Iymen Chehade fights Chicago school’s cancellation of his class

Israel/Palestine
on 72 Comments
Iymen Chehade

Iymen Chehade

As more and more stories emerge of university administrations trying to circumscribe debate over the Israel/Palestine issue, even NBC News has done a sympathetic piece: “the campus has become the latest battleground for pro-Palestinian student activists who claim they have been marginalized or unfairly punished by university higher-ups.”

One case we have not dealt with yet involves the partial muzzling of Iymen Chehade at Columbia College. Last week there was a rally at the Chicago school on Chehade’s behalf, featuring Ali Abunimah. Supporters of academic freedom were urged to sign this petition.

Chehade teaches part-time at the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College, a private arts and media school; for nearly four years he has given two or three sections of a course called “The Israeli/Palestinian conflict.” Last fall, he showed a class the documentary Five Broken Cameras, about the popular struggle against the occupation in Bil’in, and a student complained to administrators that Chehade exhibited “bias.”

At that time, Chehade says, a department chair, Steven Corey, met with him and urged him to present the material in a more “balanced” manner.

Chehade asked Corey why the student didn’t approach him directly. He says Corey said that he could remember when white students were intimidated by angry African-American professors and didn’t speak up. But on the heels of that meeting, Chehade was stripped of one of his course offerings this spring. The on-line course catalog for Columbia had listed two sections of the class. Then one was removed. The school has said that it dropped the course because of enrollment and scheduling issues (the Real News reports).

Update: Columbia College has issued a statement, below.

Chehade has filed a grievance against this muzzling. “This issue can be an opportunity to change the exclusivist nature of academic freedom– which seems to be open to everything, except discussing Palestine,” he says.

He describes his class as an “open environment.” He was aware that some students were uncomfortable with his perspective, he told me, but he always encouraged students to make their differences known in the classroom.

“I say to my students, feel free to have a discussion with me. I’ve had plenty of Birthright students. You have an opportunity to discuss the issue honestly here. I don’t penalize my students if they have a different perspective. I give them assignments where they can back up their opinions with sources.”

The instructor says he was contracted to give the class and was then targeted for his political opinions. Chehade is the faculty adviser to chapters of both Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace on campus (they are combined in one group); and his view of the conflict is not balanced because the conflict is not balanced: One side has more power than the other and has continually dispossessed them, Chehade says. Three years ago a group of students complained because he used the term “ethnic cleansing” to describe the fact that 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from or fled their homes in Palestine during the creation of Israel and were not allowed to return. But many scholars use that term (as Shira Robinson lately explained on our site).

“Israel is committing crimes against the Palestinian people,” Chehade says. “And the college is taking the position of supporting a settler-colonialist state that has waged a war against a people for decades.”

Chehade has gone through two grievance processes; both have been rejected. His case is emblematic of the larger struggle between supporters of Israel and Israel’s critics that is breaking out all over the country. A demand for “balance” is being used at more than one school to silence the Palestinian perspective, lawyer Rima Kapitan said on the Real News; as university administrators inappropriately inject themselves into questions of class content.

The anxiety about speech is a response to the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, Chehade says. “The BDS movement has pushed forward and come far. And those who advocate for rightwing Israeli policies are targeting individuals. I’m one of them.”

Interestingly, one of the college administrators who heard his grievance, Provost Louise Love, was reported to have participated in the firing of an adjunct professor of religion at Chicago’s Roosevelt University eight years ago when that teacher put forward the Palestinian narrative in his class. On that occasion, Douglas Giles, the former instructor, said, the department chair railed against Palestinians as “animals” and Love supported the department chair.

Though Chehade feels that his livelihood is being undermined, he is confident. He points to the fact that the petition on his behalf has garnered nearly 6,000 signatures, and that he has grassroots support all over Chicago.

This echoes the situation at Northeastern, where NBC’s Nona Willis Aronowitz reports that 6,000 signatures have been collected on behalf of the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, which was suspended there.

“The other side is fighting in retreat,” Chehade says. “They’re fighting, and they’re losing, but they’re upping things.”

I have to wonder if donor pressure or donor concerns played a role in this case. I’d note that Columbia College’s former chairman of the board, and still a trustee, is Allen M. Turner, who has worked for the Pritzker family firm. Penny Pritzker is now Obama’s Commerce Secretary, and a strong supporter of Israel.

Below, see that interview on the Real News. And here’s an interview of Chehade by James Corbett. And here’s part of the petition on his behalf:

The course is well grounded in fact and presents a diverse overview of Israeli/Palestinian history, including interviews with both Israelis and Palestinians.  The class receives overwhelmingly positive evaluations by students, and many report having to wait to get in to the class.  ..

