UC Berkeley academic
and boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) proponent
Hatem Bazian doesn't believe in religious freedom for Israeli Jews. In his latest Daily Sabah column
, Bazian portrays Israel as a "bullying colonial thief" and Jews sharing the Temple Mount with Muslims as attempting to "destroy" and to "steal." Such vitriol echoes the Islamic supremacism
and conspiracy theories
fueling Palestinian violence against Israelis—as seen in the current "stabbing intifada
"—under the pretext of nonexistent threats to the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. As he puts it:
Zionist settlers and those wanting to build the third temple are asking to share in what they are hoping to destroy. A bully stealing lunch money in the schoolyard can hardly qualify as an act of sharing, despite the fact that children will often let go of their valuables when threatened. Weekly, and sometimes daily, racist settlers enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound fully protected by the Israeli military demanding in a grotesque manner to share the area. Bullying Palestinians to surrender their religious site, Al-Aqsa Mosque, under the rubric of sharing is an insult to generosity and its people.
The fact that non-Muslim prayer at the Temple Mount is prohibited by Israeli law and that Bazian is unsatisfied with Jews merely having freedom of access to the site demonstrates his extremism. Given that he's director of UC Berkeley's Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, it also exposes his hypocrisy regarding allegations of religious discrimination.
Bazian's embrace of Palestinian rejectionism and his incitement to violence mark him as a disgrace to his profession. Sadly, they also typify the radicalism of Middle East studies.
Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at email@example.com.