Congratulations to Hilton Obenzinger's efforts to promote freedom of academic expression ("Campus Watch seeks ‘to scare people away from independent thought,' " Oct. 4). However, shouldn't all people be entitled to those same rights?
Obenzinger forgot to mention in his letter that 15,000-plus European academics from many universities signed an academic boycott of Israeli scholars. Some of us had family members who were dismissed from universities by Nazis without protest by non-Jewish professors, only two generations ago. That academic boycott was a warm-up act to the Holocaust.
What about the wide dissemination of "Mein Kampf," the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other anti-Semitic canards throughout the Arab world? Will that be explored in the effort to achieve academic openness? Why did the President of Harvard University need to issue a warning about emerging anti-Semitism on our nation's campuses?
Stanford definitely needs more scholarship in the area of Islam, as it does in the area of Judaism and Middle East studies. It was only 35 years ago that Jewish students were barred from saying "kaddish" on the Stanford campus unless they did so in Memorial Church.
Stanford is behind in scholarship of Judaism and Israel, as well as of Islam, and I applaud Campus Watch for trying to prevent the spread of canards from Europe to America.
DANIEL JACOBS, M.D.
Class of 1982