Terrorist Attack On The Anti-Semites Fails



September 27, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 380
Anti-Semitic Vigilance
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, September 27--When people clamor to be included in a listing of anti-Semites, something is either terribly wrong or terribly right.
        It started out as a McCarthyistic attack on college professors who exhibit pro Palestinian views in their classes.   A pro-Israel research and policy group launched a web site citing eight professors and 14 universities for holding pro views on Palestinian rights, or that they were favorable to political Islam.   The web site, Campus Watch  www.campus-watch.org   included dossiers on individuals and institutions.  The site prodded its viewers to send in any information to "indict" their professors or college as fellow travelers--a euphemism for "Terrorist supporters."

       The goal was to put pressure on colleges and professors to shift their views to pro-Israel, by suggesting these professors or institutions were "anti-Israel."
       But, the tactic has backfired.  Terrorizing the alleged "pro- Terrorists" didn't work.
       Outraged professors and universities--fearing the attack on Free Speech have deluged the site with requests their names be added to those under "web indictment."   Over 100 other academics submitted their "dossiers," showing  support for the "Web Site Eight," the original collection of professors named as anti-Semites by Campus Watch.   One of the original "Web Site Eight," is John Esposito of Georgetown.  He focuses studies on political Islam and is considered a leading scholar in the field.
        The New York Times reported that while some of the 100 rushing to form a Ring of Vigilance around the
"Web Site Eight" were showing solidarity in what they see as an assault on academic freedom, others were more interested in showing that mainstream Middle Eastern scholars shared the views criticized on the web site.

Ammiel Alcalay

       Ammiel Alcalay, a Hebrew professor at Queens College, said, "It's that whole mode of terror by association, with the cold war language of dossiers, and we're watching you.  It's not so intimidating for people like me with tenure, but it makes graduate students and untenured professors very nervous, and makes it even harder to talk about Israel."
        A number of Jewish and non-Jewish professors have been asked to be included on the list.   
        The site is reportedly getting 3,500 hits a day.   Students who want a more pro-Israel attitude by their professors are reported boycotting those on the list.
         Personally, I have mixed views on the whole issue.
         My college roommate was from Israel and I spent a great deal of time learning about the hatred he had for those who wished to "swallow Israel" and the battles the country faced to maintain its independence.    I might have been pro-Israel at the time.
        Later in life, I worked closely with a man named Andre Hawa.   For years he told me he was Jordanian, and then one day, confessed he was a Palestinian.   He related the story of how the Israelis had come into his home and stuck machine guns in his family's faces, forcing them off the land his forefathers had owned for centuries.
        Both were passionate in their beliefs they were right--my Israeli friend, my Palestinian friend.
        I had no knowledge of the Middle East at that time, except that I knew the United States was fully behind Israel, and our national posture was that Israel was the "good guy."

        Over time, I have grown much more eagle-eyed.   I look at both sides of the coin.   I give both sides credit for their viewpoints because I know there are no blacks or whites to anything, but only shades of grey.
        But I am sure of one thing.
        Terrorism doesn't solve anything.
        Whether that Terrorism comes in the form of a suicide bomb or a web site attack on people for holding unpopular views, its purpose is the same--to inflict Fear, Intimidation and Complacency in those it attacks.
        Campus Watch is not a Shield of Vigilance, but rather a time bomb of radicalism, seeking to blow up the credibility of those who oppose one viewpoint through laying siege to ideas that are not aligned with its doctrine.
         Since most of the professors listed were untenured, young, and fearful of losing their jobs if their classes were stripped of students, the goal of the site was not to "inform" but to "cripple, maim and wound" those who oppose the pro-Israel viewpoint.
         I am hopeful the colleges and universities under attack have the Vigilance to stand behind those listed in Campus Watch and defend their right to express varied viewpoints.   To me, that would be the proper use of the Shield of Vigilance.   Since Vigilance requires Courage, Conviction and Right Actions, it seems to me that any college or university that buckles to the pressure of Campus Watch would be acting in concert with the principles of Terrorism--that they would be feeding the beast of Terror his favorite food--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
        I'm for starving the Beast of Terror.
        And I think Campus Watch is blind in one eye.  The blindness keeps them from cannot seeing the Sentinels of Vigilance marching toward them to remind them to see with both eyes so they do not become what they attack.



Go To Sep 26--"Apologetics Of Vigilance"

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