The blog Campus Watch has written a series of articles lately critical of the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA), an organization composed of Middle East studies professors. most all of whom are opposed to Israel. Not surprisingly, MESA has closed ranks around Professor Steven Salaita, whose job offer from the University of Illinois was rescinded after a series of statements many deemed anti-Semitic including one in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens later found murdered, in which Salaita expressed the wish that "all settlers would go missing".
In response the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote this about Campus Watch:
"Campus Watch, which was established by the Middle East Forum, a conservative think tank, and monitors Middle East programs for speech it deems hostile to Israel, last month denounced the planned panel as stacked with critics of that nation."
Win Myers of Campus Watch has pointed out that CW does not just monitor ME programs for speech critical of Israel, but also for biased scholarship and teaching.
In the interest of full disclosure, while I am not on Campus Watch's staff of writers, they do cross-post some of the articles I post on this site. I also cross-post many of their articles as I am doing with this one. According to an anonymous reader of my blog, this has caused UC Irvine Middle East history professor Mark LeVine to refer to me on his Facebook page as "some moral idiot who trolls for Campus Watch." (LeVine is incensed at me because I called him an "anti-Israel activist".)
I will take that as a complement (trolling for Campus Watch-not being a moral idiot). It sure is better than trolling for Al Jazeera, of which LeVine is a columnist.
I will go even further than Win Myers. The problem with many of our US university Middle East studies departments is that they are funded with money from Saudi Arabia and staffed to the gills with pro-Palestinian professors who have a fierce hatred of Israel-and our own country as well. Scholarship? Balance? Truth? Forget about it. It does not exist.
These radical professors, teamed up with student organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine and the various chapters of the Muslim Student Associations, have turned the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into the number one issue of contention on university campuses. The result has been an atmosphere of tension and intimidation aimed at Jewish students on campus. Never mind that many of the professors who are anti-Israel are of Jewish background themselves. For these misfits, it is all part and parcel of their radical, left-wing, post-colonial, anti-capitalist, Marxist outlook. For them, it's just another way of burning the American flag.
Keep up the good work, Campus Watch. The fact that you are making these clowns angry speaks to your effectiveness.