May 16, 2002


Berkeley Course on Mideast Raises Concerns (CHRIS GAITHER, May 16, 2002, NY Times)
The listing for the course, "The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance," one of the choices for a required course in reading and composition, was pulled for review last week by university officials after protests by civil liberties and pro-Israeli groups. The critics were outraged by the course description's ideological tone and the efforts of the instructor, a Ph.D. candidate who leads a pro-Palestinian group, to dissuade students who did not accept the pro-Palestinian view from enrolling in the course.

"The brutal Israeli military occupation of Palestine, an occupation that has been ongoing since 1948, has systematically displaced, killed, and maimed millions of Palestinian people," the instructor, Snehal Shingavi, wrote. "And yet, from under the brutal weight of the occupation, Palestinians have produced their own culture and poetry of resistance."

The last line of his course description drew the most ire, especially among civil libertarians: "Conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections."

Why don't the Jewish and conservative student groups just register en masse and take over the course? Academia offers no greater pleasure than making a professor and fellow students cry. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 16, 2002 7:38 AM
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