Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

The Indivisibility of Justice
by Niyousha Bastani
The McGill Daily (McGill University)
November 14, 2016

False allegations of attacking professors who criticize Israel
False allegations of suppressing free speech
Falsely alleged connection to David Horowitz
False allegations of being a Zionist organization
False accusations of being part of a lobby or conspiracy
False allegations of connections to other organizations

Original text from The Indivisibility of Justice:

For Abdulhadi, critiquing hegemonic narratives is essential to academic work. In an interview with The Daily, she explained that activists in academia who are "speaking truth to power" are doing their job.

However, because of her scholarship and activism, Abdulhadi has been the target of fear tactics and attacks by Zionist groups, like Canary Mission and Campus Watch, for several years. Canary Mission and Campus Watch are websites that profile and personally target activists working for justice in Palestine.

"I thought [Abdulhadi's] recognition of anti-Zionist Jewish voices in her talk was really important."

Posters featuring cartoon portraits of Abdulhadi were posted around the SFSU campus earlier this year, targeting her with defamatory charges.

"They want to scare us out of business," Abdulhadi told The Daily, describing the coordinated attacks of such groups as "cyberbullying" and "incitement of violence."

Campus Watch Responds:

In an article so jargon-filled that it resembles another tongue, Niyousha Bastani of The Daily of McGill University praises radical San Francisco State University professor Rabab Abdulhadi for her anti-Israel activism. Abdulhadi, a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BDS), negotiated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with An-Najah University in the West Bank. Described by Hamas as a "greenhouse for martyrs," Najah is a Palestinian university where incitement to violence, anti-Semitism, and the glorification of terrorism against Israelis is routine.

What follows is a correction of both Bastani's errors of reporting and Abdulhadi's false statements about CW.

Abdulhadi's November 10 visit to McGill occurred against the backdrop of an ongoing Campus Watch campaign calling for SFSU to end the MOU with Najah. Bastani writes that Abdulhadi has been

"the target of fear tactics and attacks by Zionist groups, like Canary Mission and Campus Watch, for several years."

Abdulhadi's actions, writings, and public statements are indeed frightening (they're delineated in great detail here and here). As CW has shown repeatedly, she supports those who in turn glorify terrorism--real terrorism that kills Israelis.

Moreover, CW is not a "Zionist group," but an organization that critiques biases in the highly politicized academic discipline of Middle East studies.

Next, Bastani claims:

"Canary Mission and Campus Watch are websites that profile and personally target activists working for justice in Palestine."

CW (which is indeed web-based) critiques only professors whose primary research and teaching deal with the Middle East. But here Bastani inadvertently hits on a truth: many professors are in fact little more than activists. They long ago abandoned rigorous, objective research and teaching for indoctrination, anti-Israel, anti-American, and anti-Western bias, and agit-prop.

Abdulhadi then charges CW with wanting to "scare [her] out of business," "cyberbullying," and "incitement to violence." What rot.

Campus Watch works to reform Middle East studies, not by calling by scaring into unemployment those with whom we disagree, but by encouraging rigor, objectivity, and fact-based knowledge in research and teaching. That would mean that Abdulhadi would need to significantly reform her own approach to her discipline, beginning with an end to her love affair with terrorist-supporting institutions abroad.

"Cyberbullying" in the mouth of Abdulhadi means, as it does for so many academics, never critiquing professors, who alone among all professions demand absolute immunity from criticism. Such histrionic outbursts in response to disagreements are boringly predictable among academics. Where do you think campus snowflakes get their ideas?

Finally, CW challenges Abdulhadi, or anyone else, to prove that it has ever, in any way, engaged in "incitement to violence." Such a charge is baseless, irresponsible, and absurd. Prove it, professor. You can't.

(Posted by Winfield Myers, director of academic affairs and of Campus Watch at the Middle East Forum.)