As a recent undergraduate in Princeton's Program in Near Eastern Studies, I was disturbed by the suggestion that that the "conservative political leanings of the department's two most vocal professors — Bernard Lewis, an emeritus professor, and Doran, an assistant professor — shun other political voices in Princeton NES." While I was at Princeton, I took almost a dozen NES courses and had the privilege of studying under a number of the department's distinguished faculty members espousing a diverse range of historical approaches and interpretations of some of the region's most controversial events. Among them, Doran was one of the most open to contrasting viewpoints; our course readings and syllabi are the best evidence of that.
Doran's views on the issues of the day certainly set him apart from much of his own department, let alone the notoriously slanted Middle Eastern studies establishment. Yet, the very fact of him being vocal in making his views known to a wider public does not distinguish him in any genuine way from the rest of the faculty. Rather, while Doran was expressing his opinions on war in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the nature of the Saudi regime in such prestigious outlets as "Foreign Affairs," The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, other professors — and there are a surprising number of them between history and NES — were busying themselves with their public support for petitions encouraging the University to divest from Israel and participating in campus rallies against war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It is clear that those cowardly forces in the history department, who have chosen to remain anonymous in the recent 'Prince' article rather than debate Doran face to face, are jealous of their colleague's success — in his ability not only to make his scholarship relevant to the United States government at a pivotal moment in American engagement in the Middle East, but in attracting undergraduates in droves to his thought-provoking courses on the region.