James Gelvin is a UCLA professor and member of the Faculty Advisory Committee of the campus' Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES), which is, predictably, an activist nest in the campaign against Israel. In the below op-ed in the Daily Bruin, he cries about the criticism leveled recently at CNES over its anti-Israel bias.
Here is the quote that really knocked me for a loop as Gelvin "sets the record straight":
"CNES saw no reason to "balance" the criticism of those governments by bringing in speakers who would defend them. Speakers invited by CNES are accomplished scholars presenting original work. Likewise, CNES saw no reason to bring in speakers who would defend the policies of the Israeli government when scholars have criticized it."
So I guess that once the "scholars" have spoken on an issue, there is no need for any opposing point of view. The matter is settled, right?
I knew that name Gelvin rang a bell, and sure enough, he was featured previously on this site. In fact I singled out a quote where he made same type of comment to the effect that voices defending Israel should not be welcome at UCLA.
"At a time when most of the international community has condemned the separation fence, particularly with respect to the suffering inflicted on over 700,000 residents of the West Bank, the illegal annexation of land by the Israeli government, and the Israeli government's attempt to impose a unilateral solution to a problem which our own government maintains can only be resolved through negotiations, feting an apologist for Israeli actions can only undermine the reputation of UCLA."
So what do we have here at UCLA? I mean is this a university or a monoversity, to coin a phrase? I get the impression that what we have is yet another Middle East (Sorry-Near Eastern) studies department that is primarily dedicated to blaming Israel (and the West) for all the dysfunction that reigns supreme in that region.
It seems to me this Gelvin guy has no clue what a university is supposed to be. It also seems to me that he has no idea of freedom of speech when it comes from people who don't share his world view. It would be nice if somebody could come to UCLA and defend Israel.
I wonder if we could invite that noted Israel supporter, Professor Mark LeVine of UC Irvine, to come and speak at UCLA in Israel's behalf.