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.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Brutality in the Middle East

The news from Syria that the Assad regime has again slaughtered hundreds of its own citizens should surprise no one familiar with the brutality of the Middle East. There is no one more brutal towards Arabs--and Persians--than their own leaders and at times, fellow citizens.
Will this reality quiet the litany of Westerner intellectuals wailing about nonexistent Israeli "atrocities" towards the Palestinians? Not likely. As Jacques Berlinerblau, director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University, put it in his May 2011 opinion piece, "The 'Arab Spring,' Israel, and the Silence of the Academy":
Having directed Jewish Studies programs in universities for most of my career I can assure you of this: If Israel were to inflict the type of violence on Palestinians that Arab regimes (and Iranian ones) casually inflict on their own dissenting populations in the course of one day, many colleges across America would be virtually shut down.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Bad PR for Penn's BDS Conference

It seems there are fissures within the ranks of those organizing this week's National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) conference at the University of Pennsylvania due to the inclusion--and later, withdrawal--of a video that inconveniently betrays the radicalism behind the BDS movement. Even outspoken anti-Israel Middle East studies professors such as Penn's Ian Lustick and Columbia University's Rashid Khalidi are keeping their distance. As Asaf Romirowsky, adjunct scholar at the Middle East Forum and acting executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, aptly put it, "This is not a scholarly debate."

Another Bogus Anti-Conservative 'Study'

Yet another bogus "study" has come out attempting to paint conservatives as dumb, racist extremists and, of course, liberals all over Facebook and beyond have been rushing to tout it. When put to unbiased scrutiny, every one of these allegedly scientific studies has been discredited and I expect this one will eventually meet the same fate. But that won't stop liberals from buying into the myth of their own moral and intellectual superiority, nor in equating conservatism with prejudice when in fact it's the opposite (a belief in color-blindness, non-victimization, empowerment, and true equality). Indeed, one might wonder why no studies have been conducted on liberals' desperate and elitist need to keep claiming that they're smarter than everyone else.

Having been on both sides of the political fence, I can state unequivocally that my former liberal beliefs were based on ignorance, prejudice (bigotry towards conservatives is a staple of liberalism), and groupthink. Once I started questioning my own belief system and engaging in years of investigation and research--a process that continues to this day--I found that many conservative philosophies and policies made sense to me and in fact had already manifested themselves throughout my life.

This doesn't mean that I have to take the attitude that liberals do towards conservatives and condemn all liberals as evil and stupid--and certainly I consider myself a classical liberal and on some issues, a mixed bag--but I firmly believe that political prejudice, from whatever quarter, is based in ignorance. Instead of discounting one's political opponents offhand, Americans would be better served to learn a thing or two about their politics. If nothing else, know thy enemy.

Occupy Wall Street and the Jews

There's a long, detailed, thoughtful piece at Commentary on anti-Semitism/anti-Israelism in the Occupy movement and how its Jewish members fit into the picture. And we learned recently that the trend seems to have continued in Oakland with an anti-Semitic "pledge of allegiance" accompanying a flag burning. Personally, I don't see this as a significant threat to the Jewish people and having done time in the trenches counter-protesting leftist rallies, it's certainly nothing new to me. But it would be nice if the lamestream media acknowledged some of OWS' misdeeds, unlike its obsession with nonexistent ills of the Tea Party. I won't hold my breath.