www ISR
For ISR updates, send us your Email Address

Back to home page

International Socialist Review Issue 41, May–June 2005

The New McCarthyism: The assault on civil liberties and academic freedom

By Elizabeth Terzakis

Elizabeth Terzakis, a member of the International Socialist Organization in the Bay Area, is an instructor at Cañada College in Redwood City, California.

BOLSTERED BY the reelection of George W. Bush, right-wing pundits have joined forces with the mainstream media and politicians from “both sides of the aisle” to launch a series of attacks on academics across the United States—from the professors of Columbia University’s Middle Eastern and Asian Language and Cultures (MEALAC) department to Ethnic Studies professor Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The offensive against prominent scholars has been accompanied by a rise in right-wing student groups complaining that their views are being “suppressed” by “left-wing domination” of the nation’s colleges and universities.

The attackers are led by a who’s who list of experts in distortion and demagoguery—FOX “News” mouthpiece Bill O’Reilly, historical contortionist Daniel Pipes and his Campus Watch Web site, David Horowitz and his misnamed Students for Academic Freedom, and the pro-Israel David Project. Following close behind are a number of elected officials and government bodies—including members of the New York City Council and Department of Education, congressman and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn and Queens), Colorado governor Bill Owens and the Colorado state legislature—and representatives of the mainstream press from the New York Daily News to the Village Voice to, most recently, the New York Times. Aiding and abetting the advance by not only failing to come to the defense of, but actively prosecuting targeted faculty, are Columbia president Lee Bollinger and his administration and the University of Colorado Board of Regents.

Despite being broadly orchestrated, the attacks have a narrow focus—academics critical of U.S. foreign policy and/or Washington’s key Middle East ally, Israel—and are developing against a background of attacks on Muslim, Arab, and Middle Eastern immigrants that began immediately after September 11 as part of the ideological justification for the “war on terror.” The scapegoating and demonizing of Arabs and Muslims, including both official harassment and street-level assaults, were logical outcomes of the claim, made by the Bush administration and virtually unopposed by the Democrats, that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were precipitated by a “fanatical hatred of American freedoms” on the part of “at least some” Muslims. Thousands of Middle Eastern immigrants were rounded up for “interviews,” and hundreds were held for interrogation for months and even years, all under the threat of immediate deportation.1

But whereas the agents of the earlier roundup were specifically concerned with escaping public notice,2 the current attackers’ intended goal is to generate a very public “scandal.” Also, rather than targeting Middle Eastern immigrants as Arabs and Muslims, the current strikes—not coincidentally still being waged primarily against Arabs and Muslims—target individuals who oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestine or offer an explanation for 9/11 different from that proffered by the Bush administration and its supporters in the Democratic Party.3

Skewered by the media for criticizing Israel

An Ivy League university with a history of political activism, Columbia is home to MEALAC—the Middle Eastern and Asian Language and Cultures department—whose faculty includes a number of openly pro-Palestinian and actively political professors. In 2002, over a hundred Columbia and Barnard professors joined with students in calling for the university to divest from companies that sell arms to Israel.4 Also in 2002, professors from MEALAC cancelled classes to speak at a protest against the Israeli Defense Forces’ demolition of the Jenin refugee camp.5

Partly in response to these actions, a group of pro-Israel students—including a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces—enlisted the help of the David Project, a Boston-based Zionist organization with ties to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to produce Columbia Unbecoming, an eleven-minute video that supposedly documents the marginalization and intimidation of pro-Israel students at Columbia.6

The screening of this “underground film” for select audiences—including Columbia provost Alan Brinkley and members of the conservative and pro-Israel press—precipitated a media frenzy. The New York Sun ran a series under the headline “Crisis at Columbia” that disparaged the professors in the “notorious” MEALAC department and supported a demand by Representative Anthony Weiner that the university fire Professor Joseph Massad, who is singled out for abuse in the film—perhaps because he has not yet come up for tenure, making him one of the more vulnerable of the MEALAC faculty.7 The New York Daily News ran a front-page feature entitled “Hate 101” that called Columbia “poison Ivy” and provided a list of professors critical of Israel. Both papers equated criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and treated the unsupported allegations in the film as fact.8

