Monthly Archives: September 2007

Outcry over academic freedom at UC Irvine: yes, then no, to top legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky

The Washington Post reports in Scholars Decry Law School’s About-Face on New Dean:

Scholars across the political spectrum protested what they called an assault on academic freedom after the University of California at Irvine withdrew a job offer from a liberal professor who wrote an op-ed criticizing the Bush administration.

Faculty members were furious, and blogs and editorial pages hummed Thursday with news that constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, 54, would not become dean of the University of California‘s first new law school in 40 years.

A highly visible liberal law professor at Duke University, Chemerinsky has represented Valerie Plame and a detainee at Guantanamo Bay. He is a frequent guest on talk shows to represent a liberal point of view and has written op-eds for major newspapers, including The Washington Post, on school segregation, abortion and workers’ rights.

It’s notable that the Washington Post article omits one of Chemerinsky’s most interesting and potentially provocative legal cases. As Philip Weiss points out:

Chemerinsky, whom the LA Times called one of the country’s leading constitutional- law experts, had seemed a major “get” for the school, till it thought over his politics. Liberal. Outspoken.

I smell a rat. Lots of professors are liberal and outspoken. And actually Chemerinsky is a sober sort; he served on police investigation panels in L.A. I wonder whether UC-Irvine got cold feet after someone pointed out to them that Chemerinsky represented the Corrie family in its suit against Caterpillar, the company that made the armored bulldozer that crushed young Rachel Corrie in Gaza in ’03…

To date, however, there is no evidence that the issues are linked. In fact, Chemerinsky has found support from the most unlikely places, including David Horowitz in the notorious Frontpage magazine, who, after learning about Chemerinsky’s role in the Corrie case, modified his defense to say he still should have been hired, but not as dean. Still, he wrote:

The Professor’s role in the Rachel Corrie suit against Caterpillar was news to me, but would also explain the reason UCI rescinded its offer. Again, this is not a conservative versus liberal thing. Many true liberals found Corrie’s and the ISM’s campaign opposing Israel’s self defense against suicide attacks appalling. UCI has come under severe criticism from both conservatives and liberals for anti-Semitism among its Muslim students (one such student even held a workshop titled “Israel, the Fourth Reich”.) Having a Dean who represented someone sympathetic to the International Solidarity Movement and associated with Replacement Theology would only add to concerns about anti-Semitism.

Continue reading

After Finkelstein: Alan Dershowitz, a Clinton supporter, tells Obama to drop Brzezinski

The conservative daily, The New York Sun reports that Alan Dershowitz wants Barack Obama to sever ties with former Carter security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski because he defended Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s book, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”. In fact, once informed that an Obama ad appeared on the Amazon page advertising the book, the Obama campaign had it removed. The Sun reports:

Amid a firestorm over an initial working paper Messrs . Mearsheimer and Walt published last year on the Israel lobby, Mr. Brzezinski rose to their defense, even as he demurred on the question of whether he agreed with their central arguments. The authors, he wrote in the journal Foreign Policy, “have rendered a public service by initiating a much-needed public debate on the role of the ‘ Israel lobby’ in the shaping of U.S. foreign policy.”

Mr. Obama’s campaign took the opposite route earlier this week when notified that an ad for its Web site appeared on the Amazon.com page of the Mearsheimer-Walt book. The campaign immediately removed the ad, saying its placement was unintentional, and issued a statement saying Mr. Obama believed the arguments in the book were “just wrong.” “I’m glad he’s done that, but now he has to dissociate himself from Brzezinski,” Mr. Dershowitz said in an interview yesterday. He said the Mearsheimer-Walt book was “a bigoted attack on the American Jewish community” and that Mr. Brzezinski’s comments in Foreign Policy last year amounted to an endorsement.

Harvard law professor and gadfly Alan Dershowitz, who supports Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and gave $1,000 to her campaign, also accused Brezinski of anti-Israel rhetoric, highlighting his criticism of Israel’s bombing of Lebanon last year.

In response, the Obama campaign released a statement from one of its top supporters in the Jewish community, Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida. ” Barack Obama has been a consistent supporter of Israel and this is an unfortunate case of a fabricated controversy for political reasons,” he said. “I speak with him often on Israel policy, and I can tell you firsthand that Barack Obama is opposed to the arguments presented in this book.”

There are a lot of benefits of a wholesome lifestyle. But can medicines help us? In fact, it is not so easy to find trusted web-site. Choosing the best treatment option for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the merits and demerits of the existing treatment methodologies. Diflucan (fluconazole), the first of a new group of synthetic antifungal agents, is existing as a powder for oral suspension. Viagra which is used to treat erectile dysfunction and similar states when erection is of low quality. Cialis is a medicine prescribed to treat a lot of complaints. What do you know about buy cialis online cheap? Our article focuses on the treatment of erectile disfunction and buy cialis cheap. Generally, both men and women suffer from sexual dysfunctions. What are the symptoms of sexual disorders? In fact, a scientific reviews found that up to three quarters of men on such drug experience erectile disfunction. Such disease is best solved with professional help, commonly through counseling with a certified physician. Your sex therapist can help find the treatment that is better for you and your partner. The most common undesirable side effects of such medications like Cialis is dizziness. This is not a complete list of potential side effects and others may occur. Even if this medicament is not for use in women, this medicine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby.

