Academic Freedom Must Be Preserved

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Article/book #: 10600
Title: Academic Freedom Must Be Preserved
By: Arthur Hertzberg  
Published in: The Jewish Week
Date of issue: Friday, 19 November 2004
Topic(s) addressed: People/entities mentioned in this item:
Commentary (by JB):

Rashid Khalidi is mentioned here but the incident at Columbia to which Hertzberg refers also involved an attack on Joseph Massad.
Abstract:

Some years ago Rashid Khalidi, who had been an assistant professor in the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, was nominated as a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Chicago. One or two Jewish faculty members tried to create a furor: How could this Palestinian nationalist be allowed to set some of the tone in a Middle Eastern Institute at Chicago? I was soon involved because Khalidi and I together had taught a course comparing Zionist and Palestinian nationalism, with the understanding that each of us would be free to express his opinions on the other’s views.

I wrote the president of the University of Chicago that I found Khalidi to be a solid and serious academic, and that his personal politics were no more offensive than mine — and I had been teaching the history of Zionism at Columbia for some 20 years while everyone knew that I was an active leader in the Zionist cause. That was the end of the furor and Khalidi’s appointment went through.








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