Hamas's Academic Cheerleaders
Those searching for wisdom on Israel's military campaign in Gaza from the leading voices in Middle East studies might want to look elsewhere. The reflexively anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian, or in this case, pro-Hamas, viewpoints expressed by many of these "experts" betray the bias afflicting the field.
In my latest Campus Watch article, which was published today at Frontpage Magazine, I provide excerpts from op-eds and interviews with these academics that speak for themselves. Here's a sampling:
"…Hamas is the poor and impoverished representative of a poor and impoverished people. The obscenity of first demonizing Hamas and then blaming it for the vicious war crimes that Israel is perpetrating against Palestinians has now passed any measure of common decency. Hamas is the legitimate and democratically elected representative of Palestinian people - a grassroots organization deeply embedded in and integral to the Palestinian national liberation movement."To read the entire article, click here.
Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
"The claim that Hamas will never accept the existence of Israel has proved equally misinformed, as Hamas leaders explicitly announce their intention to do just that in the pages of the Los Angeles Times or to any international leader or journalist who will meet with them."
Mark LeVine, professor of Middle East history, University of California, Irvine
"Hamas is not a monolith…yes, Hamas engages in terrorism, Hamas carries out certain terrorist actions, but Hamas is not just a huge monolith. There are multiple points of view and narratives within Hamas."
Fawaz Gerges, Christian A. Johnson Chairholder in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies, Sarah Lawrence College
"Hamas has been branded a terrorist organization by U.S. and Israel and much of the international community. I think that's very unfortunate…Hamas is first and foremost a deeply rooted political organization with social and cultural and other dimensions to it. It was elected. It has come forward many, many times to negotiate a truce with Israel, including recently…"
Beshara Doumani, associate professor of history, University of California, Berkeley
"Hamas is a group that has grassroots backing from the Palestinian people. Hamas has been leading a resistance against a colonial occupation. …I think any resistance against a colonial occupier is justified. …I would defend Hamas as actually, you know, doing practical things to fight Israeli colonialism."
Pranav Jani, assistant professor of English, Ohio State University