Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

The Trial of Israel's Campus Critics
by David Theo Goldberg and Saree Makdisi
Tikkun Magazine
September 6, 2009

Misc. Corrections

Campus Watch Responds:

In "The Trial of Israel's Campus Critics," David Theo Goldberg and Saree Makdisi make two false assertions with regard to Campus Watch and Daniel Pipes.

One is that Campus Watch, as they put it, "was started by pro-Israel activists." In fact, Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum (MEF), was established by MEF founding director Daniel Pipes, a scholar, author, and commentator who specializes in Islam and the Middle East. Campus Watch's goal is to review and critique Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them, not to promote pro-Israel activism.

Secondly, Goldberg and Makdisi accuse Daniel Pipes (and Martin Kramer of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy) of being "one of a trio of non-academics...who repeatedly chide and harry academic scholars for their criticisms of Israeli policy."

The latter allegation is a red herring often employed by defenders of biased Middle East studies academics to deflect legitimate criticism. Holding such academics up to commonly held standards of scholarship is hardly chiding them for mere "criticisms of Israeli policy."

Furthermore, to label Daniel Pipes, who has a has a PhD from Harvard University in history, a "non-academic" is patently false. In addition to being Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, Daniel Pipes has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the U.S. Naval War College, and Pepperdine University.

Although not associated with Campus Watch, Martin Kramer, it should be noted, has a PhD in history from Princeton University. He has directed the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University; taught as a visiting professor at Brandeis University, the University of Chicago, Cornell University, and Georgetown University; and served twice as a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

Goldberg and Makdisi clearly haven't done their homework.

(Posted by Cinnamon Stillwell)