Zero Plus 380
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, 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
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
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.
To Sep 26--"Apologetics Of Vigilance"
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