Showing a movie [5 Broken Cameras] depicting popular resistance to Israeli occupation does not constitute bias, and retaliating against a professor for engaging students about pressing social issues is a blatant violation of academic freedom.  Furthermore, professors are not obligated to present an opposing view to every opinion or fact presented in class. Columbia College’s own academic freedom policies protect professors against such interference.  The cancelation also restricts Columbia students from participating in learning and discussion about Israel-Palestine, a topic for which they have demonstrated a clear interest.

Here is the statement from Columbia’s Louise Love:

Columbia College Chicago would like to publicly acknowledge its support of Instructor Iymen Chehade in his use of the widely acclaimed documentary, Five Broken Cameras, to educate students in his Israeli/Palestinian Conflict course. The College would also like to note that Mr. Chehade is in fact currently teaching his course, and has taught it since he joined our faculty in fall 2010.

Mr. Chehade has received strong and continuous support from Dr. Steven Corey, Chair of the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences (HHSS), and Dr. Deborah Holdstein, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), in using this important film. Indeed, HHSS and other departments in LAS co-sponsored an on-campus screening of Five Broken Cameras last year, which featured Mr. Chehade moderating a discussion afterward, along with Jewish Voice for Peace, the Cinema Arts + Science Department, and other offices at Columbia College Chicago. HHSS Chair, Dr. Steven H. Corey attended the showing and has never veered in his support for Mr. Chehade’s right to show the movie in a classroom setting. Dr. Corey and the College encourage Mr. Chehade to continue to use the movie (or selections from the documentary) in his teaching and discuss its content, exposing students to such an important perspective on political tensions in the Middle East.

We at the College believe that an education should, in part, be about preparing students to be active and engaged world citizens and to think critically about political and historical narratives. As such, HHSS offers an array of thought provoking and exciting courses like the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict class and makes every effort to schedule them to meet the curricular needs of a diverse student body.

Reductions in the number of sections or courses offered at Columbia reflect a multitude of factors such as overall student enrollment, targets for average class size, and rotation of curriculum. Reductions are not made to alter a specific academic field of study or political perspective, and any course on campus may be offered at a reduced frequency from past semesters.

The College reaffirms the right of all faculty members and students to exercise academic freedom in a manner that Mr. Chehade has enjoyed since he became a member of HHSS.

— Louise Love, Ph.D., VP of Academic Affairs and Interim Provost
Columbia College Chicago

h/t Pucci Dellanno, Icarus Verum.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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72 Responses

  1. Mike_Konrad
    March 24, 2014, 3:58 pm

    I suspect there is more to it.

    Had he shown an Israeli film as well, there might not have been so much of an uproar.

    • justicewillprevail
      March 24, 2014, 7:25 pm

      But 5 Broken Cameras is an Israeli film. Or so they claim when it is up for an award. How about The Gatekeepers?

    • markpg
      March 24, 2014, 7:46 pm

      It IS an Israeli film. Wikipedia lists it as Palestine, Israel, and France production.

      But the uproar is understandable. After seeing the movie, one can no longer swallow the hasbara.

    • Ecru
      March 25, 2014, 1:27 am

      Your idea would have a documentary on the Battle (Massacre) at Wounded Knee followed by a showing of “The Searchers,” “Cosmos” followed by some rubbish promoting Creationism and “The Voyages of the Beagle followed” by “Bruce Almighty.”

      Do at least try to be less ridiculous.

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 25, 2014, 9:31 am

      “Had he shown an Israeli film as well, there might not have been so much of an uproar.”

      So in order to have academic freedom, he must be a slave to the zionsit narrative?

    • adele
      March 27, 2014, 6:37 pm

      UPDATE: AAUP rules in favor of Iymen Chehade.

      After conducting an independent investigation, the A.A.U.P. has issued a finding that Columbia College was in violation of Professor Iymen Chehade’s academic freedom by cancelling a section of his course on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict! In part, the A.A.U.P. stated:

      . . . Professor Chehade has the right to show the film, 5 Broken Cameras. His academic freedom gives him the right to introduce controversial course-related topics, and materials into his classroom. He need not insure that equal time in the name of balance is given on every topic brought into class. A course on slavery need not proffer arguments for and against the racist, dreaded institution. A course on gay rights or the history of genocide need not “balance” the number of arguments in favor of gay rights and in opposition to genocide with those that support discrimination against homosexuals and mass murder.

