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Today's Stories

June 3, 2005

Gary Leupp
"Peddling Lies About How They Were Mistreated"

June 2, 2005

Paul Craig Roberts
The Slave Traders of the Gitmo Gulag

Forrest Hylton
Bolivia: the Agony of Stalemate

Mike Whitney
Post-Mortem on the 4th Amendment: Warrants without Judges

Brian Cloughley
Anarchy in Afghanistan; Ignorance in America

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A Two-State Solution is No Solution

Russell D. Hoffman
High Tension at San Onofre

Norman Madarasz
"Le Jolie Mois de Mai": the Meaning of the French "Non"

Norman Solomon
War Made Easy: from Vietnam to Iraq

David Price
The Shallowness of Deep Throat

Website of the Day
Fallujah on Film


June 1, 2005

James Petras
Beyond Hypocrisy: the Deeper Meaning of Posada

Justin Delacour
Framing Venezuela: US Media Bias Against Chavez

Edward Jay Epstein
Was "Deep Throat" a Fictoid?

Omar Barghouti / Lisa Taraki
The AUT Boycott: Freedom vs. "Academic" Freedom

Dave Lindorff
When War Goes Off the Script

Kevin Zeese
Reality Check: Who to Believe on Iraq War and Gitmo?

Jason Leopold
When Presidents Lie

William S. Lind
Wreck It and Run

May 31, 2005

Sen. Mike Gravel
Thank You, Mark Felt: We Need a New Deep Throat

David Krieger
US Nuclear Hypocrisy

Tad Daley
The Nuclear Me-Too Club

Joshua Frank
Pelosi at AIPAC: Israel Comes First

Richard Gott
Chavez Leads the Way

Norman Solomon
Time to Get Serious About Impeachment

Tom Segev
Our Man in the Territories

Walter Brasch
Killing Americans with Secrecy

Diana Johnstone
The French "Non"


May 28 / 30, 2005

Alexander Cockburn
There's Their Way or the Galloway

Richard Lichtman
We Wuz Framed! the Consolations of George Lakoff

Sharon Smith
The Road to Abu Ghraib

Paul Craig Roberts
Bush Opts for Civil War in Iraq

Dave Lindorff
Whigged Out: the Dems Have Become Merely a Vestigial Opposition Party

Ramzy Baroud
Muslims Were Desecrated, Not Just Their Holy Book

Brian Cloughley
Why Are Nukes OK for You, But Not for Us?

Fred Gardner
Advice from a Lawyer About Medical Pot

Lee Sustar
Chavez Gets Proactive

Joshua Frank
Isikoff Comes Clean: "Nobody in the US Said a Word, Until the Riots"

Justin E.H. Smith
What About the People? a Report from Romania

Jackie Corr
A Montana History Lesson on Assfulness

Michael Kimaid
Bush as Ahab

Toufic Haddad
Lessons from the Reversal of the AUC Boycott

Justin Taylor
The Fear of Paul Virilio

Amir Butler
Searching for a Saladin

Ben Tripp
Insomnia and Sarcasm

Poets' Basement
Albert, Engel, Davies and Louise

May 27, 2005

Gary Leupp
It Really is a Crusade!

Daniel Estulin
Infiltrating Bilderberg 2005

Kevin Zeese
Iraq Withdrawal Vote: If Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones Can See the Light, Why Can't Nancy Pelosi?

Robert Fisk
Mubarak's Goon Squads

Dave Zirin
Why Pat Tillman's Parents Are No Longer Silent

Website of the Day


May 26, 2005

Yuki Tanaka
Firebombing and Atom Bombing

Ray McGovern
Bolton, the Monomaniac Who Would Be Ambassador

Arthur Mitzman
Agenda for a Sustainable Europe

Jack Random
Afghanistan: the Forgotten Occupation

Britt Bailey and Brian Tokar
Big Food Strikes Back

Rebecca Rush
The New Banana Wars: Chiquita's Threat to the Caribbean Islands

Jorge Mariscal
Santiago v. Rumsfeld

Paul Craig Roberts
Uncovering a DOJ Cover-up: The Murder of Kenneth Trentadue

Website of the Day
The F Word



May 25, 2005

Camilo Mejia
Prisoners of Conscience

Dave Lindorff
Brain Dead Democrats

William S. Lind
Of Cabbages, Cessnas and Kings

Chris Floyd
Tattoo Nation: Abu Ghraib as Normalcy

Brian Cloughley
The Stench of "Progress": the Torture and the Lies Continue

Lenni Brenner
The Plot to Stigmatize My Book on Nazi-Zionist Collaboration

Sean Cain
A Review of Naomi Klein's "The Take"

