevent discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma in both the classroom and campus environment. In 2004 the Israel on Campus Coalition published a resource guide titled 'Tenured or Tenuous: Defining the Role of Faculty in Supporting Israel on Campus.' The document was prepared by Mitchell Bard, executive director of the American-Israeli Co-operative Enterprise, and it can be found at www.israelcc.org/resources/icc-guides.htm."
"Along with Campus Watch, which asked students to spy on their professors and track their 'anti Israeli' record on a public website, it is a shameful attempt to employ the tactics of McCarthyism to enforce the political ideology of a narrow spectrum."
A conspiracy involves working together, but Campus Watch did not sign the ad. She lumps together a few disparate and not well-financed groups and calls her false association of them "well-coordinated." This is paranoid conspiracy theory.
Classroom discussion is not a military secret. Asking students to report on it is not spying. Why can't they discuss outside the classroom the topics discussed inside? In purporting to defend professors' free speech, Prof. Naaman would deny students free speech. Therefore, she is not acting out of democratic concern but out of ideological interest.
[Campus Watch empowers otherwise helpless students to show the public what is going on in the campuses they support, what is the status of academic freedom from the student perspective, and a possible rejoinder to otherwise one-sided discourse. Some professors have abused their power over students to indoctrinate, not educate. Hence Daniel Pipes formed Campus Watch and Prof. Steven Plaut formed a similar organization in Israel.]
Ads and criticism do not repress professors' free speech. Leftist professors try to repress free speech so they have an undemocratic monopoly on speech. To call non-coercive rejoinder "McCarthist," as Naaman did, is unfounded and meretricious. As Campus Watch puts it, "We hold no governmental power; we cannot issue subpoenas; we cannot silence anyone." (Campus Watch, 4/18/10)