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Mon, 11 Apr 2005
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Fri, 18 Mar 2005
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Thu, 17 Mar 2005
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Tue, 15 Mar 2005
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Fri, 11 Mar 2005
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Thu, 10 Mar 2005
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Wed, 9 Mar 2005
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New York Times Supports McCarthyite Witch Hunt

Article/book #: 17083
Title: New York Times Supports McCarthyite Witch Hunt
By: Juan Cole  
Published in:
Date of issue: Friday, 8 April 2005
Topic(s) addressed: People/entities mentioned in this item:
Commentary (by a person who is not a member of the UCC Palestine Solidarity Campaign ):

Important comment


»The New York Times editorial board went over to the Dark Side on Thursday, with an editorial that blasted the end results of a panel at Columbia University that investigated whether students had been intimidated by professors at Columbia University. The panel found that there was no evidence of any such thing, that no students had been punished for their views by lowered grades, that there was no evidence of racial bigotry.
The NYT nevertheless praised the neo-McCarthyite "film" (actually it is large numbers of films that are constantly re-edited and have never been publicly shown) produced by the shadowy anti-Palestinian "David Project." But the "film" is not an objective document. I could interview on film lots of people who ascribed all sorts of bad behavior to the editors of the New York Times and call it a "damning documentary." Students, including Israelis, who have actually taken classes in Middle East studies at Columbia dispute the films' allegations.«

»The David Project wants Middle East historians to reproduce faithfully in the classroom the Zionist master narrative as the "true" version of history. We aren't going to do that, and nobody can make us do it, and if anyone did make us do it, it would be destructive of academic, analytical understandings of history. Next the Serbs will be demanding that we explain why the Bosnians had to be suppressed, and the Russians will object to any attempt to understand the roots of Chechen terrorism, and the Chinese will object to our teaching about Taiwan. The American Nazi Party will maintain that the Third Reich is presented unsympathetically in university history classes, etc. etc. Ethnic nationalisms if allowed to dictate the teaching of history would destroy the entire discipline.«

»What the editors mean by "anti-Israeli" is not spelled out. But generally the term means any criticism of Israel. (You can criticize Argentina all day every day till the cows come home and nobody cares in the US, but make a mild objection to Ariel Sharon putting another 3500 settlers onto Palestinian territory in contravention of all international law and of the road map to which the Bush administration says it is committed, and boom!, you are branded a racist bigot. And if you dare point out that Sharon's brutality and expansionism end up harming America and Americans by unnecessarily making enemies for us (because we are Sharon's sycophants), then you are really in trouble.«

»Personally, I think that the master narrative of Zionist historiography is dominant in the American academy. Mostly this sort of thing is taught by International Relations specialists in political science departments, and a lot of them are Zionists, whether Christian or Jewish. Usually the narrative blames the Palestinians for their having been kicked off their own land, and then blames them again for not going quietly. It is not a balanced point of view, and if we take the NYT seriously (which we could stop doing after they let Judith Miller channel Ahmad Chalabi on the front page every day before the war), then the IR professors should be made to teach a module on the Palestinian point of view, as well. That is seldom done.«

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