Karl Shepard
Extinction, Kansas and "Intelligent Design"

John Ross
Sweet Revenge at Terminal Island

Website of the Day
SWARM the Minutemen



May 24, 2005

Dave Zirin
Palestine's Big Visitor: Not Laura, but Ronaldo

Michele Bollinger
Criminalizing Abortion in S. Carolina: Why Did Gabriela Flores Go to Jail?

Winslow Wheeler
The Pork War

Uri Avnery
Wagner at the Holocaust Memorial

Michael Donnelly
Behind the Green(back) Curtain

Joshua Frank
Chavez's Economy: Is It Sustainable?

Stephen Dunifer
The Folly of Media Reform

Paul Craig Roberts
Is Bush a Sith Lord?



May 23, 2005

Esther Sassaman / Thomas Nagy
An Exclusive Interview with George Galloway

Mike Whitney
Free Jose Padilla: Three Years in Prison, Not a Shred of Evidence

Ramzy Baroud
Fallout from a Forged War: Battling Windmills While Iraq Burns

Michael Dickinson
Pictures at an Exhibition: Censoring the "Carnival of Chaos"

Walter Brasch
In Praise of Bob Barr

Dick J. Reavis
The Newsweek Scandal: an Unmentioned Detail

Maria Tomchick
Galloway and the US Press

Norman Solomon
Let's Play "Media Jeopardy"

Kevin Zeese
Inventing a Pretext for War: an Inte4rview with James Bamford

Website of the Day
Drawings of Darfur: Genocide Through Children's Eyes



May 21 / 22, 2005

David H. Price
CIA Skullduggery in Academia

Gabriel García Márquez
My Visit to the Clinton White House, Bearing a Message from Fidel on Terrorism

Oren Ben-Dor
To Create Academic Freedom in Israel, a Boycott is Needed

Gary Leupp
Nights in White House Satin with Jeff Gannon

Laith al-Saud
An Anatomy of the Iraqi Resistance

Elaine Cassel
Bush and the Angry God: Twilight of Secular Democracy in America?

Greg Moses
The Saints of Mischief and Halliburton

Fred Gardner
Martyring Dr. Carol Wolman

Dave Lindorff
The GOP's Police State

Alan Maass
Uzbekistan's Karimov: Bush's Favorite Terrorist?

William Blum
The American Myth Industry

Tom Crumpacker
Send Posada Carriles to Venezuela

Niranjan Ramakrishnan
Newsweek: a Contest of Hypocrisies

Doug Giebel
The Grand Illusion

Evelyn J. Pringle
No Child Left Unmedicated: TeenScreen, State-drugging and Suicide

Carolyn Baker
Spiritual Abuse by the Religious Right

Chris Floyd
Justice in JebWorld

Frederick B. Hudson
Black and Gay?: a Review of "Brother to Brother"

Ben Tripp
Him Talk Plenty Long Time: Busting the Filibuster

Poets' Basement
Davies, Engel and Louise



May 20, 2005

Dave Lindorff
Newsweek and White House Hypocrisy

Kevin Zeese
As Insurgency Increases, New US Military Recruits Fall

Paul de Rooij
"Private": a Film in Search of a Cliché

Christopher Brauchli
How Insurance Companies Exploited 9/11

Mark Engler
Triumph Over Debt?

