Monday, December 1, 2014

UCLA Professor Strikes Back at Critics of Center for Near Eastern Studies

Hat tip Daily Bruin

James Gelvin is a UCLA professor and member of the Faculty Advisory Committee of the campus' Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES), which is, predictably, an activist nest in the campaign against Israel. In the below op-ed in the Daily Bruin, he cries about the criticism leveled recently at CNES over its anti-Israel bias.

Here is the quote that really knocked me for a loop as Gelvin "sets the record straight":

"CNES saw no reason to “balance” the criticism of those governments by bringing in speakers who would defend them. Speakers invited by CNES are accomplished scholars presenting original work. Likewise, CNES saw no reason to bring in speakers who would defend the policies of the Israeli government when scholars have criticized it."

So I guess that once the "scholars" have spoken on an issue, there is no need for any opposing point of view. The matter is settled, right?

I knew that name Gelvin rang a bell, and sure enough, he was featured previously on this site. In fact I singled out a quote where he made same type of comment to the effect that voices defending Israel should not be welcome at UCLA.

"At a time when most of the international community has condemned the separation fence, particularly with respect to the suffering inflicted on over 700,000 residents of the West Bank, the illegal annexation of land by the Israeli government, and the Israeli government's attempt to impose a unilateral solution to a problem which our own government maintains can only be resolved through negotiations, feting an apologist for Israeli actions can only undermine the reputation of UCLA."

So what do we have here at UCLA? I mean is this a university or a monoversity, to coin a phrase? I get the impression that what we have is yet another Middle East (Sorry-Near Eastern) studies department that is primarily dedicated to blaming Israel (and the West) for all the dysfunction that reigns supreme in that region.

It seems to me this Gelvin guy has no clue what a university is supposed to be. It also seems to me that he has no idea of freedom of speech when it comes from people who don't share his world view. It would be nice if somebody could come to UCLA and defend Israel.

I wonder if we could invite that noted Israel supporter, Professor Mark LeVine of UC Irvine, to come and speak at UCLA in Israel's behalf.

Just kidding.


Anonymous said...

Levine elaborated his position on Facebook.

A couple of exerts:

Someone posted this picture

Then he added:
"I mean that the israeli state needs to be dismantled. i also say the same thing about the egyptian state, the saudi state and many other states, including the present political system of the US, which has killed millions in the last forty years in pursuit of its power. the reality is that israel, to discuss the state presently in question, is a criminal state. that is a fact. it engages in rampant criminality, murder, torture, theft, oppression for decades. this is a fact. it should be replaced by a state that does not do these things--that is my opinion. if someone is okay with this state continuing to function in the manner it has, then they are morally complicit in these crimes. there is no other way for me to understand such acquiescence. but again, yoav and anyone else, come with me through the west bank and then let's talk. i will be on the next freedom bus ride of the jenin freedom theatre in march. let's talk then and see where things stand.
November 28 at 10:35am"

He went on to say:

"i'm happy to discuss the proposed solutions. what i'm not happy to do is have some moral idiot who seems to spend most of his free time trolling for campus watch and the like come to a talk i organize, get himself recognized for the first question, and then begin by saying "well mark levine is a well known israel hater,"

Gary Fouse said...


If those are indeed, LeVine's words, then how in the world can he say I "disrespected" him by saying that he was an anti-Israel activist? BTW: My exact words were that he was an anti-Israel activist and not a well known Israel hater (as if there is a difference).

If you examine those words you quoted with his statement to me that if I ever called him anti-Israel again, I was going to have a problem, then what conclusion can you draw about this character?

The truth is that LeVine's writings about Israel and his statements about Israel over the years make it very clear what his feelings about Israel are.

And you know what? To be anti-Israel is not a slander as he told me. Honest people can disagree about Israel. Yet this man dares to tell me that to call him anti-Israel is a slander?

Wow. You talk about issues!

In reality, it is very hard for me to take LeVine seriously. I mean, look at his writing. He never uses capital case letters (except for that V in his last name).

Gary Fouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Siarlys Jenkins said...

Levine should stop trying to be so specific. His statements boil down to Proudhon's statement, "property is theft" with a bit of Bakunin, that all government is criminal.

He does not have a practical program likely to interest people who live in the real world. Right now, people in Kenya and Nigeria wish their government had some force and competence to wield, Nigeria even more than Kenya, which actually can accomplish something in the field, although not enough to defend its civilian population.