Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

Uphill Battle for Academic Freedom in U.S. Universities
by Nora Barrows-Friedman
The Electronic Intifada
January 11, 2010

False allegations of attacking professors who criticize Israel
False allegations of suppressing free speech
False allegations of attacking critics of America's policy in the Middle East
False allegations of being a Zionist organization
False accusations of being part of a lobby or conspiracy
False allegations of connections to other organizations

Campus Watch Responds:

In an article that confuses criticism with censorship and makes false allegations against CW, Nora Barrows-Friedman accuses Campus Watch of launching "smear campaigns" against former North Carolina State professor Terri Ginsberg and former DePaul professor Norman Finkelstein.

Working alongside discriminatory academic administrations are right-wing Zionist groups, such as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and Campus Watch. Campus Watch in particular has been a strong force behind smear campaigns against university professors such as Terri Ginsberg. Campus Watch describes itself as a "project of the Middle East Forum" that "seeks to have an influence over the future course of Middle East studies" on US college campuses. However, it has been instrumental in vilifying and discrediting distinguished, well-known academic critics of Zionism and Israeli policies such as Norman Finkelstein (denied tenure in June 2007 from DePaul University), and Joel Kovel (fired from Bard College in 2008 in what Koval [sic] claimed was a thinly-veiled attempt by the college to categorize the firing as a necessary and nonpolitical budget cut).'

She is wrong on several counts: We have never written a word about Terri Ginsberg, much less "been a strong force behind smear campaigns" against her. Moreover, CW does not engage in "smear" campaigns of any sort.

CW archives may be divided, very broadly, into two categories: material we produce ourselves, and material we merely archive.

Had Barrows-Friedman taken the time to look over our site, she would have seen that the articles we write ourselves or commission, filed under Campus Watch Research," do not mention Ginsberg, nor have we addressed her work at our web log. Ginsberg has never been the object of our attention.

As for engaging in "smear campaigns," Campus Watch critiques the scholarship of professors; it never "smears," and to claim otherwise is to ignore and distort the content of our research and writing. CW has produced precisely one article on Norman Finkelstein, and I challenge anyone to prove that its conclusions are inaccurate.

Joel Kovel is mentioned once in our web log archives, and only as an aside in an entry correcting the radical scholar Howard Zinn's false assertion that the organization StandwithUs is "an offshoot of Campus Watch."

Any mentions of Ginsberg on our site, and any additional mentions of Finkelstein and Kovel, are found only in our archives in articles written by others unconnected to CW (including Ginsberg herself). As is mentioned clearly at the bottom of such archived articles, CW takes no position on their content and makes them available as a research service to the public.

(Posted by Winfield Myers)