Joshua Frank
Bush to Dine with Porn Star

Robert Jensen
TV Talk, No Evidence Required

Jeffery R. Webber
Bolivia Erupts



May 19, 2005

Bill Forman
An Interview with Alexander Cockburn

Stan Goff
Hey, Democrats, Listen to Galloway and Learn Something

Neve Gordon
From Ghettos to Frontiers: What Will Happen After Israel Withdraws from Gaza

Michael Dickinson
The Trouble with Menwith: Tagging British Peace Activists

Karyn Strickler
The Texas Nexus: How Racial and Political Gerrymandering United

Andrew Freedman
Nazi Science at NIH

Paul Craig Roberts
The Politics and Economics of Outsourcing



May 18, 2005

Jean Bricmont
Vive La France?

Laura Carlsen
Bush's Posada Carriles Quandry: an Anti-Cuba Terrorist is Still a Terrorist

Mike Whitney
The Secret Raids of Alberto Gonzales: 10,000 Swept Up

Joshua Frank
Flushing the Koran: Why Newsweek Got It Right

George Galloway
Thusly, I Humiliated Norm Coleman (and Christopher Hitchens)

Manuel Garcia, Jr.
Writing Tickets for American War Crimes

Dwight D. Eisenhower
How the GOP will Destroy Itself

Dave Lindorff
The Plot to Make the PATRIOT Act Even Worse

May 17, 2005

Mickey Z.
GIs Behaving Badly

Petuuche Gilbert
The People of Acoma Still Fight to be Free

Paul Craig Roberts
Lies That Kill: Why Isn't Bush in the Dock?

Ramzy Baroud
The New Palestinian Uprising

Robert Jensen / Pat Youngblood
Pinning the Blame on Newsweek

Stan Cox
Poisoning Patancheru: the Severe Side Effects of India's Drug Industry

Dave Zirin
American Anthem: Ozzie Guillen and Fining for Freedom

Diana Barahona
Reporters Without Borders Unmasked

Website of the Day
Revolutionary Flower Pot Society

May 16, 2005

Michael Gillespie
The Family Released a Statement: Death Notices for the Warrior Theocracy

Jason Leopold
BP Stains the Arctic

Jesse Muldoon
How Many Schools Left Behind?

Norman Solomon
Media and the War: "The Bombs in Iraq Explode at Home"

Robert Cray

Patrick Cockburn
Iraq is a Bloody No Man's Land

Website of the Day
Bolton's Divorce Papers: She Took It All Away, Including Most of the Furniture


May 14 / 15, 2005

Alexander Cockburn
Join the 14 Per Cent Club!

Saul Landau
Lessons from Vietnam: Wars Kill Empires as Well as People

Gary Leupp
Whither Yale? Towards the Imperial University

JoAnn Wypijewski
The Glory that is Lockhart, Texas

Ben Tripp
The Wayward Airplane: a Cautionary Tale

Brian J. Foley
Was Jesus Gay?

Tom Barry
Bolton the Eavesdropper

Mitchell Verter
Barbarous Oaxaca: Indigenous Rights Groups Meet the "Law of the Club"

Mike Ferner
War on COs: Army Files Additional Charges Against Kevin Benderman

Dan Smith
Perceiving Darfur

Mark Scaramella
Death with Pitfalls

Don Fitz
Mommy, Is This a Finger in My Rice Puffs?: Splicing Human DNA into the Food Chain

Diane Farsetta
PR Industry Imitates Big Tobacco: the Senate's "Fake News" Hearings

Michael Dickinson
Soldier Crawling: Military Conscription in Turkey

Ron Jacobs
The Jackson State Murders

Fred Gardner
"Hydroponics? Ridiculous!": A Real Farmer Looks at Medical Marijuana

Farrah Hassen
Far From Heaven: a Review of Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven"

Douglas Valentine
50 Cent's Plea

Poets' Basement
Louise, Ford, Engel, & Albert

Website of the Weekend
Military Base Closings and the South

May 13, 2005

Tom Stephens
A Chronology of US War Crimes and Torture, 1975-2005

Patrick Cockburn
"They Destroyed Everything"

Mike Whitney
Tom Friedman, Imperial Chronicler

Chris Floyd
Miami Vice: the Sleazy World of Jeb Bush

Jenna Orkin
Ground Zero's Toxic Dust

Dave Lindorff
Googling for Fun

Joshua Frank
Yale Fires an Acclaimed Anarchist Scholar: an Interview with David Graeber

