The relentless campaign to deny Arabs their right to political freedom in Palestine has now extended to denying them their right to academic freedom in the US.

The plan here, pursued by pressure groups headed by hard-right, Israel-can’t-do-wrong nationalists like Daniel Pipes, Allan Dershowitz and David Horowitz, among others, is to go after their victims wherever they may be found in the world of academe, and turn their lives and careers into living hell. Pipes, for example, himself a former academic, runs an outfit called Campus Watch whose job it is to make sure that no professor shall utter an unkind word about Israel in a lecture hall. They gave hell to Walid Khalidi when Princeton offered him an endowed chair and equal hell to Khalil Shikaki before his appointment at Brandeis.

In short, when educators who question the unconventional wisdom attempt to communicate ideas, in this case about Israel, that are inconvenient, they find themselves targeted for public vilification and job loss. This is not just reprehensible because in this case you are saying that scholars should come under special scrutiny because of their ethnic backgrounds, but reprehensible also because here you are going against the grain of what intellectual life – the free flow of knowledge and ideas – is all about.

Continued . . .