Lee Kaplan at FrontPage on the entrenched dhimmitude of the Saidists of MESA, as exhibited at their Conference in late November in San Francisco:
When I arrived at the conference, I looked over the information tables. One table offered what can only be described as anti-Israel, anti-U.S. propaganda in the guise of scholarly and professional research society materials. On the bulletin board was a business card for Alison Weir’s IfAmericansKnew.org, an anti-Israel Web site claiming that America’s support of Israel should be terminated, and that a Palestinian state should replace Israel. The site uses misleading statistics to push its hateful message. For instance, the chart depicting American aid to Israel and the Arab world ignores the fact that, while Palestinians receive less U.S. aid than Israel does, the Arab world as a whole gets much more; in addition, aid to Israel is reciprocated through new technology. Also, the Web site’s statistics on Palestinian casualties include suicide bombers and armed combatants as “civilian casualties.”
Weir has also distorted history in the past. She once called a massacre of 60 yeshiva students in Hebron in 1929 by Arabs an “Arab uprising” against Jewish oppression — even before Israel existed. Manipulation of statistics to advance political goals for foreign dictatorships should not be welcome at an academic conference.
At the same table, free copies of a glossy newsmagazine called the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs were being distributed to the academics in attendance. Most people, upon seeing the publication, might assume it was similar to Newsweek or Time; the inside cover claims the report has been “telling the Truth for more than 20 years. “¦ Interpreting the Middle East for North Americans.” What most people don’t know is that the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine and Web site — indeed, the entire organization behind it — are funded by Saudi Arabia, a despotic regime that has been quietly buying its way onto every campus in America, particularly through Middle East Studies centers in the U.S.
Articles in the magazine included anti-U.S. and anti-Israel diatribes by the likes of the 83-year-old dyed-in-the-wool leftist radical Rachelle Marshall from Stanford, who condemns as evil both Israelis fighting Palestinian terrorists and U.S. forces in Iraq dealing with similar terror attacks. An article by Alison Weir claimed that Israelis beat American activists for walking Arab children to school in Gaza (with no proof that the thugs were Israelis, since the assailants were hooded and robbed the victims). The message throughout was that Israel and the United States are “colonialist” warmongers, and titles such as “Israel’s Day of Penitence: Drown Gaza in a Sea of Blood” were typical.
That was just some of the free reading material being distributed. I could find nothing presenting an opposing point of view….
I decided to interview some faculty attendees and gravitated to the upstairs bar, where I met Nabil Al-Tikriti, a professor from the University of Chicago; Albrecht Fuess, a Middle East Studies professor from the University of Erfurt in the former East Germany; and a Ph.D. candidate named John Curry, attending from Ohio State. All three condemned the U.S. presence in Iraq and blamed the U.S. invasion for the “collapse” of the Iraqi government. When I asked if the majority of the Iraqi people weren’t better off since the removal of Saddam Hussein, they all said no. Curry cited an Arab proverb that “a bad government is better than no government at all.” They complained that Iraq wasn’t a democracy under U.S. presence there.
I asked, “But the U.S. government is now setting up elections. Hussein was murdering 5,000 Iraqis a month. How can you say they were better off?” Al-Tikriti stated: “That’s a myth that Hussein killed more than 5,000 a month. It was more like 20 per month and that was only during the last seven years of his rule.” Fuess interjected, “If you do the math, you can see it is impossible.” Fuess put Iraq’s population at 22 million and declared that at the rate of 5,000 per month over 35 years of Saddam’s rule over Iraq, he would have to have killed 2.1 million people. (Actually, the number is more than plausible, because compared to Hussein’s idols, Hitler and Stalin, both of whom he modeled his regime after intentionally, Hussein was a piker. The Kurdish village of Halabja alone netted over 5,000 dead when it was gassed by Hussein.)
Basically, the idea was that the U.S. is doing wrong in Iraq and no good will come of it, not even the liberation of the Iraqi people from a Hitler wannabe. They claimed there was absolutely no connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, yet anyone who reads a newspaper knows that Ansar Al-Islam was founded in Northern Iraq with Hussein’s permission and is now leading the insurgency against U.S. soldiers. They still insisted it wasn’t true.
These are the same people who our government is funding as “experts” on the Middle East.
I finally asked about indoctrination in the classroom and expressed that I’d seen how it occurs, based on what scholars attending the MESA Conference were discussing. Al-Tikriti commented that he felt professors had a right to teach their personal opinions in the classroom and asked what I had against it. I answered that opinions backed up by verifiable academic research should be taught, but that I’d seen blatant propaganda throughout that evening’s conference. He asked me what I would change.
I replied, “I’d invite those academic Middle East scholars who actually support America’s war effort overseas and security needs here at home. People like Daniel Pipes or Martin Kramer.” I continued, “Why aren’t they here at the MESA Conference?”
“They”d be shouted down,” replied Al-Tikriti.
Read it all.