Website of the Day
Botero: Pinta El Horror de Abu Ghraib


May 12, 2005

Paul Craig Roberts
America is Losing: More Phony Jobs Hype

Uri Avnery
Death of a Myth

Greg Moses
Neo-Con Logic at the Border

Carolyn Baker
The Politics of Dominionism: the New Religious Right in America

Pat Williams
Amateurish High Jinks on Roadless Areas

William S. Lind
Reality Gap: the Myth of US Invincibilty

Jack Random
The Dubious Wisdom of George W. Bush

Gary Leupp
Douglas Feith Bares His Soul to Jeffrey Goldberg



May 11, 2005

Patrick Cockburn
The Rise, Fall and Rise of Ahmed Chalabi: King of Jordan to Pardon His $300 Million Bank Swindle

Kevin Zeese
The Occupation Gets More Saddam-like Every Day

Christopher Brauchli
Coffee, Tea or Torture?: A One Way Ticket to Uzbekistan

Zalman Amit
The Collapse of Academic Freedom in Israel: Tantura, Teddy Katz and Haifa University

Robert Shull
Carte Blanche for the Terror Cops: Senate Gives DHS Power to Waive All Laws

Mike Whitney
God, Gays, and George Bernard Shaw

Dr. Teresa Whitehurst
Anti-Arabic Week at a Southern High School

Norman Solomon
Political Bluster and the Filibuster


May 10, 2005

Richard Drayton
The Imperial Mythology of WW II: an Ethical Blank Check

Dave Zirin
Steve Nash's Brilliant Year: Anti-War Hoopster Wins NBA's MVP

Jackie Corr
The Medicare Catch: Mrs. O'Hara's Windfall

Dave Lindorff
Silence of the Scams: Economists on China

Michael Donnelly
From Roadless to Clueless: the Great Stillborn Eco Victory

Reza Fiyouzat
Nomadic Abstracts

Scott Parkin
Taking Direct Action Against Halliburton

Stephen Babcock
The Burden of Knowing Better

Alan Farago
Florida, Water and Lobbyists

Michael Neumann
Naomi's Courage

Website of the Day
One Nation Under Plagiarism


May 9, 2005

Louis Proyect
Shilling for Chevron: Jared Diamond, Greenwasher

Robert Fisk
"Mission Accomplished": the Occupation, Year Two

Kevin Zeese
Concientious Objection on Trial: the Court Martial of Keith Benderman

Joshua Frank
Kerry Bashes Gay Marriage

Sasha Kramer
A Mother's Day Call for Justice in Haiti's Prisons

Andrew Wimmer
Create and Resist

Jeffrey Webber
Back to the Streets in Bolivia?

Jeffrey St. Clair
Straight to Bechtel


May 7 / 8, 2005

Alexander Cockburn
Who Beat Hitler?

Gary Leupp
Biblical Prophecy and Christian Zionism

Saul Landau
Pope Torquemada: Purges, Pedophiles and Cover-Ups

Joe DeRaymond
Autumn of the Revolutionary: Another Look at Daniel Ortega

Daniela Ponce
Seeing Chile in Nepal

Heather Williams
Hollywood Does Enron

Gregory Elich
Zimbabwe's Fight for Justice

Anis Memon
To Cuba and Back

John Chuckman
The Peculiar State: "Criticism of Israel is a Form of Anti-Semitism"

Mike Whitney
Hard Right Rage Against the Truth

Ron Jacobs
Re-Reading "Born on the Fourth of July" as the Iraq War Grinds On

Colin Kalmbacher
Whither Disorder? Ann Coulter and the Texas Police State, Cont.

Lance Selfa
Uprising in Mexico City

Fred Gardner
"Getting High is a Little Like Cuba"

Ben Tripp
Letters on Wittgenstein

Mickey Z.
The Mother of All Days

Richard Joseph
Those Patriotic Magnets

Dr. Susan Block
Come As You Are: Masturbation 101

Poets' Basement
Smith-Ferri, Louise, Nettnin, Engel and Albert



May 6, 2005

Patrick Cockburn
Baghdad Diary: a Week of Bombs and Blood

Erin Yoshioka
Another "3 Strikes" Travesty: Why is Santo Reyes Facing Life in Prison?

