American professors of Middle Eastern Studies have been censuring Israel over the flotilla battle. They call the flotilla purely humanitarian [though the flotilla could have delivered goods without risking the violence from attempting to breach a military blockade]. They blame Israel for the violence. The professors ignore “overwhelming video and documentary evidence of the activists’ radical agenda and affinity for violence.”
said New York University professor of modern Middle Eastern History Zachary Lockman. “It’s not [the Palestinians’] fault they are under Hamas rule.” But such professors also claim that Hamas was democratically elected by the Palestinians in January 2006? Whose fault is that?
Georgetown University’s Prof. John Esposito defended Hamas from accusations that it stole humanitarian aid, though the U.N. and the left-wing British Guardian have noted that Hamas has illegally seized aid.”
Some professors warn that the U.S. would alienate Muslims if it doesn’t oppose Israel on the flotilla. But the flotilla has terrorist connections, as does Gaza. [Likewise the U.S. alienates Muslims by fighting al-Qaida. Should we let al-Qaida fight us with impunity?]
Columbia U. Prof. Rashid Khalidi urges the U.S. Navy to break Israel’s sea blockade that he calls illegal. Another professor said Israel’s illegality would have been more apparent if the crew did not fight back, though they had a right to. [The crew was restricted from the deck.]
Scholars of international law say otherwise. Ruth Wedgwood, who teaches international law and diplomacy at Johns Hopkins University, convincingly debunks Zunes’s, Gerges’s, and Loewenstein’s arguments. “We had a blockade around Cuba in the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Wedgwood explained. The U.S. boarded ships in international waters, as per traditional law of the sea.
Reuters finds, “[l]egal experts say proportional force does not mean that guns cannot be used by forces when being attacked with knives.”
The professors omitted Islamist activities and background, such as the fact that the passengers of the Mavi Marmara were recorded on Al-Jazeera chanting in Arabic, “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!” That refers to holy war.
The Middle Eastern Studies professors try to blame Israel for Turkey’s turn to radical Islam, though first an Islamist regime came in and then spoiled Turkey-Israel relations. “Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes has warned of Turkey’s Islamization for many years, and professor Henri J. Barkey of Lehigh University recently outlined how Israeli-Turkish relations have deteriorated since Turkey’s main Islamist party took power. Turkey’s current Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan, has consistently expressed sympathy for Hamas and Iran’s nuclear program.”
Middle Eastern Studies’ professors are guided by ignorance or bias. Their counsel is useless or counter-productive (Campus Watch, Brendan Goldman, American Thinker, 6/13/10)
Middle Eastern Studies are subsidized by the U.S. government.