Witch Hunt Grows Bold

A Stanford professor who supports Palestinians’ right to self-determination has found that his picture has been used on the cover of a book titled Campus Support for Terrorism, edited by David Horowitz and Ben Johnson. (Horowitz is affiliated with Campus Watch, the group founded by Daniel Pipes.)

Many professors of Middle-Eastern studies have had run-ins with Campus Watch, but they usually choose to ignore the ‘watchdog’ group. In this case, however, Stanford Professor Joel Beinin has had enough. He is suing the publisher for using his likeness and for making false and misleading statements against him.

“I consider Beinin to be a supporter of terrorism,” Horowitz said. “I know that he supports the Palestinian Liberation Organization. I am going to guess that he supports the Palestinian Authority, which is Hamas.”

Beinin responded: “As usual, Horowitz is either flat out wrong or makes arguments from innuendo. I have never said that I support the PLO or any of its constituent organizations. I have argued that the U.S. and Israel ought to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, not because I support it but because it is the pragmatic way to make progress toward peace. I definitely do not support Hamas.”

Professors worry about the effort to assert political control over their teaching, research and public programs. They accuse the groups of conducting McCarthy-type witch hunts, the hysterical search for secret U.S. communists during the early days of the Cold War.

Ellen Schrecker, a professor of history at Yeshiva University and a scholar of McCarthyism, calls it “an assault on academia.”

You can view the legal complaint here (PDF.) (via)