At first, Columbia president Lee Bollinger and his staff responded by doing nothing whatsoever to defend the MEALAC professors. When Professor of Medicine Moshe Rubin sent Massad an e-mail saying, “Go back to Arab land where Jew hating is condoned. Get the hell out of America. You are a disgrace and a pathetic typical Arab liar,” Provost Brinkley deplored Rubin’s racism but claimed that the university has no “jurisdiction” over “private correspondence.”9 Later, after the New York City Council threatened to launch an investigation into the charges made in Columbia Unbecoming, President Bollinger moved from passively allowing the attacks on his faculty to actively promoting them by setting up an ad hoc investigative committee. This was done, according to Bollinger, with an eye towards revising and strengthening student grievance procedures—despite the fact that the students featured in the film ignored the existing grievance procedures and didn’t address their concerns to university deans, which would have required them to verify their accusations and give professors an opportunity to respond.10

Representing a new twist on the issue, the Village Voice’s Nat Hentoff claims to be speaking in the name of academic freedom when he chastises the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) for defending the MEALAC professors. According to Hentoff, a representative of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the NYCLU ignores “the range of intimidation” presented in Columbia Unbecoming by focusing on the rights of professors rather than those of students. “There is ample evidence,” opines Hentoff, “in and beyond the film, of certain MEALAC professors treating dissent from students with such confrontational hostility that a student would have to be courageous not to fall silent.” Unfortunately for his case, Hentoff does not provide any evidence “beyond the film.” He does provide two quotes that demonstrate MEALAC professors’ criticisms of Israel, indicating, perhaps unintentionally, that his problem is not with how the professors present their views but the fact that they have them at all.11

In reality, there is “ample evidence” that the incidents the film presents were fabricated (many of the complaints came from students who were not enrolled in MEALAC courses and all have been denied by professors) and that the David Project purposefully excluded students who spoke in support of the embattled professors. Eric Posner, an undergraduate who is also a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, told the Independent Press Agency that he wasn’t called back by Columbia Unbecoming filmmakers after he expressed his “profound appreciation for Massad’s critical approach.”12

The campaign waged by the makers of Columbia Unbecoming and their supporters in the press has had serious practical consequences. Since the beginning of the “crisis,” targeted professors Joseph Massad, Hamid Dabashi, and George Saliba have received hate mail and death threats, causing Massad to cancel his course on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Another MEALAC professor, Rashid Khalidi, who was not a focus of the film, was fired from a joint Columbia-New York City Department of Education program designed to inform public school teachers about the Middle East. Although President Bollinger condemned the firing, it is clear that his actions helped to precipitate it. By agreeing to formally investigate the charges put forward by the film, Bollinger gave legitimacy to a media circus based on unfounded claims and demonstrated that such tactics could impact university policy and procedures.

Worse yet, the committee’s report, issued in late March, continues the practice of scapegoating junior faculty member Joseph Massad. While it finds “no evidence of any statements made by the faculty that could reasonably be construed as anti-Semitic,” clears most of the professors of the charge of intimidation, and recognizes that the professors were subjected to a campaign of harassment by students and non-students alike, the report criticizes Massad for “‘exceed[ing] commonly accepted bounds’ of behavior” by purportedly raising his voice at a student. That student, one Deena Shanker, changed her account of the exchange with each telling and could provide only one “witness” to partially corroborate the “incident.” According to Massad and two graduate assistants, the incident never occurred.13 As Massad points out:

It would seem that based on this finding, anyone who was a student in any department at Columbia University in the last six years can come forward to this committee claiming an imaginary exchange with me at some event whose date, place, sponsor, and title need not be disclosed, and the committee will find their claim at least partly “credible.”14

Although he has also criticized Israel, Northeastern University economics professor M. Shahid Alam was drawn into the current firestorm because of a 2004 article about the September 11 attacks that made two points:

First,…the 9-11 attacks were an Islamist insurgency: the attackers believe that they are fighting—as the Americans did, in the 1770s—for their freedom and dignity against a foreign occupation/control of their lands. Secondly,… these attacks were the result of a massive political failure of Muslims to resist their tyrannies locally. It was a mistake to attack the U.S.15

Right-wing Web sites posted excerpts of the essay and forwarded the responses of their faithful readers—hate mail and death threats—to Professor Alam. Not content with this level of harassment, FOX News host Bill O’Reilly cooked up a series on “Un-American Professors” and invited Alam to participate. When Alam refused the invitation, knowing that he would simply be shouted down, O’Reilly brought right-wing historian Daniel Pipes on the show to defame Alam in absentia:
O’REILLY: He’s [Alam] been a bomb thrower, you know, for quite some time, has he not?

PIPES: Yes, he has been throwing bombs for quite some time.16
A day earlier, O’Reilly used his bully pulpit to accuse University of Colorado Ethnic Studies professor Ward Churchill of being a “traitor” based on a response to September 11 in which Churchill argued that violence is the inevitable result of the U.S. sending its army to occupy countries and murder civilians all over the world. This argument was undermined by a statement that was understood by many to suggest that the victims of the World Trade Center attacks—many of whom were working-class people of color—were complicit in U.S. war crimes and deserved what they got: “If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it.”17

In a later clarification, Churchill pointed out that it was the “technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire” that he had compared to Eichmann and not “those firefighters, those service workers, those children [who] would be referred to [by the U.S. government] as something called ‘collateral damage.’ Not even as human beings.”18 But since Bill O’Reilly never cared about office workers or firefighters in the first place—note his lack of response when Ann Coulter called for the bombing of the New York Times building19—this clarification meant nothing to him. He continued to stoke the flames under Churchill, pillorying the University of Colorado for hiring him and Hamilton College in upstate New York for inviting him to speak. Colorado governor Bill Owens and members of the Colorado State Senate also got into the act, calling for Churchill’s dismissal.

Fallout from the attack to date has been considerable. Churchill’s invitations to speak at Hamilton and other campuses have been cancelled, and he was forced to resign his post as chair of the Ethnic Studies department. Within days, the university had also informed Professor Adrienne Anderson—whose courses on the environment highlight issues like toxic dumping and environmental racism—that the Environmental Studies program would be “changing directions and that she would not be reappointed to her position.”20 University of Colorado president Elizabeth Hoffman—who initially expressed concerns that the attack on Churchill would “usher in a new era of constricted academic freedom”21—resigned her post, and Nancy Rabinowitz, the woman who invited Churchill to speak at Hamilton College, gave up her position as director of Hamilton’s Kirkland Project for the Study of Gender, Society and Culture “under duress.”22

Meanwhile, the University of Colorado Board of Regents—apparently frustrated with the restraints placed on it by the tenets of academic freedom—has begun an examination of all of Churchill’s writings and academic credentials in order, it seems, to find some other means of firing him. Even more chilling is the university’s “newly aggressive enforcement” of a 1921 law requiring all faculty to sign loyalty oaths. The university insisted that the February 25 deadline it set to have all professors locate the oaths they signed when hired or sign new oaths was “not politically motivated.”23

What’s it all for?

When seeking to explain the attacks, we should first emphasize that they are not a defensive response to “left-wing domination” of higher education: The claim that universities are citadels of radicalism is a full-fledged fantasy. As Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi points out, the right wing’s latest engagement in the war of ideas is being waged from a position of strength:
Now, what is the current environment in which the so-called crisis at Columbia has developed?…. [T]his is an utterly artificial crisis created from without the university for purposes that are, in fact, much larger than the university. The first element of this larger environment is a campaign that is nationwide in scope, against the autonomy of the universities in the broadest sense. It’s a campaign taking place in state legislatures. It’s a campaign taking place in the columns of newspapers. It’s a campaign which argues that there must be balance in universities. It’s a campaign that is based on an utterly spurious argument that the universities are strongholds of radical and liberal ideas. Would that they were strongholds of radical and liberal ideas. Would that the medical schools and the pharmaceutical schools were challenging the stranglehold of industrial medicine, of the industrial pharmaceutical industry. Would that agriculture schools…or business schools were challenging the reigning orthodoxies. Would that economics departments, would that engineering schools, would that schools of international affairs were vigorously challenging the reigning orthodoxies in their fields. Would—I could go on and on and on. We should challenge these ludicrous assertions, which are permeating not just the columns of the right wing press, but which we find before important state legislatures today.24
Because universities depend on funding from outside sources—as in corporations—an active commitment to academic freedom is the only thing standing between them and the kind of “objectivity” that characterizes the mainstream news and is epitomized by the advent of “embedded” reporting. Ludicrously, most of the groups and individuals involved in the assault on Left professors claim that their motives are apolitical; all they care about is protecting “victimized” students, promoting “real” academic freedom, and preserving the sanctity of unfettered debate in institutions of higher learning. When members of the College Republicans at Santa Rosa Community College in Northern California taped anonymous fliers—emblazoned with red stars and quoting a section of the California Education Code that prohibits the teaching of communism—to professors’ doors, they didn’t mean it as a threat, according to club president Molly McPherson: “‘[T]he goal was to promote a discussion. We weren’t trying to say they were communists. We were trying to get them to think about what this code says about’ the climate in their classrooms.”25

Not happy with the discussion precipitated by her efforts, which included charges of cowardice and neo-McCarthyism, McPherson plans to organize students around California Senate Bill No. 5, which is modeled on David Horowitz’s Student Bill of Rights and would require faculty members to present “all viewpoints” in their courses—that is, it would require them to be “fair and balanced,” just like FOX News. Since such an enterprise is fundamentally at odds with the purpose of higher education, one can assume that Horowitz designed the bill to provide more official and effective means of monitoring and harassing Left academics than are afforded to him and his followers by the Academic Freedom Abuse Center portion of his Web site, where “[v]irtually all ‘cases’…deal with leftist political comments or leftist assigned readings” or “concern professors’ comments that supposedly malign patriotic or family values.”26

The folks behind the attacks at Columbia and Northeastern are also affronted by any suggestion that their actions are guided by political motives.27 But the political agenda of Campus Watch—one of the groups responsible for making sure that hate mail reached professor Alam—lies just beneath the surface of its public presentation, with “just beneath the surface” meant to suggest a nanometer below a piece of plastic wrap. According to its mission statement, Campus Watch “reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America” and “mainly addresses five problems: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students.”

These problems occur, the statement continues, because: “Many U.S. scholars of the Middle East lack any appreciation of their country’s national interests and often use their positions of authority to disparage these interests.” (Isn’t the content of national interests a political determination?) As an example of such “extremism,” Campus Watch provides a statement from Hamid Dabashi, one of the MEALAC professors currently under attack: “People near and dear to me, whether they live in downtown Manhattan, in Kandahar, in Ramallah, in Jerusalem, or in Baghdad, are at the mercy of U.S. foreign policies.”28 (Are they saying that this is not true?) Campus Watch’s parent site, Middle East Forum (MEF), states that its mission is to “define and promote American interests in the Middle East” and “help shape the intellectual climate in which U.S. foreign policy is made…. In particular, it believes in strong ties with Israel.29 Given this conception of “impartiality,” MEALAC professor Joseph Massad’s assertion that the witch-hunt at Columbia “aims to stifle pluralism, academic freedom, and the freedom of expression on university campuses in order to ensure that only one opinion is permitted”30 seems unassailable.

A similar dynamic is at work in the attack on Churchill. An “Open Letter from Concerned Academics,” written in defense of Churchill, sums up this effort:
To be clear: the issues here have nothing to do with the quality of Ward Churchill’s scholarship or his professional credentials. However one views his choice of words or specific arguments, he is being put in the dock solely for his radical critique of U.S. history and present-day policy in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001.31
The right wing is not out to wreck a few careers for sport, and the politics behind the groups conducting the attacks on academic freedom indicate that much more than the “popular perception of academia”32 is at stake in this fight. The attacks are another volley in the campaign to soften up, demoralize, and disorganize the Left, so that the ruling class can carry out its wars abroad without obstacle or protest, and can make sure that the domestic costs of these adventures—the war at home—come out of the skins of an atomized and under-informed working class.

Resisting the new McCarthyism

Contrary to Bush’s assertion of a political mandate and many liberals’ assumption of a hopelessly right-wing electorate based on the outcome of the 2004 elections, the actual situation is one of polarization, with half, if not a majority, of the U.S. public fed up with the war and disgusted with Bush and looking for means of expression. This perspective is borne out every time activists organize a response to the attacks. For example, at a recent campus forum at the University of Colorado at Boulder, hundreds of students, faculty, and Boulder residents decided unequivocally that, whatever they thought of Ward Churchill, the legislature had no business recommending his dismissal.

When professor Alam posted the details of O’Reilly’s drive against him on Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair’s Counterpunch Web site, supporters sent over 600 e-mails to Northeastern’s administration—more than enough to balance out mail from his detractors. The “Open Letter from Concerned Academics” mentioned above carries initial signatures from professors at universities from Texas to Hawaii and outlines a course of action including “an outpouring of faculty resolutions condemning this witch-hunt” as well as teach-ins and protests.33 The Nation devoted an issue to analyzing the attacks, including an article by Scott Sherman that rightly calls on Columbia president Lee Bollinger to defend his faculty and the principles of academic freedom.

Meanwhile, students from the newly formed Stop McCarthyism at Columbia (SMAC) attended a conference sponsored by the students behind Columbia Unbecoming and challenged speakers who called for the firing of MEALAC professors. According to Columbia activist Aaron Hess, the conference was a real eye-opener. “Up until then, [the students behind the film] presented themselves as innocent, intimidated students without a political agenda who were victims of professors. Then they turned around and sponsored this conference which was openly anti-Arab and pro-Israel.” Three days later, members of SMAC and the Campus Antiwar Network (CAN) organized a debate with student supporters of the right-wing attacks that drew 200 people and further exposed the political agenda of those on the Right.

Recognizing the need for a coordinated national response to the attacks on academic freedom, the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA) has launched the Defense of Civil Liberties in Academia (DCRA) project to “proactively combat the assault on academic freedom and civil liberties on U.S. college campuses and to challenge attempts to silence those critical of U.S. policies.”34 DCRA has also issued a “Public Statement in Support of Joseph Massad,” tying the attack on the MEALAC professors to the broader attack on Arabs and Muslims since September 11.

What can we say?

In addition to responding quickly to the forays of the Right, we must be clear about the arguments so that we are not led down any blind alleys. First off, it helps to remind ourselves of the real meaning of academic freedom, as Khalidi does here:
Why are academic freedom and freedom of speech necessary? They’re not necessary to defend conventional popular ideas. You don’t need freedom of speech to defend ideas that everybody agrees with. Freedom of speech and academic freedom are particularly necessary for unpopular and difficult ideas, for unconventional ideas, for ideas that challenge reigning orthodoxy. Academic freedom is important, secondly, because it’s necessary to push the frontiers of knowledge forward. That in turn requires protection. That in turn requires support. Pushing the boundaries, pushing at what is accepted, requires the kind of support that academic freedom gives us.35
Second, we need to insist that conservatives are NOT victimized on college campuses, and they know it. Their attacks are not an expression of weakness but of confidence. Conservatives are not lashing out in frustrated fury; they are pressing their advantage. They are also not motivated by an “age-old anti-intellectualism” or “a basic insecurity” or “a gnawing doubt about their legitimacy” as argued by Russell Jacoby in the Nation. Conservatives may “command the presidency, Congress, the courts, major news outlets and the majority of corporations” but they do not, as Jacoby also suggests, “have the country comfortably in their pocket.” And they know that, too.

Conservatives are not “beset by angst.” It does us no good to imagine them as stupid and insecure. They are interested and determined. They are looking, as we are, at a stretch of time during which the United States will either engage in constant wars overseas or lose its position as the world’s only superpower, and they have thrown in their lot with the ruling class, the only segment of U.S. society that stands to gain from these wars. They are not yelling “in order to drown out their own misgivings, the inchoate realization that they are barking at the moon.”36 They are yelling to defend their worldview and what they see as their interests. We would do well to do the same.

Why we must reject the “war on terror”

This means not only defending the MEALAC professors’ right to criticize Israel and U.S. foreign policy, but also defending the criticism itself. The Left in general and the antiwar movement in particular have been weakened by the “Anybody But Bush” (ABB) strategy, which insisted on support for the prowar candidacy of John Kerry, even when Kerry took the politics of Republican-lite to a new level. In so doing, whole sections of the liberal Left moved closer to the losing strategy of “critical engagement” with the “war on terror.”

This is a bad path, and we know it is because it has been followed before. In the spring of 1954, with Senator Joseph McCarthy’s witch-hunt proceeding apace, journalist I. F. Stone pointed out the underlying (and undermining) weakness of liberal critics of the House Un-American Affairs Committee (HUAC) by hearkening back to the witch trials of the seventeenth century:
In the fight against the witch mania in this country and in Europe, there were few enough to defend individual victims but fewer still who were willing to assert publicly that belief in witchcraft was groundless. So today in the fight against “McCarthyism.” It is sometimes hard to draw a line of principles between McCarthy and his critics. If there is indeed a monstrous and diabolic conspiracy against world peace and stability, then isn’t McCarthy right? If “subversives” are at work like termites here and abroad, are they not likely to be found in the most unlikely places and under the most unlikely disguises? How talk of fair procedure if dealing with a protean and Satanic enemy?37
Replace “McCarthy” with “Ashcroft” or “Gonzales,” replace “witchcraft” or “subversives” with “terrorism” or “radical Islam,” replace “fair procedure” with “academic freedom” and you could say the same thing about what is going on today. When liberals criticize the Bush administration for being distracted from the war on terror by the war on Iraq, they are playing into the media-produced panic that makes the wholesale dismemberment of civil rights possible38 and makes attacks on Arabs, Muslims, and “Middle Eastern looking” minorities all but inevitable.39 An uncompromising opposition to the war on terror in all of its forms is required if the civil liberties of Arabs and Muslims are to be resurrected and all of our civil liberties—academic freedom among them—are to be protected over the long term.

The stakes are very high. The attacks on Arabs and Muslims and Left academics are part of the patriotic hysteria that has been whipped up to support a new phase of U.S. imperialism, and consequently we must organize against the right-wing offensive as if the very life of the Left depended on the outcome—because it does. The history of McCarthyism teaches us that we would do well to fight now and fight hard.

1 Emil Guillermo, “The FBI’s House Calls,” San Francisco Chronicle, December 18, 2001.

2 See “Guidance for Absconder Apprehension Initiative,” available online at

3 For an excellent discussion of the real and imagined sources of terrorism, see M. Junaid Alam, “Boundless and Winless War: Disrupting America’s Fateful Non-Debate on the Roots of Terrorism,” Counterpunch, September 29, 2004, available online at

4 Adam Federman, “Witch-hunt at Columbia: Columbia Profs Smeared as Anti-Semites,” Counterpunch, November 9, 2004. See also New York Sun editorial “Bollinger’s Blindness,” November 4, 2004.

5 Jacob Gershman, “Rabbi Says Professors ‘Attacked’ Him,” New York Sun. January 4, 2005.

6 Jacob Gershman, “Columbia Abuzz Over Underground Film,” New York Sun, October 20, 2004.

7 See staff editorials, “Bollinger’s Blindness,” New York Sun, November 4, 2004, and “The Bollinger Whitewash,” New York Sun, November 19, 2004, as well as Jacob Gershman, “Columbia Abuzz Over Underground Film,” and “Rabbi Says Professors ‘Attacked’ Him.”

8 Douglas Feiden, “Hate 101,” Daily News, November 21, 2004.

9 Federman. See also Jonah Birch, “N.Y. Officials Fire Left-Wing Professor: Witch-hunt at Columbia,” Socialist Worker, March 4, 2005.

10 Federman. See also “Bollinger’s Blindness.”

11 Nat Hentoff, “Intimidated Classrooms: New York Civil Liberties Union: Students Can Dissent in Class Only if Professor Permits,” Village Voice, January 18, 2005. One is not a quote at all, but a paraphrase from a third party.

12 Eric Posner, as quoted by Amal Hageb in “The Arab Answer to the Columbia University Question,” Independent Press Association (IPA-NY), See also M. Junaid Alam, “The Witchhunts Continue: Columbia University and the New Anti-Semitism,” Counterpunch, March 2, 2005.

13 Karen W. Arenson, ”Columbia Panel Reports No Proof of Anti-Semitism,” New York Times, March 31, 2005.

14 Joseph Massad, “Response to the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee Report,” April 4, 2005, available online at http://www.

15 M. Shahid Alam, “FOX News Puts Me In Its Crosshairs,” Today’s Alternative News, index.php?event=link,150&values[0]=2&values[1]=2211.

16 Interview with Daniel Pipes from the FOX News Show, hosted by Bill O’Reilly, reprinted by Campus Watch, February 2, 2005.

17 Ward Churchill, “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” available online at

18 Ward Churchill, “What Did I Really Say? And Why Did I Say It?” Transcript of a speech given at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Counterpunch, February 8, 2005.

19 Mickey Z., “What Ward Churchill Didn’t Say: It’s the Singer Not the Song,” Znet, February 9, 2005.

20 Todd Hartman and Berny Morson, “CU Cuts Ties with Environmental Activist: Instructor’s Canceled Contract Adds Fuel to Free Speech Debate,” Rocky Mountain News, February 8, 2005.

21 Bill Scanlon, “House GOP Leader: Hoffman Should Quit,” Rocky Mountain News, March 5, 2005.

22 Charlie Brennan, “N.Y. College Official Quits Post Over Speaking Flap: Hamilton Program Director Resigns Job ‘Under Duress,’” Rocky Mountain News, February 12, 2005

23 Michael E. Ross, “Free Speech Concerns Take Center Stage on Campus: Colorado Professor’s Comments Spark Debate Over Academic Freedom, Loyalty,”, March 16, 2005.

24 Rashid Khalidi speaking at Columbia University, April 4, 2005, available online at

25 Doug Lederman, “A New Red Scare,” Inside Higher Education, March 7, 2005.

26 Russell Jacoby, “The New PC,” Nation, April 4, 2005.

27 Editorial Staff, “Columbia’s Anti-Semites,” New York Post, January 3, 2005.

28 See “Mission Statement,” available on the Campus Watch Web site at Emphasis is the author’s.

29 See the Middle East Forum home page at http://

30 Scott Sherman, “The Mideast Comes to Columbia,” Nation, April 4, 2005.

31 An Open Letter From Concerned Academics, “Defend Dissent and Critical Thinking on Campus,” March 2, 2005, available online at

32 Kevin Mattson, “The Student Bill of Fights,” Nation, March 16, 2005.

33 An Open Letter From Concerned Academics.

34 The Defense of Civil Rights in Academia Project (DCRA), National Council of Arab Americans (NCA), available online at

35 Khalidi.

36 Jacoby.

37 Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, Voices of a People’s History of the United States (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2004), 385. In The Great Fear, David Caute describes how the “liberal intelligentsia” became involved in promoting American imperialism and, through it, the “red scare:” “By 1945 America’s patriotic imperative had acquired a truly imperialistic and even messianic image of its own mission in the world. This kind of imperialism, particularly rooted in the liberal intelligentsia, is not essentially economic, but rather cultural, idealistic, self-righteous, moral. To this new metaphysical or missionary imperialism it suddenly seemed intolerable that any enemy should challenge the superiority, supremacy, and universal relevance of the American way of life. As Professor Robert E. Cushman (a strong civil libertarian, incidentally) put it in 1948: ‘It has been given to us, as the world’s greatest democracy, a post of leadership in the all-important task of establishing our doctrines of civil liberty throughout the world as working principles by which the lives of free nations are to be governed.’… In 1954 another liberal professor, Thomas I. Cook, of Princeton, claimed that the American social order had a ‘universal validity’.…” David Caute, The Great Fear (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), 21–22.

38 Medea Benjamin, “U.S. hypocrisy revealed,” USA Today, October 18, 2002.

39 Rania Masri, quoted in “Why We Say No to War and Hate,” -Socialist Worker, September 28, 2001.

Back to top