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Edward Said's Georgetown Toady By: Steven Plaut
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, July 15, 2005

Georgetown University may be one of the few places on earth where someone can build an entire academic career based upon sucking up to the late Edward Said's corpse.  Edward Said had been a Professor of English Literature at Columbia University, but is better known for his open support for terrorism, his denunciations of the PLO for not practicing violence ENOUGH, for his endorsements of violence against Jews and even his participation in rock throwing at Jews, and for his misrepresentation of himself as someone who knows something about "Orientalism" or Middle East scholarship.   In reality, Said had no credentials at all as a Middle East scholar, a slight matter that never prevented him from defaming the acknowledged leading experts in that field.  Said was an Egyptian who liked to pretend to be a Palestinian, and much of his career was devoted to spreading autobiographical disinformation.

Shilling for Said has become a fashionable career on many college campuses in the US.  The misnamed Middle East Studies Association is essentially a lobby group for Said's notions.  "Peace Studies" professors on US campuses often indoctrinate hapless students in Said's "ideas".   Nevertheless, Andrew N. Rubin seems to be unique.

Rubin has quite literally built virtually his entire academic career upon shilling for Edward Said.  Rubin's vita is crawling with Said-cheerleading.  Like Said, Rubin teaches English literature, and – again like Said – Rubin has no credentials at all that could qualify him as an expert on Middle East history and politics.  Said could at least read Arabic, while Rubin is little more than an anti-Israel Jewish Marxist.  The closest Rubin ever gets to anything Arabic is when his Bash-Israel and Bash-America articles get published in the Holocaust-Denying anti-Jewish Egyptian daily, al-Ahram.


Rubin is an untenured assistant professor of English at Georgetown University.  He also holds a M.A. in Critical Theory (which is academic Newspeak for Marxism) from the University of Sussex.  He holds a PhD from Columbia's English Department, still haunted by Edward Said's ghost.  Rubin's greatest "academic" achievement seems to be that he co-edited with one Moustafa Bayoumi (an English prof at Brooklyn College, and another Said toady), the "Edward Said Reader".   Most of Rubin's vita consists of sycophantic articles about Said, including "Techniques of Trouble: Edward Said and the Dialectics of Cultural Philology," “Intellectual Giant - Edward Said: Criticism and Theory," in the PLO-controlled Journal of Palestine Studies and “Edward W. Said (1935-2003)” in Arab Studies Quarterly (Fall 2004).  Rubin also likes to sing Said's praises while on the lecture circuit.


Now Edward Said may have known a thing or two about English literature back when he was still lecturing students at Columbia, but it was only in his own mind and in those of people like Rubin that Said was any sort of Middle East historian or expert.  While singing Said's praises as his main form of academic "research", Rubin also feels no hesitation to bash true acknowledged experts and world-class writers on the Middle East, and especially Fouad Ajami.  Like Said, Rubin the English professor dislikes Ajami because Ajami is an Arab who is partly pro-Israel and decidedly anti-terror.


Rubin is active in a number of groups and journals devoted to demonizing Israel and bashing America, and he is director of at least one.  Rubin single-handedly runs the International Coalition of Academics Against Occupation.   This is an anti-American propaganda outfit devoted to spreading the ludicrous invention by Rubin that the United States went a deliberate campaign of assassinating Iraqi intellectuals.   This fraudulent claim by Rubin has by now been reprinted by numerous media outfits around the world.  Rubin's "evidence" that the Americans (in some places he says it was really Israeli Mossad agents) were running around Iraq murdering intellectuals is apparently that some Iraqi Ba'athist followers of Saddam, the sorts of people who lop off heads of captives, told Rubin this was so.  Rubin has been working at collecting a list of signatories to his petition against these imaginary assassinations.  His list includes Noam Chomsky, Joseph Mossad, and people of similar orientation.


Over the past year, Rubin has published his fairy tales about these imaginary assassinations under titles such as "The Slaughter of Iraq's Intellectuals" - among other places - in the British New Statesman.   There Rubin writes:


" Since the occupation began, some 200 leading Iraqi academics, most of them in the humanities and social sciences, have been killed. Is the CIA responsible?... Control, intimidation, and even murder of Iraqi intellectuals, professors, lecturers and teachers has become more or less systematic since the US-led invasion of Iraq began in March 2003.... Some allege it is Mossad, the Israeli secret service, which obviously has an interest in a weak and possibly theocratic Iraq - the better to declare Arabs undemocratically minded terrorists. ("It's not personal; it's business," one professor in Baghdad says of Mossad's possible motives.)"

