Saturday, November 19, 2011

Naomi Zeveloff at The Jewish Daily Forward wrote an article entitled "Is Jerusalem Online U. a Real College"?

The article is trying to create a controversy about how an Israel education and advocacy website has had some of its materials used by Touro College for a small number of students to gain credit.

The headline itself is proof of how little interest the Forward has in telling the truth, because buried in the eighth paragraph the founder of JOU says quite clearly that the website is an education portal, not a university.

Zeveloff's ire seems to be that JOU "boasts an explicitly pro-Israel mission that seems distinctly at odds with academic principles."

Only two classes from JOU can gain credits at Touro, and only one of them, "Israel Inside/Out", is what is making Zeveloff so upset - so much so that she has a follow-up article where she attempts to marshal academic experts to agree with her that such a class should be considered problematic.

I have not taken the course myself, but the list of people giving lectures - while they may be biased - hardly exhibits the fluff that Zeveloff implies. They include Sir Martin Gilbert, Professor Bernard Lewis and Dr. Daniel Pipes, Professor Alan Dershowitz, and Bassem Eid, the executive director for The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group along with others who are without a doubt staunchly pro-Israel like Caroline Glick.

It seems that being angry at a single course in a college that offers hundreds of courses - and the implication that somehow because of that course one should question the academic strength of the entire college - shows far more about the reporter than it does about Touro.

For example, one person that Zeveloff quotes in each of the two articles is Zachary Lockman, NYU professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, who said that the syllabus for this course strikes him as "tendentious."

Perhaps. But a quick look at NYU's Middle East courses* reveals one called The Emergence of the Modern Middle East, taught this term by Nahid Mozaffari. In that course, only one book is recommended that discusses Israel specifically - and that book is "A History of Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples" by Ilan Pappe. In the introduction to that very book Pappe writes:
My bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stick to facts and the "truth" when reconstructing past realities. I view any such construction as vain and presumptuous. This book is written by one who admits compassion for the colonized not the colonizer; who sympathizes with the occupied not the occupiers.
Which means that according to NYU, the only book worth reading in this course that talks about Israel is written by a pseudo-historian who freely admits that he is not interested in even the pretense of bias and who is against the very idea of Israel.

To me, the idea that a course on Israel in a Jewish school is biased towards Israel, where the contents and goals of the course are open for everyone to see, is far less offensive than the idea that students at a multi-cultural school are force-fed a biased version of history in their courses under the guise of being fair and balanced.

And this is only a tiny example. Who can expect that Joseph Massad's classes at Columbia have anything good to say about Israel, when he states ad nauseum that Israel is racist and colonialist? Indeed, Columbia's new Center for Palestine Studies is apparently a way to bash Israel under the guise of academia.

JOU, on the other hand, does not try to hide its agenda. Zeveloff spends quite a bit of time finding nefarious-sounding connections between JOU and Aish HaTorah and other pro-Israel organizations and funders, all in an attempt to give the reader the impression that something is really rotten there, without quite finding anything substantial.

I am not saying that "Israel: Inside/Out" is a fantastic college course, or that it represents the pinnacle of academic standards. But in a world when students at even Ivy League schools can find dozens of classes that teach nothing and hand out A's as if they were candy, it hardly seems controversial that a Jewish college gives credit for a pro-Israel course.

I would argue that Zeveloff is far guiltier posing as an objective journalist while writing these two hit pieces than Touro or JOU are in openly offering a single for-credit course that is biased towards Israel.

(Disclaimer: I have done some graphics work for JOU, including this poster for an educational initiative they have for Jewish high school students. And one more disclaimer: A long, long time ago, under a different name, I wrote a funny article that ended up being used as source material in at least one college course.)

*UPDATE: A reader who has taken the NYU class I mentioned says that Dr. Mozaffari's class at NYU also uses Efraim Karsh's Palestine Betrayed as required reading, even though it is not mentioned in the syllabus. He also says that she was very welcoming of student input into potential bias and works hard to give as fair a portrayal as possible. I am very glad to hear it.

Printfriendly

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

comments

Speaking

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Categories

#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months

 


A new, better definition of antisemitism


Blog Archive