Joel Beinin, Professor of Middle Eastern History, has been accused on numerous occasions of speaking out in support of terrorist organizations and of spearheading antisemitic practices at Stanford. This section is dedicated to keeping the Stanford community informed as to his actions in the hopes of forcing Professor Beinin to account for his actions. Please see William E. Hudson's piece in Opinion.
Professor Joel Beinin has led an ongoing boycott of pro-zionist professors, a boycott that he brings to Stanford through his strong anti-Israeli statements.
Last Thursday, a new chapter opened in our understanding of Beinin. University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian was charged with operating a global terrorist organization the federal government says is responsible for the deaths of 100 in and around Israel.
In announcing the federal indictment of Al-Arian, the Justice Department alleged that he is the North American leader of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad. The Jihad is a U.S. government-designated terrorist organization committed to homicide bombings and violent activities perpetrated in the name of religion.
After USF placed Al-Arian on leave on September 28th, 2001 and then almost immediately fired him, Joel Beinin and his organization, the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA), defended this man claiming his rights under academic freedom had been violated.
The MESA Board of Directors, of which Beinin was President, issued the following statement in February 2002:
"The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America is deeply disturbed by the University of South Florida's decision to fire Professor Sami Al-Arian. . . .The Al-Arian case IS about academic freedom. . . .It is incumbent upon universities and their leaders to protect the freedom to assemble and debate, explore questions and test ideas. That can be difficult in a time of stress and pain, but it is never more important."
If Beinin and his organization truly believe in this statement, one has to wonder why his organization leads a boycott aimed at preventing universities from hiring any pro-Israeli professors.
More importantly, one has to wonder what other terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers Beinin and his organization will defend in the name of "academic freedom."