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.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Anti-Israel Jewish Studies

In a Campus Watch-sponsored article posted today at Israel National News, Judith Grebyla and I discuss the sad state of affairs amongst the ranks of Jewish studies academia in California:

The field of Middle East studies is notorious for producing apologias for radical Islam, particularly where anti-Israel and, at times, anti-Semitic sentiment is concerned.

These same tendencies are also increasingly common in an unexpected sector of university life: Jewish studies. An open letter dated March 3, 2011, and signed by 30 University of California Jewish studies faculty members, is a case in point.

Posted at the "Stand with the Eleven" website, along with a similar statement by 100 UC Irvine faculty members, the letter states:

As faculty affiliated with Jewish Studies at the University of California, we are deeply distressed by the decision of the District Attorney in Orange County, California, to file criminal charges against Muslim students who disrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech on the UC Irvine campus last year. While we disagree with the students' decision to disrupt the speech, we do not believe such peaceful protest should give rise to criminal liability. The individual students and the Muslim Student Union were disciplined for this conduct by the University, including suspending the MSU from functioning as a student organization for a quarter. This is sufficient punishment. There is no need for further punitive measures, let alone criminal prosecution and criminal sanctions.

While it might seem counter-intuitive for Jewish studies academics to support such an endeavor, a closer look demonstrates that many of the signatories are harsh critics of Israel.

Continue reading "Anti-Israel Jewish Studies"

Cross-posted from the Campus Watch blog

'Litigating Palestine' at a Public-supported Law School

Writing for Campus Watch at American Thinker, Stephen Schwartz reports on a recent conference at the Hastings School of Law. True to form, participants represented an intellectual homogeneity that would have once been thought scandalous but which is now a route to scandal. Here are his opening paragraphs:

The University of California's Hastings College of the Law recently demonstrated its utility in the "lawfare" offensive against Israel by hosting a conference on March 25-26, 2011, titled, "Litigating Palestine: Can Courts Secure Palestinian Rights?" The event drew about 75 law students, faculty members, and pro-Arab activists. Police were present at the entrances to the building, as well as at the door of a second room where the proceedings were visible on video, and a large sign warned that disruptive individuals would be excluded.

Hastings was to officially cosponsor the conference, with a welcoming address by its dean, Frank Wu. But both were canceled after local Jewish leaders expressed their objections to the one-sided character of the conference in a meeting with Wu and other Hastings officials.

Hastings faculty opposed the decision to withdraw sponsorship, and law professor George Bisharat, who set up the conference, told Bob Egelko at the San Francisco Chronicle that "opponents had wrongly accused the conference of 'Israeli-bashing.'" In fact, that's exactly what took place at the conference. The anti-Israeli rhetoric of the participants was notably extreme, and even bizarre.

To read the rest of this essay, please click here.

Cross-posted from Winfield Myers at the Campus Watch blog

Torturing the Truth at Duke Divinity

Jay Schalin of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy attended and reported on a conference at Duke University's Divinity School at which Duke's first Muslim chaplain chose to demand respect rather than earn it. Schalin's article, commissioned by Campus Watch, appears at American Thinker:

Should we automatically accept--at face value--Duke University's first Muslim chaplain, Abdullah Antepli, as part of an emerging loyal, moderate American Islam, simply because he insists that we do so?

Perhaps not, when all his words and associations are taken into account. He seems eager to join hands with others -- Muslim, Christian, and secular -- who express animosity toward this country and Western societies in general. And at one recent event, he attacked the citizens of his adopted country for their failure to blindly assume Muslim immigrants mean them well.

"Being a Muslim in the United States is another form of torture, a psychological torture, an emotional torture, and it's just getting worse," he declared at the "Toward a Moral Consensus against Torture" conference at Duke University on March 25-26. The conference attracted approximately 100 left-wing academics, theologians, and members of the local activist community for some old-fashioned America-bashing.

To read the rest of the article, please click here.

Cross-posted from Winfield Myers at the Campus Watch blog