Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

The Haunting of Daniel Pipes By Poe's 'Tell Tale Heart'
by Franklin Lamb
March 3, 2012

False allegations of attacking professors who criticize Israel
Falsely alleged dossiers on professors
Misc. Corrections

Campus Watch Responds:

Franklin Lamb, a self-styled "Middle East expert and commentator" with a long history of involvement in anti-Israel and anti-American activism, has written an op-ed on Middle East Forum founder and president Daniel Pipes that is more suited to a novelist. That's because Lamb's op-ed, up until the section on Pipes's recent Washington Times column, "Eventually, All Humans Will Be Palestine Refugees," is pure fiction. He fabricates story after story about Pipes, creates nonexistent quotes, and misrepresents Campus Watch in the process. The fact that the op-ed first appeared at the website for Al-Manar, the media arm for the terrorist group Hezbollah, only adds to its lack of credibility. So, too, do the countless misspellings, typos, and editing errors.

Let's take a moment to address just a few of the false claims in Lamb's oped.

He writes:

Daniel Pipes, the anti-Arab Islamophobe is reportedly spooked these days. 'Actually he has become an almost terrified man', so says a colleagues at Pipes Islamophobic Middle East Forum and the [sic] MaCartyesque Campus Watch Organization.

Beyond the baseless clichés such as "Islamophobic," "McCarthyesque," and "Anti-Arab" to which Campus Watch has become accustomed, Lamb provides no documentation for this unlikely quote from an unnamed Middle East Forum employee. The fact that his op-ed is filled with made-up and inaccurate statements doesn't exactly inspire confidence in its validity. As for Pipes's state of mind—more on which below—his recent writings are hardly emblematic of a "terrified" or "spooked" man.

Lamb goes on:

MEF was founded by Pipes in 1986 and the witch hunting anti-Arab [sic] McCartyesque Campus Watch in 2001.

He can't be bothered to get even the most basic information correct: the Middle East Forum was founded in 1994 and Campus Watch in 2002. Moreover, this isn't the first time Lamb's gotten CW wrong, having erroneously described the Zionist Freedom Alliance (ZFA) as "a spin-off of Campus Watch" in a 2009 article. In fact, ZFA has no ties whatsoever to Campus Watch.

In the same vein, Lamb claims that:

CW's function is to hound and intimidate faculty and students at colleges who are critical of the Zionist occupation of Palestine.

In contrast, CW's function, per the mission statement on the homepage of our website, is as follows:

Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them. The project mainly addresses five problems: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students. Campus Watch fully respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds.

Lamb continues:

Pipes and CW create 'dossiers' on professors, students and university administrations thought hostile to Israel. Under civic pressure from Americans who opposed his tactics and insisted on having their own names added to his personal 'terrorist list,' Pipes withdrew his dossiers from the CW website but he still circulates them to scores of 'select and executive subscribers' and other hate groups in order to get the word out about academics and others who support Palestine or criticize Israel.

Dossiers posted at CW's launch—in September 2002—stayed on the site for two weeks. While Middle East studies academics did indeed respond with outrage to the intrusion of outside criticism into their insular world, the dossiers were not removed because of "civic pressure," but rather, because they had already served their purpose. As to the alleged "terrorist list," it never existed. Neither Pipes nor CW "still circulates" these dossiers to anyone, let alone the "select and executive subscribers" or "hate groups" to which Lamb falsely alludes. All of the research, analysis, and criticism of Middle East studies academia at the CW website is available to anyone with an internet connection.

Engaging in a time-honored tradition of taking Pipes's quotes out of context in order to depict him as anti-Muslim, Lamb writes:

In 1990 Pipes wrote in the NR [National Review] that 'Western societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene . . . All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.'

In addition to a lengthy explanation at, Pipes noted in a 2003 New York Post op-ed titled, "On Being Borked: How Foes Distorted My Record" that his opponents,

Ignore my having explained that 'brown-skinned peoples' and 'strange foods' were quotes of then-current European views, not my sentiments. (In retrospect, I should have placed those words in quotation marks.)

It gets worse, with Lamb making the following ludicrous assertions:

Having briefly written anti-Muslim screeds for Rudy Giuliani's failed White House quest in 2008, Pipes [sic] clams he liked the job and seeks to do the same for Mitt Romney (Pipes has labeled Mormonism 'a cult') or even Rick Santorum ( Pipes has referred to Rick as 'one of those kook dispensationalist Christians'). Daniel told a copy editor at the Washington Times who edited his recent WT article noted below, that he would prefer to work for Newt Gingrich if he gets the nomination since they share the same views of Palestinians as 'an invented people.'

Pipes did serve as an advisor to Rudy Giuliani in his 2008 campaign for president, but never wrote so-called "anti-Muslim screeds;" indeed, he did no writing at all for the campaign. He also never stated that he "liked the job and seeks to do the same for Mitt Romney," nor for Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich. He never described Mormonism as "a cult," Rick Santorum as "one of those kook dispensationalist Christians," or told an invented "copy editor at the Washington Times" anything whatsoever. These are fantastical creations by Lamb.

Of the latter fabrication, Lamb then elaborates:

Pipes makes his fears plain to readers in his recent 2012 Republican presidential candidates 'application for a position as Middle East adviser' which he launched in the Washington Times on 2/21/12 but which was first presented in occupied Jerusalem at a recent MEF seminar, what has unnerved him.

While he seems to be referring obliquely to Pipes's aformentioned Washington Times op-ed on Palestinian refugees, the rest is sheer fantasy. No such "application for a position as Middle East adviser" exists, nor did Pipes express any such wishes at "a recent MEF seminar." Pipes has neither endorsed a Republican candidate for president nor sought a position with any candidate.

Lamb claims of Newt Gingrich and Pipes that:

The two also agree on . . . increasing aid to Israel and the [sic] evitable necessity of transferring most of the remaining Palestinians out of 'Eretz Israel' in order to stop once and for all the demographic and existential threat and pressure for a one state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict which Pipes and Gingrich consider, if not reversed soon will lead to the collapse of Israel.

These are lies. Not only has Pipes never advocated the forced transfer of Palestinians out of the West Bank, he has argued against it. Far from advocating an increase in U.S. aid to Israel, Pipes has written that it would be in both countries' interests for it to come to an "orderly and gradual end." Regarding "demographic and existential threat[s]," it is the one-state solution that implies the "collapse of Israel" and its replacement with something else.

Returning to the fanciful idea that Pipes is "terrified," Lamb concludes that [all errors are in the original],

Pipes basis for panic appears straight out of Edgar Allen Poe's Novel 'The Tell Tale Heart' where Poe's character committed a savage crime and then was haunted because the evidence of this crime could not be hidden. The victim's heart kept beating louder and louder and would not stop informing the World of the crime. Try as he might, the evil perpetrator could not get the heart to stop proving the crime and it drove the criminal more deeply into suicidal insanity.

There is no "panic," "savage crime," "evil perpetrator," or "suicidal insanity" to speak of, however much Lamb may wish to push a lurid, spooky Poe narrative. One can almost hear the creaking of doors and wolves howling at the moon in the background.

The rest of the op-ed consists of overheated, rhetoric-laden, and vitriolic arguments against the specifics of Pipes's Washington Times column, including labeling Pipes an "Israel firster," a term straight out of the anti-Semitic playbook.

It's hard to imagine a more egregious example of blatant dishonesty and slander than exercised by Lamb in this op-ed. With journalists like Lamb, who needs novelists like Poe?

(Posted by Cinnamon Stillwell)