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Letter to Reinharz @ jreinharz@brandeis.edu

Reader comment on item: [Brandeis University President Jehuda] Reinharz, Israel and Me

Submitted by Margo Itskowitch (United States), Feb 14, 2007 at 01:44

Dear president Reinharz: jreinharz@brandeis.edu

On February 6, you made an outrageous assertion about Professor Pipes in your university's newspaper, "The Justice." You are is quoted as saying "I have a fear that these people [Norman Finkelstein and Daniel Pipes] who are being invited are weapons of mass destruction."

Your preposterous comments are an insult to the intelligence, vast knowledge and integrity of Dr. Pipes. Referring to a highly regarded academician as a "weapon of mass destruction" is reckless, highly unprofessional conduct not in keeping with the standards of the office any university president.

The assertion by your executive assistant, John Hose that Daniel Pipes is an entertainer whose intentions are to "inflame passions, whose mission is not so much discussion and education as it is theater, a show. … If [students] want theater then it's best to go to Spingold [theater]" is incredulous. I find it incomprehensible that you and Mr. Hose would actually resort to tactics of name-calling, outright falsehoods and impropriety in an attempt to stifle legitimate academic debate and unfairly influence students at your university. You and Mr. Hose are certainly entitled to your opinions, however, as president of the university, it is your responsibility to keep inflammatory opinions to yourself, and not project them on to the young minds of the students.

Moreover, to compare Dr. Pipes to Norman Finkelstein, the notorious Holocaust denier and troublemaker, only serves to indicate your lack of knowledge. One would have question the university's judgement in appointing a president who engages in Ad hominem attacks that only serve to impede legitimate debate on the Brandeis campus. Furthermore, the egregious comments made by you and Mr. Hose will adversely impact honest debate and meaningful dialogue on other university campuses throughout the county and most likely throughout the world.

Margo Itskowitch

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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