Tuesday, April 12, 2005
The report is deeply flawed. It considered only three incidents of professors� harassing students, yet we know of many, many more. It invokes a sort of �professors� omerta� to intimidate dissenting professors, upbraiding whistleblowers who helped students report abuse. The committee turns the tables on the complaining students, giving weight�without any proof�to claims by MEALAC professors that pro-Israel �outsiders� invade classrooms to hector them. Professor Joseph Massad�s colleagues judged him guilty of inappropriate conduct, but chide him so gently��his rhetorical response to her query exceeded commonly accepted bounds��that his wrist may not register the slap. At the same time, the committee carefully avoided mentioning the racist screed of Professor Hamid Dabashi, who writes in Al-Ahram that Israelis suffer from �a vulgarity of character that is bone-deep and structural to the skeletal vertebrae of its culture.�
Yes, the report admits the administration was insensitive, even antagonistic to students who complained that anti-Israel professors harassed them. And yes, it found that students have no effective way to register complaints. But the committee reduced what is a major academic scandal�the use of podium as pulpit for an exclusive viewpoint�to only these narrow bureaucratic foul-ups.
Meanwhile, PowerLine has another report which details the whitewashing of Massad by the New York Times. All the better to soothe his wrist, though it doesn't appear he needs it.