Middle East studies professors, such as UC Santa Barbara's Lisa Hajjar and UC Irvine's Mark LeVine, have taken time out of their busy schedules to author an open letter to the New York Times objecting to a Thomas Friedman op-ed on potential reform in Saudi Arabia. Why so threatened by a mere op-ed? And where was this vocal opposition to the tyrannical Iranian regime during the Obama administration's years of kowtowing?
Update: After posting the above at the Campus Watch Facebook page, UC Irvine professor Mark LeVine left the following comment, to which a reader and CW West Coast representative Cinnamon Stillwell responded:
Mark LeVine This particular person was live-blogging the Iranian protests and providing support for Iranian youth protesters before and after the protests. That's where I was in 2009. Where precisely were you? And tell me, dear Campus Watch, why you don't have a problem with Friedman or anyone serving as a propagandist for a murderous regime that for decades has support the most violent and anti-Semitic terrorist groups on the planet? Or do you not care as long as they don't protest the Occupation?
Yevgeni Kusnetsov The chief (if not only) reason for your and your ilk's current burst of anti-Saudism is that the Saudi royals have lately chosen (for obvious tactical reasons) to tone down their own Israel-hatred. You're more than happy to publish your drivel on Al Jazeera - the propaganda arm of a regime indistinguishable from that of Saudi Arabia, as long as it still hates Israel full-time. Capisce, LeVine?
Cinnamon Stillwell Pointing out the pettiness of "senior scholars" penning an open letter objecting to an oped is not the same as agreeing with said oped, even if, as noted above, it's obvious that this fierce opposition to the Saudis happens to coincide with SA's newfound relationship with Israel. For instance, the same academics have never had a problem with the millions of Saudi dollars flowing into the coffers of their colleagues' programs.
As for the Iranian regime, the Middle East studies establishment has always backed the Obama administration's obsequious Iran deal. It has since emerged that the reason Obama seemingly ignored the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran is that he was paving a path to the JCPOA and didn't want to offend the regime. If one is going to lambast the Saudis, then include Iran's tyranny, as well.