Stanford University history professor Joel Beinin joined colleague Steven Zipperstein, a professor of Jewish culture and history, for an event on June 2, 2010 titled "Israel and Palestine: How To Talk About It and What To Talk About." It was co-sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies—the first such joint sponsorship in the history of the two programs. Beinin lived up to his reputation for holding views whose outlandishness is matched only by the ferocity with which he clings to them.
Beinin began his opening remarks by lamenting the "unhealthy" state of the Arab-Israeli conflict debate—something he chalked up to the allegedly disproportionate influence of pro-Israel groups. Invoking the typical "Israel Lobby" paranoia, he claimed that organizations such as the American Jewish Committee and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) discreetly control the debate with publications such as Commentary Magazine and think tanks such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. According to Beinin, these organizations routinely "attempt to ban [anti-Israel academics] from speaking [on college campuses] and attack them politically when they come up for tenure." Using alarmist rhetoric, he claimed this behavior is tantamount to "a McCarthyite campaign of exclusion."
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