U Michigan press stops distribution of Kovel’s Overcoming Zionism

Inside Higher Education reports, in A Book on Hold, that “University of Michigan Press last month halted distribution of Overcoming Zionism, which argues that the creation of Israel was a mistake and urges adoption of the “one state” solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which Israelis and Palestinians would form a new country, without a Jewish character.”

When Bard professor Joel Kovel’s new book, Overcoming Zionism, caught the attention of the Michigan chapter of Stand With Us, a right wing Israel group, they launched a campaign to press the University of Michigan Press for “an explanation of the arrangement with Pluto Press”, the left wing UK-based publishers of the Bard book. They charge the Univ of Michigan Press with distributing over thirty “anti-Israel” and 50 “anti-American” texts.

Continue reading

Nadia Abu El-Haj “witch-hunt” at Barnard: is Shulamit Reinharz a “racist” or just “curious?”

The New York Times just wrote about the campaign to deny tenure to Palestinian American academic Nadia Abu El-Haj.

A tenure bid by an assistant professor of anthropology at Barnard College who has critically examined the use of archaeology in Israel has put Columbia University once again at the center of a struggle over scholarship on the Middle East.

The professor, Nadia Abu El-Haj, who is of Palestinian descent, has been at Barnard since 2002 and has won many awards and grants, including a Fulbright scholarship and fellowships at Harvard and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. Barnard has already approved her for tenure, officials said, and forwarded its recommendation to Columbia University, its affiliate, which has the final say.

It is Dr. Abu El-Haj’s book, “Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society,” that has made her a lightning rod, setting off warring petitions opposing and supporting her candidacy, and producing charges of shoddy scholarship and countercharges of an ideological witch hunt.

Judith R. Shapiro, Barnard’s president, who is also an anthropologist, said in a statement that the tenure process was “one of the linchpins of academic freedom and liberal arts education,” and that despite the passions, it must be conducted “thoughtfully, comprehensively, systematically and confidentially.” She added, “This case will be no different, both in its rigor and its freedom from outside lobbying.”

1982 Barnard graduate and West Bank settlement resident Paula Stern started a petition that now has some 2,000 signatures, including a few from Columbia faculty members. aying “demonstrably inferior caliber, her knowing misrepresentation of data and violation of accepted standards of scholarship.”

We urge you to protect Columbia’s reputation for scholarship and integrity by upholding the principal that research must be based on a disinterested consideration of evidence.

But El-Haj has many defenders who are academic colleagues who regard her work as extremely important, if not “brilliant”. Many of them have signed on to a counter petition with some 1,400 signatures which says:

Moreover, we wish to register that we find to be deplorable such unsubstantiated attacks on the autonomy of free academic inquiry and academic self-government from outside the academy. Ms. Abu El-Haj’s work has undergone peer review and has been published by a premier academic press (University of Chicago) and it stands on its own merits, which have been widely recognized in the academic community. We believe that these attacks on Ms. Abu El-Haj are part of an orchestrated witch-hunt (reminiscent of course of McCarthyism) against politically unpopular ideas. We also believe that Ms. Abu El-Haj has been singled out from among many other authors who make the same points essentially because of her last name, thus, we suspect that something like simple ethnic prejudice is at issue here.

Hat tip to Tikun Olam for highlighting the particularly shameful advocacy of Israel-right-or-wrong-firebrand Brandeis women’s studies professor Shulamit Reinharz (wife of president Yehuda Reinharz, who y all accounts is a good guy).

Inside Higher Education’s Scott Jaschik writes:

Many in Middle Eastern studies have been particularly alarmed by a recent column by Shulamit Reinharz, a Barnard alumna who is a professor of sociology at Brandeis University and wrote about her decision to skip her reunion and her concerns about El-Haj. Much of the column is similar to other criticism of El-Haj’s scholarship, but one paragraph in particular is drawing attention.

Continue reading

Finkelstein settles with DePaul, fight continues for Larudee

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Wednesday was supposed to be the day of the big showdown at DePaul University. Instead it turned out to be the day of the big compromise. DePaul and Norman Finkelstein, the professor to whom it had denied tenure, announced that he was resigning immediately. The university and Finkelstein even managed to say some nice things about one another. But while Finkelstein will be leaving, some at the university and elsewhere believe that significant academic freedom issues raised by his case are very much alive.

The exact terms of the agreement remain confidential, but at a press conference Wednesday Finkelstein reminded the assembled supporters that the denial of tenure to Professor Mehrene Larudee remains ‘an open wound’ at DePaul.

