Beinin has been the frequent object of expose, discussion, and less than his fair share of ridicule. Now, Dr. Jacobs outs him in the Stanford Review itself, in an article entitled, "Joel Beinin Doesn't Deserve Tenure". There, he ridicules Beinin's attempts at representing himself as the victim of some nefarious plot to "silence him". For someone who has been silenced, Beinin sure knows how to generate an awful lot of senseless noise.
Beinin has long turned his classroom into a propaganda bully pulpit from which he bashes Israel and promotes the causes of the jihadniks. He has defended Sami Al-Arian, the alleged Jihad terrorist operating out of the University of South Florida. He has been photographed by the Stanford Daily carrying placards on "Nakba Day" (the "catastrophe"), a day devoted to mourning Israel's creation and hoping to see that Israel is annihilated.
Beinin teaches an online course sponsored by Stanford, Oxford and Yale entitled "Palestine, Zionism and the Arab-Israeli Conflict". Beinin recently prepared a syllabus and a videotape that was mailed to students. It was monitored by a young Ph.D. and is exposed in the Stanford Review.
The course's bulletin board allowed students the opportunity to correct countless mischaracterizations by the teacher. A few examples reproduced by Jacobs are mentioned below.
In the video narrative by Beinin for the first week, Beinin stated that, following the destruction of the Jewish Second Temple by the Romans in the year 70, C.E., Jews had next come to Palestine in the sixteenth century, at the invitation of the Moslem Turks, "to study religious books and to be buried there." A poster noted that, in fact, the past two millennia in Palestine that Beinin had implied had little Jewish history were actually chock-full of events. These included Jewish revolts, for over five centuries; the writing and the publication of the Jerusalem Talmud and later, the Shulhan Aruch; and the establishment of a synagogue in Jerusalem by Nachmanides after 1270, a city in which Jews have lived since. Only during the First Crusades, when the Jewish community was burned alive, was there a brief period in which Jerusalem did not have a Jewish community. Beinin lectured that the "only" remnant of the Herodian Jewish Temple was the "Wailing" Wall (an archaic term) and that the Haram, or the Moslem holy site, was located above. A post reminded the class that, actually, the whole Western and Southern Walls were remnants of the Herodian temple, and that the area above had been the Jewish Temple seven centuries before Mohammed was born. A link was presented to pictures of excavations with Hebrew inscriptions such as the Trumpeter's stone covering an area about ten times larger than the one Beinin incorrectly described....Jacobs goes on to expose other examples of Beinin's bias and ignorance. He concludes:
In week three, Beinin alleged that Jewish and Palestinian nationalism developed at "about the same time." In fact, Zionism restricted to its most modern form began at least a generation before Palestinian nationalism. Most Arabs regarded Palestine as part of the sanjak of southern Syria at least into the 1920's, when King Faisal of Syria was deposed, twenty years after the First Zionist Congress of Theodor Herzl. No historical account of Palestinian nationalism predates the Zionist Congresses.
The same week, Jewish historical claims were compared to the Palestinians, who, Beinin claimed, might have descended from the Canaanites. In fact, whereas Israel is regarded as the third Jewish commonwealth, there is no basis for ancient claims of a Palestinian state emanating from Canaan. Even the Palestinians who engage in denial of Jewish claims are rarely willing to take that one any distance....
A professor who is an admitted activist for a cause who presents incorrect facts deliberately should be exposed.
The issue is not Beinin's positions in favor of Palestinian claims over Israeli ones, but of his mediocrity as a historian. Beinin's protected speech only protects him from being fired. Tenure cannot protect his reputation, or validate scholarship based on lies and mistakes. Stanford students who want to learn about the region should insist on better for their tuition. They also should hold the university accountable for its tenure decisions, and the history department for the decision to allow the class to be taught.Stanford students deserve better!