Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Middle East Studies Departments and Anti-Semitism

Hat tip Jewish Policy Center

Picture of Ariel Sharon posted on "Apartheid Wall" by Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine 2008

I am cross-posting an article by Sarah Stern in the Jewish Policy center. It concerns the problem of campus anti-Semitism and links the problem (correctly) to Middle East Studies departments, most notably at Columbia and Georgetown Universities.

Amir Abdel Malik Ali at UC Irvine

In the reader thread, there is a comment by a certain Louis Esposito. I don't know if he is related to  Georgetown's John Esposito (mentioned in the article). He is a retired economics professor and former provost at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He opined that the article was "utter nonsense" and went on to complain about how "uncritical Jewish writers" and how many Jews support Israel's policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians.  I added my own comment to Esposito's giving my own view.


"This is utter nonsense. What the world needs most is another website playing the anti-Semitism card! I grow weary of uncritical Jewish writers who use anecdotal examples to justify their claim that American universities are filled with professors who are Anti-Semitic, while ignoring the inhumane way that Israel treats the Palestinians. What is shocking is the number of American Jews that justify Israel's apartheid policies as being necessary for the country's security. Shame on you!"

My response:

"No, shame on you, Mr Esposito. I spent 18 years teaching part time at UC Irvine, and this non-Jew can personally attest to the problem of anti-Semitism brought to American campuses by these faux Middle East studies departments and their professors as well as the pro-Palestinian student mobs from MSA and SJP that routinely disrupt Jewish events and intimidate Jewish students. This article is spot on, but omits one critical piece of information. The root of this conflict is that the Muslim world cannot accept the idea that Israel would be Jewish in the middle of the ME. It goes to the hatred of Jews (and Christians) that so many Muslims are taught from birth. I don't accuse all Muslims of being guilty of this, but Islamic Jew hatred is the root of the problem. Even liberal Jews prefer to put most of the blame on white nationalists and other racist fringes while ignoring Islamic anti-Semitism and how it manifests itself on our campuses.
I have personally heard the anti-Jewish rants and seen the stereotypical images of Jewish caricatures and swastikas on our campuses. It is sickening and has been tolerated for too long by cowardly school administrators."

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