In an interview broadcast at OurMedia.org, an Internet website, Juan Cole has made statements about Campus Watch that call for refutation.
Cole is a professor of Middle Eastern history at the University of Michigan and has become a well-known blogger and commentator on the Middle East. In November will become president of the Middle East Studies Association. His words therefore carry particular weight. In an interview on September 23, 2005 he stated:
· Campus Watch works in “consultation with Israeli officials.” He further claimed that while Campus Watch “wasn’t done by a government, you would probably find that he did have some kind of consultation with Israeli officials at some point about all this, I couldn’t prove that but I wouldn’t be surprised at it.”
· Campus Watch “encouraged people in Ann Arbor to spy on me and to send them spy reports on my activities, presumably colleges, students, people that I know in the city.”
Campus Watch wishes to state on the record that these both are false claims. It challenges Cole to prove them or retract and apologize for them. Campus Watch does not “consult” with any government, nor does it encourage spying on anyone. (It does encourage students suffering from politicized classrooms to make known their problems.)
Campus Watch, founded in 2002 by the Middle East Forum, is designed to critique Middle East Studies at North American colleges and universities with an eye toward improving them. For more information on Campus Watch, please visit www.CampusWatch.org.
Media contact: Alex Joffe
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