Campuses Have Become Poisoned by an Atmosphere of Surveillance and Harassment
By SAREE MAKDISI
(professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCLA and a frequent commentator on the Middle East)
""Academic colleagues, get used to it," warned the pro-Israel activist Martin Kramer in March 2004. "Yes, you are being watched. Those obscure articles in campus newspapers are now available on the Internet, and they will be harvested. Your syllabi, which you've also posted, will be scrutinized. Your Web sites will be visited late at night."
Kramer's warning inaugurated an attack on intellectual freedom in the U.S. that has grown more aggressive in recent months......
That Israel's American supporters so often resort to angry outbursts rather than principled arguments -- and seem to find emotional blackmail more effective than genuine debate -- is ultimately a sign of their weakness rather than their strength. For all the damage it can do in the short term, in the long run such a position is untenable, too dependent on emotion and cliché rather than hard facts. The phenomenal success of Carter's book suggests that more and more Americans are learning to ignore the scare tactics that are the only tools available to Israel's supporters......"