Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

Revealed: Israel's Big-Money Smear Campaign to Demonise Muslims
by C.J. Werleman
TRT World
December 31, 2021

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 Revealed: Israel's Big-Money Smear Campaign to Demonise Muslims:

(Excerpt) The spying network

More than that, these are the actions of a rogue and adversarial state, not those of a self-proclaimed democratic ally, but we should hardly be surprised, given the nexus between Zionism and the Islamophobia industry is documented in great detail, starting with a Zionist-funded conference in 1979. The conclave brought together US neoconservatives with Likud Party figures to tie Islam to terrorism in mainstream political discourse, with the aim of tying Palestinian aspirations for liberation to "terrorism" in the minds of American voters, as observed by Professor Deepa Kumar in Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire.

When nineteen "Islamic" terrorists attacked the United States on 11 September 2001, pro-Israel groups moved in to capitalise on growing anti-Muslim fears and suspicions by establishing "counter-jihad" organisations, including Campus Watch. Established in 2002 by US neoconservative activists Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz, Campus Watch primarily aims to identify and monitor college professors who openly support Palestinian rights and oppose Israeli government policies.

Campus Watch Responds:

Writing in the execrable TRT World, a government-owned propaganda organ of the corrupt, dictatorial, Islamist government of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, C.J. Werleman smears Campus Watch while bungling basic facts.

Werleman bills himself as "a journalist, author, and analyst on conflict and terrorism." But no reputable author would shill for the likes of Erdoğan, who has jailed thousands of real journalists, professors, teachers, and political opponents. So openly does TRT World ally with the dictator that in 2020 the U.S. government forced its Washington, D.C., operation to register as an agent of the Turkish government under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

So we aren't surprised that Werleman commits rookie errors in his description of CW, beginning with conspiracy mongering. There is, you see, a "nexus between Zionism and the Islamophobia industry" that started with "a Zionist-funded conference in 1979." Of course! What else could explain the opposition to jihadis' desire to destroy Israel than "U.S. neoconservatives" and "Likud Party figures" meeting to "tie Islam to terrorism in mainstream political discourse." Surely not multiple wars launched against Israel by Muslim states, or countless terrorist acts by Palestinians against Israelis and others around the globe.

Werleman's attempted coup de grace against CW arrives via the charge that it was founded in 2002 (hey, he got that right!) to "capitalize on growing anti-Muslim fears" by none other than Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz.

Ah, the old Horowitz curve ball, tossed time and again to demonstrate the supposed perfidy of CW's origins. Just one thing: David Horowitz had zero, zilch, nada, nihil to do with CW's founding.

Werleman then falsely accuses CW of existing "to identify and monitor college professors who openly support Palestinian rights and oppose Israeli government policies."

Here we go again: a glance at CW's website shows that CW critiques the (very) broad field of Middle East studies. Even the laziest reporter should grasp that supporting anyone's rights or opposing any government's policies has nothing to do with CW's mission.

Does CW critique professors who defend terrorism? Of course – as should every sentient being. That includes professors who excuse Palestinian terrorists, but is hardly limited to them. Issue apologias for ISIS, claim that jihad is principally an "inner struggle," pretend women in the region aren't often oppressed, and CW may critique you, too. As for opposing Israel's policies, Daniel Pipes himself has done so many times. Hardly news for anyone bothering to pay attention.

C.J. Werleman: a brave voice for independent journalism, speaking truth to power! Oh, and say C.J., given the Turkish lira's horrid exchange rate, we hope you're paid in U.S. dollars.

Posted by Winfield Myers, director of academic affairs and director, Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.