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, January 23, 2009

Qaddafi Goes to Georgetown

My latest at the Campus Watch blog:
In yesterday's "Best of the Web" (OpinionJournal.com), James Taranto took the New York Times to task for providing Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi an op-ed platform upon which to wax poetic about his supposed solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Qaddafi is a proponent of the "one-state solution," whereby Israelis and Palestinians are to live together in a single, secular, democratic state he terms "Isratine." He's even written something called the "White Book" outlining his proposal.

{snip}

...Not coincidentally, the one state solution is popular among the Middle East studies establishment, which, by and large, is obsessed with putting an end to the Jewish state. This may explain why Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) hosted a videoconference earlier this week on the very same subject given by none other than Muammar Qaddafi.
Continue reading "Qaddafi Goes to Georgetown"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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."

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
To read the entire article, click here.