Conspiratorial Fantasies About 'The Lobby' Live On
According to Baroud:
In its early years, the mission of combating any kind of dissent against Israel within the US was entrusted to the likes of notorious Zionist Daniel Pipes and his "Campus Watch," a Big Brother type of organisation aimed at intimidating teachers, scaring off students, and monitoring and reporting nonconformist educational institutions across the country.
"Entrusted?" He never explains who "entrusted" this mission to Pipes, but the clear implication points to—who else—"the lobby." This echoes the contention of John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt in their book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, where they claimed:
The Lobby also monitors what professors write and teach. In September 2002, Martin Kramer and Daniel Pipes, two passionately pro-Israel neo-conservatives, established a website (Campus Watch) that posted dossiers on suspect academics and encouraged students to report remarks or behaviour that might be considered hostile to Israel.
Pipes responded to this accusation in a 2006 letter to the editor in the London Review of Books (and reprinted at his blog), making clear that it was nonsense:
This account is inaccurate in several ways (e.g. Martin Kramer had no role in founding Campus Watch), but I write specifically to state that no "Lobby" told me to start Campus Watch. Neither the Middle East Forum nor myself has ever taken orders from some mythical "Lobby," and specifically I decided to establish Campus Watch on my own, without direction from any outside source.
Mearsheimer and Walt did not correct their transparent error, instead issuing countless, error-riddled swipes at Pipes and CW over the years, swipes that live on with the hapless Baroud.
Baroud ends his harangue against CW with a back-handed endorsement, asserting that "Not only did Pipes miserably fail, but his tactics unwittingly inspired real, often heated debates and discussions across American campuses." But if Pipes had failed, Baroud would hardly be ascribing such powers to CW fifteen years later. And those "often heated debates and discussions across American campuses" were hardly unwittingly inspired. Would that such debates carry on indefinitely. That is, if "the lobby" permits.
Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at email@example.com.