Lawsuit details depth of Berkeley Jewish Student Harassment:
["A pattern of harassment and physical assaults by members of two Muslim student groups at the University of California, Berkeley crosses the line from allowing free speech into creating a hostile campus environment, an attorney representing two students argued in court papers filed this week.
Jessica Felber and Brian Maissy are suing the University of California and Berkeley President Mark Yudoff, along with Berkeley's chancellor, the Regents of the University of California, the Associated Students University of California and Berkeley's dean of students for failing to protect them from verbal and physical assaults.
"Defendants assert that this Court is powerless to stop this conduct, claiming that these student groups have 'First Amendment Rights,'" wrote attorney Joel Siegal in response to a defense motion to dismiss. "But these Defendants have an equal obligation to protect the health and safety of Jewish students under Title VI," which requires federally funded educational institutions protect students against discrimination.
The lawsuit claims Berkeley has tolerated years of programming by anti-Israel student groups Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) despite reports of Jewish students being cursed at, threatened and assaulted."]
--read it all here.
Follow the Money Behind Anti-Israel Invective on Campus:
["The anti-Israel sentiment on American university campuses, encouraged by an anti-Israel professorate, stems in large part from the way Middle Eastern studies is taught at the post-graduate level. When graduate students and PhD candidates are trained to teach anti-Israel invective, they ultimately become anti-Israel professors themselves.
To understand why so many graduate students are trained to teach anti-Israel bias, we need to follow the money.
A great deal of the grant monies allotted to these professors-in-training come from the federal government through a program known as Title VI. This program, formally called Title VI of the Higher Education Act, provides funding and support for Middle Eastern educational programs, including the "study by Americans of foreign languages, as well as area and other international studies critical to strengthening our ability to ensure the nation's security and economic competitiveness." Title VI bankrolls no less than 17 National Resource Centers on the Middle East at U.S. universities.
While in theory the program would prepare new generations for the challenges ahead in a dangerous region, this is not the case. In practice, Title VI uses federal government funds to subsidize the anti-Israel and anti-America vitriol reported all too often on campus.
Take, for example, the Bethesda, Maryland-based Palestinian American Research Center (PARC). This registered nonprofit organization receives Title VI funding, along with monies from the U.S. State Department, for "Palestinian studies." Unfortunately, the grant recipients rarely, if ever, study the radicalism and violence that dominates Palestinian society. Rather, much of the work produced by PARC funding recipients glorifies Palestinian "resistance" against Israel and vilifies the Jewish state.
It's not hard to figure out why this approach is encouraged. Prominent PARC professors include: Columbia University's Rashid Khalidi, a reported former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) spokesman (see pages 3 and 5 for more on Khalidi); Boston University's Augustus Norton, an apologist for the Lebanese terrorist group, Hezbollah; Stanford University's Joel Beinin, who denounced U.S. "imperialism" on al-Jazeera television; New York University's Zachary Lockman, who backed a proposed academic boycott of Israel; and the University of Pennsylvania's Ian Lustick, who rails against America for the war on terror, rather than those who spill blood in the name of Islam."]
--read the rest here.
Challenging the Status Quo in Middle East Studies-
A key excerpt:
["The bad news is that the corruption continues in many Middle Eastern studies departments nationwide. The good news is that reform is on the way, in the form of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA).
Created under the leadership of Professors Bernard Lewis of Princeton and Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins, the organization seeks to fill the void caused by the absence of free inquiry and honest scholastic debate on Middle East research within academia. An alternative to the status quo, ASMEA vigorously defends academic freedom and promotes superior scholarship by providing professors and students with research and teaching resources, opportunities to publish and share their knowledge, and the ability to interact with scholars in an open atmosphere where ideas are judged on their merits.
After one year, the organization already has 750 members who hold degrees in 35 different disciplines, hail from 40 countries, and are affiliated with 300 universities throughout the world. Nonpartisan and interdisciplinary, ASMEA is quickly becoming a powerful alternative to the Middle Eastern Studies Association, which has come under fire in recent years for corruption and "groupthink" associated with the larger field."]--be sure to read it all.