Sam Husseini
Talking with Syrians

Dave Lindorff
Ernie Pyle Where Are You? When Reporters were Reporters

Kevin Zeese
Circus Trials of Abu Ghraib: When Even the Fall Girl Can't Plead Guilty

Joshua Frank
An Overextended US Military? It Won't Stop Another War

Dan Bacher
Tribes and Salmon Win One: Bush Backs Off Trinity River Water Raid

P. Sainath
India's Bloody Water Wars



May 5, 2005

Carles Mutaner
Is Chavez's Venezuela "Socialist" or "Populist?"

Carl G. Estabrook
Is There Any Hope for the Pope?

Farrah Hassen
The US's Syrian Obsession

Kevin Zeese
"Sent Into Combat Unequipped and Unprepared": an Interview with Patrick Resta

Michael Leonardi
May Day with an American Soldier in Rome

Bennett Ramberg
The Future of Nuclear Terror: Coming to a Reactor Near You

Ray McGovern
The Smoking Gun on White House Deceit

Norman Solomon
Nuclear Fundamentalism, the New York Times and Iran

Nicole Colson
The Back Alley Attack on Abortion Rights

Brian Concannon, Jr.
Clearing the Fences in Haiti



May 4, 2005

Colin Kalmbacher
Ann Coulter and the Police State: Heckle a Racist, Get Arrested

John Walsh
Al Franken is a Big Fat Phony: Lying on Air America to Support the War

Greg Moses
Vigilante Wedge: Schwarzenegger Reprises "Birth of a Nation"

Ali Khan
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Poised to Fall Apart

Chris Floyd
Ring Them Bells

Linda S. Heard
D-Day for Tony Blair: Bogeymen and Scare Tactics

Dave Zirin
The NFL, Congress and the Male Cheerleader Principle

William S. Lind
Fool's Paradise

Gary Leupp
Bolton's Proudest Moment: Breaking the UN's Anti-Zionist Resolution

Website of the Day
Kent State, May 4, 1970


May 3, 2005

Dave Lindorff
Bush has Grasped the Third Rail, Now Turn on the Juice

Brian Cloughley
Halliburton's War Loot

Ira Kurzban
Death Squad Diplomacy: How Bolton Armed Haiti's Thugs and Killers

Seth Sandronsky
Towards Debtors' Prisons?

Gilad Atzmon
The Labour Party Isn't an Option Any More

Michael Donnelly
Branding Eco Collapse

Alex Sanchez
Chile's Man at the OAS: a Blow to Bush?

Peter Linebaugh
Magna Carta and May Day


May 2, 2005

Ron Jacobs
Toward an Anti-Imperialist Movement

Stan Goff
The Case of Hasan Akbar

Karyn Strickler
Achieving Gender Balance in US Politics

Joshua Frank
Leaked UK Memo Indict's Blair's Iraq Folly

Kevin Zeese
Getting Out of Iraq will Prove Tougher Than Getting Out of Vietnam

Vicente Navarro
Pope Benedict: a Rightwing Politician




April 30 / May 1, 2005

Alexander Cockburn
Marla Ruzicka, Rachel Corrie and "Credibility"

Gabriel Kolko
Lessons from a Total Defeat: the End of the Vietnam War, 30 Years Later

Jennifer Loewenstein
The Disengaged: Gaza and the Fragmentation of Palestinian Nationhood

Lee Sustar
City for Sale: Richard Daley's Chicago

Saul Landau
The Bush-DeLay Axis of Naked Power

T.W. Croft
The Undiscovered Country: the High Tide of the Neo-Con Confederacy

Nikolas Kozloff
Fox News v. Hugo Chavez

William Blum
Never-Ending Double Standards

Dave Lindorff
Judicial Jury Tampering in Philly

Joshua Frank
The Bi-Partisan Assault on Teenage Girls

Doug Giebel
Saving Jane Fonda

Steven Erlanger
A Response to Kathy Christison, from the NYT Jerusalem Bureau Chief