Evidently what stimulated Rubin's powers of imagination in fabricating these "assassinations" was the American-initiated campaign of de-Ba'athisation in Iraq, whereby Ba'ath loyalists were dismissed from many positions of authority and power after Saddam was toppled, including some in the universities.  "Yet the US repression of academics was less about protecting academic freedom than a kind of American McCarthyism abroad," opines Rubin. 


Rubin then goes on to defend the curriculum of totalitarian Baathist propaganda that was proliferated by these "universities" back when Saddam was in control, no doubt very similar to what is currently being taught in the Georgetown University Department of English.  Rubin's take is this: "Yet despite the tyranny exercised over Iraqi society by Saddam Hussein, the university classroom was (some professors often claim) a relatively autonomous space for learning and instruction, where professors, lecturers and students could be openly critical. They could even criticise the government."   Sure, and we bet Rubin was told this was so by at least one Ba'athist primary source!  We sure hope the tenure committee at Georgetown University is listening!


When not toadying for Edward Said and the Iraqi Ba'athists, Rubin also toadies for Yassir Arafat, and authored a sycophantic piece praising the arch-terrorist when Arafat graciously croaked.  Rubin's writings are featured on the PLO's web pages and Rubin publishes in the Journal of Palestine Studies.  The Middle East Quarterly describes the Journal of Palestine Studies as a "PLO propaganda organ disguised as an academic journal; for example, it routinely refers to the creation of Israel as an-Nakba (‘catastrophe' in Arabic)." Orbis, Fall 1988, p. 637, describes the Institute of Palestine Studies, publisher of the Journal of Palestine Studies, as "an arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization."


Rubin also turns out anti-Israel and anti-American articles for Egypt's al-Ahram.  In one such piece, he bashes Israel for daring to build a security fence designed to prevent Arab mass murderers from murdering Jewish civilians.  He lists assorted pseudo-statistics about how many Palestinians have been inconvenienced by the wall, but with never a single mention of the reason why Israel was building the wall in the first place: the long history of atrocities conducted against Israeli civilians by the PLO and its affiliates.  That piece is reprinted in Counterpunch  this week, since Alexander Cockburn can never resist the impulse to publish self-hating, bash-Israel leftist Jewish toadies for terrorism.  


In the same piece, Rubin comes up with a "peace plan".  After repeating Said's statements about how autonomy for Palestinians would amount to "Bantustans" (and after a hundred years of atrocities, who says the Palestinians even have a moral right to a Bantustan?), Rubin adds: ""Nations could impose a 'Human Rights Tax' on companies contracted to supply goods (bulldozers for example) and services to the Israeli government's efforts to build and reinforce the wall. It may serve as a kind of prelude to what appears to be a growing and globally orchestrated movement to divest from Israel so long as it continues its illegal occupation and refuses to remove the wall in its existing form."    How about a human rights tax on any companies doing business with Georgetown University Department of English, which we all know is situated on occupied Indian land?


Rubin was one of the American academics to rally to support Columbia's jihadnik professor Joseph Massad when the latter was under investigation for his open anti-Semitism and classroom misbehavior.  Rubin published an open letter on a PLO-run web site denouncing Congressman Weiner when the latter criticized Massad and supported the need to investigate him.  Rubin writes there:


"I have known Professor Joseph Massad for ten years personally and have read many of his incisive books, essays, and articles that have widely expanded our knowledge of the historical sources and effects of Zionism in this world, and I find your charges of anti-Semitism against him dishonest, defamatory, and even barbaric in its conflation of the criticism of various forms and practices of various Zionist ideologies with the hatred of and the discrimination against Jews.... You will, I assure you, find nothing anti-Jewish about his work, rather a strong-minded and razor-sharp analysis and criticism of the emergence and practice of different forms of Zionist ideologies and Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza; its attempt to militarily, politically and physically destroy a population of human beings living since 1948 as refugees and exiles – and under military occupation for over 35 years."


Split infinitives are hardly Rubin's biggest sin. 


So little time, so many objects of Rubin's pro-jihad toadying!  In that same letter, Rubin declares, "Like you, I am an American-Jew and condemn anti-semitism wherever I see it."  The only problem is that the only place where Rubin is capable of seeing it is in Israel's efforts to defend its civilians against the Islamofascist terrorists that Rubin supports and serves.

Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his "blog" at www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

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