Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Friday, October 12, 2007

UC Berkeley's Hatem Bazian Back in the Headlines

I have a new blog post up at Campus Watch on UC Berkeley lecturer and perennial radical Hatem Bazian:
UC Berkeley Near Eastern studies lecturer and adjunct professor at Boalt Hall School of Law Hatem Bazian is back in the headlines. Campus Watch readers will no doubt recall Bazian's infamous call for an "intifada in this country" at a 2004 anti-war protest in San Francisco, not to mention the numerous examples of his participation in radical, and, ostensibly, pro-Palestinian activities across the nation.

The latest case being Bazian's lecture at UC Berkeley on October 6, given as part of a series hosted by a student group called Islamic Awareness of Berkeley. The lecture was attended by Ethan Strauss, a student who wrote about the experience at The Daily Clog, the blog for the student publication The Daily Californian.
Continue reading "UC Berkeley's Hatem Bazian Back in the Headlines"

Monday, October 08, 2007

Campus Watch Speaking Engagement: Philanthropy Roundtable Conference, Washington D.C.

On Wednesday, October 10, I'll be a panelist at a Philanthropy Roundtable higher education conference at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. titled, "Middle Eastern Studies, Higher Education, and the Fight Against Terror."

The Philanthropy Roundtable is an organization that provides advice and counsel to donors in order to help them "achieve their charitable objectives," which include higher education. I'll be speaking about the problems in Middle East studies and what Campus Watch is doing to address them.

The conference moderator is Mugged By Reality author John Agresto and fellow speakers include Cliff May and David Silverstein of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and Middle East scholar Martin Kramer. The event is invitation only, but I'll be sure to report back on any interesting developments.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Anti-Semitism Rears Its Ugly Head on California College Campuses, Again

We've all heard the refrain, "anti-Zionism doesn't equal anti-Semitism" a million times from those desperate to convince themselves (Jews among them) that their single-minded obsession with and disproportionate condemnation of the world's only Jewish state has nothing whatsoever to do with anti-Semitism. Others simply use that line as a fig leaf to try and conceal their outright opposition to Israel's continued existence and, not coincidentally, the Jewish people.

But, as we've seen time and time again, the virulently anti-Zionist rhetoric that has been allowed to gain ground on America's college campuses, both among faculty and student groups, tends to result in anti-Semitic sentiment and, often times, activity. The flyers hung all over campus at San Francisco State University in April 2002 displaying a Palestinian baby on a soup-can label and the words, "Palestinian Children Meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites under American license" were a prime example. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Now comes word that acts of vandalism against the sukkah, an outdoor shelter that marks the Jewish holiday of Sukkot or the Feast of the Tabernacles, have occurred on two California college campuses in the last week.

At San Jose State University, whose Hillel chapter has worked hard to promote a relatively friendly environment for pro-Israel activity, the brand new sukkah was burned down. Of course, authorities have ruled out a hate crime, although conceding that it was an act of arson. While, personally, I don't believe in the Orwellian concept of hate crimes, especially as the label seems to be applied on a rather selective basis, this sort of obfuscation when it comes to Jewish targets is all too common.

Then there's the sukkah at UC Davis, which was defaced with graffiti reading, "End Israeli Occupation" and "Free Palestine." It's rather difficult to deny the anti-Zionist, and, being as the the target was a symbol of Judaism, anti-Jewish, nature of these slogans, but it wouldn't surprise me if the powers that be go down that path. And this in turn will only embolden those prone to perpetrating such acts in the future. As Mike Amerikaner, the program director of Hillel, put it, "This is not something that's new. We've been dealing with anti-Semitism on campus for awhile now."

But I thought this was merely anti-Zionism? Silly me...

Christopher Hitchens Pens a Worthy Homage to an American Hero

In "A Death in the Family," which appears in the November issue of Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens pens a worthy homage to the late Mark Daily, an American hero who was killed by an I.E.D. earlier this year while serving in Iraq.

Much to Hitchens' initial dismay, he discovered that Daily had been inspired in part by his writings on the justness of the war to enlist. However, as Hitchens got to know Daily's family and to learn more about this idealistic young man, he came to comprehend what, at times, feels like the incomprehensible. For Daily was no jingoist, but, rather, a liberal, in the true sense of the word, who understood that defending freedom, not only for Americans but for all people, is the highest honor.

At the ceremony for the scattering of Daily's ashes, Hitchens quoted the following passage from the last scene of Shakespeare's Macbeth, during which, as he puts it, "The tyrant and usurper has been killed, but Ross has to tell old Siward that his boy has perished in the struggle":
Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt;
He only lived but till he was a man;
The which no sooner had his prowess confirm'd
In the unshrinking station where he fought,
But like a man he died.

...

Your cause of sorrow
Must not be measured by his worth, for then
It hath no end.
As a writer who has received more than a few e-mails of support from members of our fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, I was incredibly moved by Hitchens' piece. It behooves all of us politicos and pundits to remain humble in the face of those who don't simply talk the talk, but who put their lives on the line to uphold civilization at its best.