Jewish Voice for Peace has this urgent action where you can write a letter of protest to the DePaul University President (Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider) and Provost (Dr. Helmut Epp).

dsc_1014.jpg

There are a lot of benefits of a wholesome lifestyle. But can medicines help us? In fact, it is not so easy to find trusted web-site. Choosing the best treatment version for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the merits and demerits of the existing treatment methodologies. Diflucan (fluconazole), the first of a new group of synthetic antifungal agents, is existing as a powder for oral suspension. Viagra which is used to treat erectile dysfunction and similar states when hard-on is of low quality. Cialis is a medicine prescribed to treat a lot of complaints. What do you know about buy cialis online cheap? Our article focuses on the treatment of erectile disfunction and buy cialis cheap. Generally, both men and women suffer from sexual dysfunctions. What are the symptoms of sexual disorders? In fact, a scientific reviews found that up to three quarters of men on such drug experience erectile disfunction. Such disease is best solved with vocational help, commonly through counseling with a certified physician. Your sex therapist can help find the treatment that is better for you and your partner. The most common objectionable side effects of such medications like Cialis is dizziness. This is not a complete list of potential side effects and others may occur. Even if this medicament is not for use in women, this medicine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby.

Update on Rubinstein: New Israel Fund in UK Promotes Free Speech

[Ed. note: Cross-Posted from "The Third Way"]

The New Israel Fund is no stranger to controversy and it is to their credit that they have stood up to controversy and not yielded to outside pressure.

NIF was scheduled to host a talk with Ha’aretz Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, Danny Rubinstein on Monday September 3. Rubinstein is a long-time writer at Ha’aretz and is arguably Israel’s best-informed journalist on Palestinian politics, Palestinian society and the feeling on the Palestinian street. His view is a crucial one for anyone wishing to understand the politics and dynamics of not only the Palestinians, but of the Israel-Palestine conflict as whole.Ha'aretz reporter, Danny Rubinstein

But Rubinstein stirred up a storm at a UN conference in Brussels this past week. The conference, the United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace, was already being targeted by groups who accused it of anti-Israel bias before it even began. Rubinstein leapt into the fray by saying that Israel’s discriminatory practices, both in the Occupied Territories and in Israel proper, render it an “apartheid state.”

NIF had been planning to present the talk by Rubinstein with the Zionist Federation, which had already disinvited Rubinstein from its conference held this weekend. The ZF immediately withdrew its sponsorship of the event, but NIF is going ahead with it as planned.

I’m on record as disagreeing with the use of the word “apartheid” as being needlessly provocative and counter-productive. That’s true, but it’s also true that Arabs in Israel face serious problems of institutionalized discrimination despite their protection under law, and that Arabs in the Occupied Territories live without the basic protections of their human and civil rights as the government of Israel, which is de facto the ruling government in the West Bank and Gaza (despite the departure of settlements and soldiers from within Gaza, Israel retains control of the borders, airspace, coastline and the provision of necessities such as water and electricity for the Strip). Whatever one thinks of the word, it is not calling these practices apartheid that disgraces and threatens to undermine Israel’s position in the world, it is Israel’s part in continuing the ongoing conflict and its tactics that do that.

Views like Rubinstein’s might make some people uncomfortable, but they are still views that deserve a hearing and legitimate debate, especially coming from someone with as notable a background as Rubinstein. NIF fully recognizes that offering a forum for discussion of controversial views is not the same thing as agreeing with those views. NIF explicitly stated that: “New Israel Fund does not endorse Mr. Rubinstein’s view, nor his use of the term “apartheid” but, a s an organisation dedicated to equality, freedom of speech and social justice, it cannot censor an expression of views from someone whose dedication to Israel’s future and knowledge of current affairs are exceptional.”

That should be the pervasive attitude of all groups interested in a better future in the Middle East. It in no way extends to countenancing conspiracy theorists or those who are expressing a prejudicial antipathy toward one side or the other. It simply means that the bounds of debate are no different on this issue than on any other important political topic of our time.

The New Israel Fund in the UK should be roundly applauded for promoting, rather than discouraging, a free and open debate on the issue of the occupation and working to enhance the scope of views presented rather than focusing on limiting them. Other groups, whether pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-occupation, pro-Jewish, pro-Arab or anti-whatever would do well to learn from NIF’s object lesson.

There are a lot of benefits of a wholesome lifestyle. But can medicines help us? In fact, it is not so easy to find trusted web-site. Choosing the best treatment version for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the merits and demerits of the existing treatment methodologies. Diflucan (fluconazole), the first of a new group of synthetic antifungal agents, is existing as a powder for oral suspension. Viagra which is used to treat erectile dysfunction and similar states when erection is of low quality. Cialis is a medicine prescribed to treat a lot of complaints. What do you know about buy cialis online cheap? Our article focuses on the treatment of erectile malfunction and buy cialis cheap. Generally, both men and women suffer from sexual dysfunctions. What are the symptoms of sexual disorders? In fact, a scientific reviews found that up to three quarters of men on such drug experience erectile malfunction. Such disease is best solved with professional help, commonly through counseling with a certified physician. Your sex therapist can help find the treatment that is better for you and your partner. The most common undesirable side effects of such medications like Cialis is dizziness. This is not a complete list of potential side effects and others may occur. Even if this preparation is not for use in women, this medicine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby.