To the Editor:
An otherwise balanced article, “Middle East Studies Association Fights a Rising Tide of Critics” mischaracterizes Campus Watch’s mission (The Chronicle, November 21).
Describing a panel convened at the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) to discuss the controversy surrounding Steven Salaita, who was denied a position at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign following the revelation of his vitriolic, anti-Semitic tweets, The Chronicle writes:
Campus Watch, which was established by the Middle East Forum, a conservative think tank, and monitors Middle East programs for speech it deems hostile to Israel, last month denounced the planned panel as stacked with critics of that nation.
In fact, Campus Watch critiques Middle East studies programs for hostility not to Israel, but to the principle of rigorous, unbiased scholarship and teaching—a principle the MESA panel failed utterly to meet. Such critiques cover myriad topics across the discipline without regard to any mention of Israel.
Director of Academic Affairs and Director, Campus Watch
Middle East Forum