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What a tangled web ...

Reader comment on item: Campus Watch - A Good Idea?

Submitted by Ellen Ben-Eliahu (Denmark), Oct 1, 2002 at 05:54

This comment is by way of admiration and support for your courage in taking on the academic establishment. There is almost no feeling more horrible and embarrassing for a student than to stand up during a professor's lecture and challenge his biased statement or skewed historical view. I did it once at the Univ. of Texas as a freshman 50 years ago, and I still remember shaking with the mixture of anger and humiliation in front of 100 other students as I left the lecture hall, still playing his authoritarian put-down over and over in my mind. In those days it had only been a simple unfounded statement about who killed Jesus (an important question in Texas), but you are today dealing with a powerful hidden lobby of well-entrenched academics.

And now, you are also being attacked personally - not for your ideas - but with all the pontifical outrage of professors and department chairmen accustomed to their cloistered dignity.

It is a very tangled web you're going into - and I wish I had a way to protect you on your journey besides only good wishes. I try to think of some logical way to strengthen your hand and offer your team of colleagues practical suggestions.
Perhaps some latent resentment about overblown funding for non-objective Middle East Studies departments in major universities could be activated - i.e., soliciting public support from professors in other departments who've watched them grow and gain too much influence through donation-funding and endowment of Chairs from pro-Arab sources. I'm only guessing here, of course. The money trail is often very revealing.

From my roots as a bleeding-heart liberal do-gooder (weren't we all in the days of our youth?), I've had to accept through all these years of observation and 30 years living in Israel, that social and geo-political realities are not what we would wish them to be. My work involved me in academia most of my life, so I know exactly what sort of especially nasty web you're trying to bring out into the light.

May the Force be with you!
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