Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

The Israel Boycott is Working--to Prevent Peace
by Michael Zakim
The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 14, 2014

False allegations of attacking professors who criticize Israel
False allegations of suppressing free speech
Misc. Corrections

Campus Watch Responds:

[The following letter to the editor appeared in the November 14, 2014 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education, under the title, "The Fevered Imagination of Campus Watch's Critics," in response to the article cited above. The letter from Campus Watch is archived here.]

In "The Israel Boycott Is Working—to Prevent Peace" (The Chronicle Review, October 20, 2014), Michael Zakim of Tel Aviv University smears Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that critiques Middle East studies with an aim to improving them. In attacking Israeli critics of Israeli universities, he writes:

Groups that are openly supported by neoconservative and fundamentalist Christian organizations from abroad have been pursuing a neo-McCarthyite program, inspired by such American-born efforts as Campus Watch, of intimidation and surveillance against university faculty members suspected of what they describe as politically subversive behavior.

Such hackneyed clichés grossly misrepresent what Campus Watch does and what it is capable of doing. Unlike the efforts of Sen. Joseph McCarthy over sixty years ago, Campus Watch neither possesses nor seeks the ability to silence or persecute anyone. Only in the fevered imaginations of some professors do rigorous critiques by external groups equate with federal action supported by the full weight of the state.

Nor does Campus Watch engage in "intimidation and surveillance" of faculty suspected of "politically subversive behavior." Campus Watch critiques tendentious, biased, and politicized scholarship through research-based articles and reports on public lectures. We also invite comments from students, whose freedom to discuss their classes trumps some members of the professoriate's insistence that they (alone among the professions) be spared criticism from all quarters.

Winfield Myers
Director of Academic Affairs and Director, Campus Watch
Middle East Forum
Philadelphia, PA

(Published by Winfield Myers)