Fred Gardner
Washington State Doctor Harassed

Mike Whitney
Another Mad Bush Press Conference

Kurt Nimmo
Putin Pussyfoots in Palestine

Joe DeRaymond
A Short History of the 15th Congressional District of Pennsylvania

Michael Dickinson

Mickey Z.
May Day at Yankee Stadium

Justin Taylor
The Crawling Chaos: HP Lovecraft's Polymorphous Legacy

Poets Basement
Krieger, Engel, Albert, St. Clair

Website of the Weekend
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June 3, 2005

Witch Hunt at Columbia

Targeting the University


Targeting the university is the latest mission of right-wing forces who have hijacked not only political power and political discourse in the United States but also the very vocabulary that can be used against them. The campaign of the last three years or so to attack US universities as the last bastion where a measure of freedom of thought is still protected is engineered to cancel out such freedom and ensure that scholars will not subvert the received political wisdom of the day.

Some of the major tactics in this campaign have been the launching of witch hunts against specific professors, calling for their dismissal from their jobs, and, failing that, smear their reputation; target Middle East Studies as a scholarly field more generally and cut federal funding to it and place it under governmental supervision, and promote apologists for Israel in the guise of scholars as the only adequate scholarly alternative. While shutting down the educational process in favour of religious theories of creationism and the like has been around for a while, the recent attack on scholars who disagree with US foreign policy and the policies of the state of Israel are the main mobilisational issues of the current campaign.

What is at stake in this assault is not only academic freedom, but scholarship per se, and specifically scholarship on Palestine and Israel, which is the primary target of the witch-hunters.

What makes these anti-scholarship attacks possible and popular is the existence of a major discrepancy, even a radical disconnect, between popular knowledge and media coverage about the Palestine/Israel conundrum and established scholarly knowledge about the topic. It is this disconnect that the witch hunters mobilise against scholarship as proof that it is not media and popular knowledge, which defends Israeli policy and Zionism's axioms, that is ideological, but rather academic scholarship which has largely uncovered unsavory facts about both. Thus when young American students who come from ideologically charged homes, schools, and environments, attend university classes about the subject, they mistake established scholarship as pro- Palestinian propaganda, a conclusion that is propped up by the likes of Campus Watch, the David Project, and the Anti- Defamation League, all three organisations who make it part or all their business to attack scholarly criticisms of Israeli policy.

Let me provide a few examples of what I mean. All respected scholars in the field agree that most or all Palestinians who became refugees in 1948 were expelled directly or indirectly by Israel. The debate that exists is about whether all Palestinian refugees were physically expelled by the Israeli army or that the Israeli army expelled the majority while a minority of refugees fled, not as a direct result of physical force but as an indirect consequence of actions taken by the Israeli army and government which might, or might not, have been deliberately intended to expel them. In contrast, media and popular ideological knowledge in the US still insists that the Palestinians fled on their own, or worse, were called upon to do so by Arab leaders (despite Israeli false claims that Arab leaders called on Palestinians to flee, research has shown that they called upon them to remain steadfast in their homeland) while the Zionists begged them to stay!

Established scholarship enumerates all the racist laws and institutional racist practices in operation in Israel which discriminate between Jews and non-Jews, granting Jews differential rights and privileges over non-Jews, and rendering Israel a racist state by law. Popular and media knowledge, in contrast, depict Israel as a democratic liberal state that treats all its citizens equally. It is also established in scholarship that Israel discriminates against non-European Jews (the majority of the country's Jewish population) and also against recent Russian Jewish immigrants, and has engaged and continues to engage in a racist discourse about them and in unofficial institutional discrimination against them (witness the most recent case of discrimination against Ethiopian Jews in admissions to Israeli universities). In contrast, popular and media knowledge depicts Israel as a place where all Jews are equal. Scholarly knowledge addresses the question of Israel as a quasi-theological state, where religious law governs major aspects of Jewish life and that only Orthodox Judaism is allowed to have religious authority over Jewish citizens to the exclusion of Reform and Conservative Judaism, let alone other Jewish denominations. In contrast, media and popular knowledge depict Israel as a secular state. These are only a few examples of how scholarly knowledge is drastically different from and contradicts media and popular knowledge about key issues regarding Israeli society and history.

