Friday, December 30, 2016
Modern Language Association, Middle East Studies and Israel
Hat tip Daily Caller and Campus Watch
James Gelvin, UCLA-Dr Doom
A.J. Caschetta has written an article appearing in Daily Caller and Campus Watch decrying the Modern Language Association (a collection of university language/composition professors) and their opposition to Israel, a topic that has nothing to do with language or composition. While properly taking the MLA to account, Caschetta also points out that the supposed experts in the field of Middle East studies have done little better in advancing serious scholarship in the area of regional study and Islamist terrorism.
The fact is that most Middle East studies departments in our universities are devoted to ethnocentric glorification of the Arab world, terrorist apologia, as well as bashing of Israel and the West in general. The agenda is clear: The problems of the Middle East are not the failures of the Arabs (other than dictatorships which are propped up by the West) rather they are the doing of the West and Israel.
The list is endless, from Georgetown's John Esposito and his Alwaleed Center of Christian-Muslim Understanding, to Juan Ricardo Cole at the University of Michigan to UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies, which has featured such "luminaries and thinkers" as James Gelvin and Gabriel (The Kissing Bandit) Piterberg, all of whom are anti-Israel activists.
John Richard Cole, aka Juan Ricardo Cole
In addition, many of these so-called departments exist largely due to funding from Saudi Arabia. The Alwaleed Center is a prime example. Georgetown gladly accepted what Mayor Rudy Giuliani turned down, multi millions of dollars from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. A glance at their web page gives you an idea of their agenda.
Of course no article on Middle East propaganda would be complete without UC Berkeley's Hatem Bazian, a genuine multi-tasker who has co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine, Americans Muslims for Palestine, the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Center at UCB and Zaytuna "College". Bazian, who once called for an intifada in the US, has also contributed such gems to education such as reportedly telling a student audience to count the number of buildings on campus with Jewish names on them. (He also co-invented the scavenger hunt.)
Meanwhile at UC Irvine, we eagerly await the inauguration of a Middle East studies department under the "objective" leadership of polymath Mark Levine, oops, LeVine internationally acclaimed musician, affiliated researcher at Sweden's Lund University, Frenchman, and allegedly an anti-Israel activist. I say allegedly because Mark once told me I was going to a have a BIG problem if I ever called him that again because it was "slanderous".
Well, we could go on and on, but we have only scratched the surface of academic excellence and objectivity here. My article is only meant to give the MLA something to strive for when it comes to such an important area of the world. Which leads me to this question: Just how wonderful would the Middle East be if there were no Israel?