University history Prof. Juan Cole was one of eight professors
singled out by a campus watchdog website for allegedly teaching a
biased view of events in the Middle East almost a year ago.

Now an Oregon professor is taking action by suing writers Daniel
Pipes and Jonathan Schanzer, who accused him of being a “left-wing
extremist” and for calling Israelis “baby killers” in an 2002 New
York Post article posted on www.campus-watch.org.

Douglas Card, adjunct sociology professor at the University of
Oregon, said he filed a defamation suit after Pipes refused to
remove the article from the Campus Watch, which is run by the
Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank.

Pipes, a self-proclaimed auditor of higher education, heads the
Middle East Forum, while Schanzer is a member of the Washington
Institute for Near East Policy.

Campus Watch is devoted to monitoring professors teaching about
Middle Eastern issues, and articles posted on the website have
criticized several professors across the country, including Cole
and Card, of being biased against Israel. The site also listed the
University as biased.

The article written by Pipes and Schanzer accuses Card of
calling Israel “a terrorist state” and telling students that on
their final exams they should support Card’s belief that Israel
“stole land.”

Cole has been criticized for a public remark attributed to him in which he said al-Qaida was an “irrelevant” fringe group. The remark, reportedly uttered at a forum two weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, was quoted in an Oct. 7, 2002, letter to the editor by political science Prof. Zvi Gitelman in the Daily. Cole denies ever calling al-Qaida irrelevant.

“I am glad to see Professor Card stand against Pipes’ sleazy
tactics and wish him well with his lawsuit,” he added.

Cole declined to specify why he considers Pipes a slanderer and
did not comment further on the issue.

Pipes, who was recently appointed amid controversy to the board
of the U.S. Institute of Peace by President Bush, said he had no
comment on the lawsuit when contacted yesterday. Schanzer did not
return messages left at his office.

Card said although his decision to file suit was “long and
painful,” he spent months trying to negotiate a compromise with
Pipes last year.

“I became sick at heart to see that every time I checked his
website all this year his terrible charges were still there, and it
seemed there was nothing I could do about it,” he said. “I still
have to face new students or their parents who will wonder, ‘Was
there any truth to this?'”

Card added that he has received support from academics
nationwide who feel Pipes’ “intimidation of college faculty” is
preventing open discourse at universities.

In an interview with the Daily last year, Pipes said the
University was included on a list of biased schools because it
promoted racial and socioeconomic diversity but did not accommodate
intellectual diversity.

He also said that Middle Eastern studies are in “very bad shape”
due to an influx of politically radical ideas and professors who do
not tell the whole truth or abuse their authority.

In a letter written to the Daily last year, Cole defended his
comments about al-Qaida by saying that the group consists of only
3,000 to 5,000 members nationwide. He also said watch lists of
college professors are “undemocratic and un-American.”

Bush’s nomination of Pipes to one of eight seats on the
Institute of Peace came under fire in Congress when critics
demanded an investigation to investigate whether Pipes was
anti-Muslim.

But Bush used his presidential power to appoint Pipes during the
Senate recess in August. Pipes will serve an 18-month “recess
appointment” instead of the standard four-year term.

 

 

 

 

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