Israel's apologists and right-wing witch- hunters aim to establish this popular and media "knowledge", which echo the official positions of the State of Israel and its US lobby, as "scholarly" and dismiss academic scholarship as ideology. It is in this context that many of the organisations and individuals attacking me are under the false impression that what I teach in my classes is a "Palestinian" perspective or narrative. In fact, at the risk of engaging my fanatical critics, whose outrageous claims and inventions should not be given any legitimacy, I do no such thing. In my class on the topic, I teach academic scholarship on Palestine and Israel, which is precisely why the witch- hunters want Columbia to fire me.

As academic knowledge is of no interest to these ideologues, they have marshalled all their resources to transform the university into a mouthpiece for Israeli propaganda. They have recently been joined by The New York Times who, in an editorial on 7 April, called on Columbia University to monitor the classroom for "pro-Palestinian" bias. The Times ' editors asserted that the (illegitimate) investigative panel that Columbia University convened as part of its own intimidation of its own professors failed to examine the real allegations of pro-Israel students who are allied with pro-Israeli lobbying groups outside the university. These allegations speak of stridently pro- Palestinian, anti-Israeli bias on the part of several professors. The panel had no mandate to examine the quality and fairness of teaching. That leaves the university to follow up on complaints about politicised courses and a lack of scholarly rigour as part of its effort to upgrade the department. One can only hope that Columbia will proceed with more determination and care than it has heretofore.

What the Times ' editors mean is that it is incumbent upon Columbia University to bring scholarly knowledge transmitted in its classrooms in line with Israeli propaganda, which the New York Times itself has never found too difficult to disseminate as objective truth anyway. Indeed, Ethan Bronner, the Times' deputy foreign editor, was quoted in an article on 24 April asserting that as far as United Nations Security Council resolutions on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict are concerned, the newspaper editors "view ourselves as neutral and unbound by such judgements. We cite them, but we do not live by them." If the Times can ignore so casually UN decisions as unbinding, why shouldn't scholars do the same? Indeed why shouldn't Columbia University do the same? The fact that for now at least, Columbia's administration has not taken steps to monitor the politics of scholarship should not reassure us. Aside from his commitment to the pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian line espoused by the New York Times and manifest in many of his own public statements, Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, has spoken about his concern of a lack of "balance" and the presence of "bias" in some classes on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict taught at Columbia, which he intends to rectify. He even expressed concern that Columbia scholars of the Middle East do not seem to explain "the relationship... between the environmental facts of life in the Middle East and Asia, or its diseases, and the culture there?" Columbia may soon hire Middle East scholars who will attempt to answer this important question!

The production of academic knowledge in American universities was never separable from the overall social, political, and economic requirements of the American state. Links between the university and state policy and the interests of the private sector have a long history and are structurally built into the research agenda of universities, most importantly through the mechanism of funding. I still remember how as an undergraduate in the US, I was always baffled by political scientists who would ridicule Soviet academic scholarship as lacking "independence" due to its being beholden to an agenda set and funded by the Soviet state, while being proud of their own scholarship and discipline, which was hardly "independent" of US government funding as well as funding from the private sector which most often drove US state interests. Despite these structural limitations, however, there remained an important and crucial space in the university where serious scholarship could be produced and which scholars have utilised to produce their work.

This is not to say that scholarship is unbiased. On the contrary, all respectable scholarship about Nazi Germany and the holocaust, to take an important example, is indeed biased against the Nazis, but no one except anti-Semites would dare equate scholarly judgment of Nazi Germany and the holocaust as the "Jewish" perspective or narrative. The same applies to scholarship about South Africa under Apartheid, which is never described as the "Black" perspective or narrative. Feminist scholarship is equally biased against sexism, but is not labelled as "women's" narrative or perspective. Scholarship on Stalin, on US slavery, on British colonialism, on American racism, on institutionalised sexism and discrimination against women, etc, is always biased, and no amount of lobbying from right-wing groups will force academics to teach the Nazi or slavery perspectives in the interest of "balance." It is this scholarly space that the university enshrines which the neo- conservative culture commissars want to close off. To do so, what better place to create consensus than the Palestine/Israel conflict on which there is total US cultural agreement echoed by the mainstream and the right-wing and left-wing press. If Fox news and CNN and ABC news can agree on the "facts" surrounding Israel and its policies, as do the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Daily News, and the New York Sun, then surely critical scholarship on this question will find little popular support. In this regard you can have a civil libertarian Zionist like the Village Voice 's Nat Hentoff, liberal Zionist apologists like the Nation magazine, and the New York Sun and the New York Post, join hands to discredit scholars on Palestine and Israel as "dogmatic", "uncompromising," "strident" and the like. Ostensible civil libertarian and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz has not only joined the campaign in writing for the press, but also by lecturing at Columbia University against "pro- Palestinian" professors whom he accused of supporting terrorism. Luckily, Dershowitz did not advise Columbia on the types of legal torture that it could mete out to "guilty" professors.

This is not to say that there is no disagreement among the members of this unholy alliance. There is. Such disagreement revolves on the division between "good" Arabs and "bad" Arabs. This is not new but harks back to the emergence of Egyptian president Anwar El-Sadat as the first "good" Arab to be rescued from the lot in the American media. Since then, while the right-wing has had no truck with these divisions, as all Arabs are "bad," as far as it is concerned, the mainstream and the "left" very much dabble in this division. Thus, Arabs who are seen as "moderate" and who are seen as speaking a language that does not challenge all the received wisdom on Israel are considered "good," while those who are seen as exposing the hypocrisy of liberal apologists for Israel are "bad" and are described as "extremists." This is an important strategy for liberal Zionists, as it achieves two important goals: it avoids and pre-empts the accusation of anti-Arab racism while encouraging "moderation" among Arab scholars by offering them much needed public and media praise. Thus, I was recently faulted by the reporter of the left- liberal Nation magazine for daring to call Israel a racist state, even though I base my accurate description of the country on its myriad racist laws that discriminate between Jews and non-Jews, and that grant Jews rights and privileges that are denied to non-Jews. Such laws include the law of return (1950), the law of absentee property (1950), the law of the state's property (1951), the law of citizenship (1952), the status law (1952), the Israel lands administration law (1960), the construction and building law (1965), among others. What the Nation and Nat Hentoff find objectionable in my characterisation of Israel as racist is that it contradicts media and popular knowledge about Israel, which is the only acceptable measure of knowledge of the country in the US media. Herein lies their complicity with the rightwing on rejecting academic scholarship on Israel. The Nation and Hentoff, among others, made sure to contrast me with other "moderate" Arab scholars whom they praise and do not dismiss.

By using the popular and media consensus on Palestine/Israel as its entry point for the dismantling of the university and its cardinal principle of academic freedom, the pro-Israel lobbyists were able to find allies in the university administration, among the faculty, and certainly among students. Even though the main target of the witch-hunters is academic scholarship on Palestine and Israel, which they want to delegitimise fully as a scholarly endeavour, in favour of accepting the official Israeli government's representation of itself as academic truth, their efforts have mushroomed into an all out attack on the concept of academic freedom, and the very institution of the University. Their strategy, however, has backfired, as faculty quickly realised that the attack would indeed touch on the very nature of university pedagogy and the production of scholarly knowledge. In this regard, Columbia's faculty and other faculties around the country have begun to mobilise against these enemies of academic freedom. These enemies of academic freedom do not only threaten junior faculty but all classroom settings and all scholarship.

In light of the organised power and influence of the witch-hunters, the task before academics is not only to continue to insist on writing and producing scholarship about Palestine and Israel, which will continue to expose the true nature of the Israeli state and its oppressive policies, but to defend the scholarly endeavour itself, which can only be ensured if the institution of the university is maintained as a space where academic freedom is upheld. The university, with all its limitations, is one of the few remaining spaces, if not the only remaining one, where critical intellectuals can still live the life of the mind. What the witch- hunters want us to do is to live the life of servitude to state power, as technocrats and as ideologues. This we refuse to do.

Joseph Massad is assistant professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University.

This article originally appeared in Al-Ahram.