      Read the full text of the A.A.U.P.’s opinion below and at this link. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5iW_hYjWnf5UXdfQ0lGQ3pFMjg/edit?pli=1

      This is huge victory but the fight for academic freedom is far from over. Please continue to spread the word by circulating this petition. Here is the link to send around and as always, thank you so much for your support! http://www.change.org/petitions/llove-colum-edu-respect-academic-freedom?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=supporter_message

  2. Daniel Rich
    March 24, 2014, 4:06 pm

    Cancelled you say? Is that because you haven’t met a Good Jew?

  3. Krauss
    March 24, 2014, 4:43 pm

    This is getting pretty bad for the Zionists.

    At this moment, the question of Israel is becomming an issue that basically revolves around money/donations.

    That’s not a healthy long-term position to have.

  4. JeffB
    March 24, 2014, 5:25 pm

    @Phil —

    First off he’s a Lecturer of Middle Eastern history not a professor. That’s not a small issue given the academic freedom complaint in the article (so you should probably edit the article on this one). It changes things he’s staff not faculty (i.e. he’s an adjunct). In almost all USA schools that means he isn’t entitled to any more academic freedom than the cafeteria workers or the parking lot attendants. And of course compounding that the course offerings are not academically protected even for faculty, what’s protected is their other writings.

    That being said the University itself isn’t playing the “he’s an adjunct card. At the same time they are disputing the fact this is about his views”:
    Columbia College Chicago would like to publicly acknowledge its support of instructor Iymen Chehade in his use of the widely acclaimed documentary 5 Broken Cameras to educate students in his Israeli-Palestinian conflict course. Reductions in the numbers of sections or courses offered at Columbia reflect a multitude of factors, such as overall student enrollment, targets for average class size, and rotation of curriculum. Reductions are not made to alter a specific academic field of study or political perspective. And any course on campus may be offered at a reduced frequency from past semesters. The college reaffirms the right of all faculty members and students to exercise academic freedom in a manner that Mr. Chehade has enjoyed since he became a member of HHSS.

    Reading his comments I’m of two minds regarding bias. On the one hand he is Palestinians, he’s the faculty advisor for Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. Which makes him IMHO a political activists teaching a class not an academic. I don’t have problems with classes being taught by political activists, college students are old enough to learn things from people with real world experience but … they need to be advertised that way. If he was teaching sections then students didn’t sign up for one sided presentation. He has an ethical obligation to teach both sides. He seems to have trouble understanding that there are two sides: “because the conflict is not balanced: One side has more power than the other and has continually dispossessed them” is frankly a completely unacceptable excuse for not doing his job. There are plenty of political philosophies in which power is good, and the job of government is to control territory and dispossess enemies. A history professor should be aware of philosophies other than the ones he subscribes to. The idea that he is so limited to believe that no political philosophy can exist outside of anti-colonialist new left perspective seems rather disqualifying. He should take that to the professor running this course. That being said I’m not seeing any bias outside liberal norms. He doesn’t appear to have done much that most faculty in colleges or high schools do. Most classes in a USA college are going to assume liberal USA values. So basically he’s doing a sucky job but he’s doing it in a way consistent with

    His ratings are excellent at rate-my-professor both for his looks and his lectures: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=1296952

    Ultimately I think he probably is making students more uncomfortable than he’s realizing. The fact that he took this to the media as an adjunct means he’s not as open to criticism as he indicates in this article. Not that most faculty are willing to change based on what students say. Anyway, I think he was kinda unwise to have not assigned something Likud so that he could point to balance. That would probably have helped.

    • justicewillprevail
      March 24, 2014, 7:23 pm

      Amazing how you can read his mind (and also his students!) from a distance. However, if you read the article you will find a more accurate guide to his beliefs and his teaching than your elaborately constructed misguided effort. B-

    • Annie Robbins
      March 24, 2014, 7:39 pm

      he’s a Lecturer of Middle Eastern history not a professor.

      do you have a supporting link for that? http://www.linkedin.com/pub/iymen-chehade/28/b63/785

      In almost all USA schools that means he isn’t entitled to any more academic freedom than the cafeteria workers or the parking lot attendants.

      do you have a supporting link for that?

      http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-adjunct-faculty.htm

      What Is Adjunct Faculty?

      The term “adjunct faculty” describes university professors who are hired on a temporary track, often to teach only a course or two for a single semester or year. This sort of position is most common in the United States, but in other countries, the terms “visiting professor” or “lecturer” may cover roughly the same job. Adjuncts typically teach reduced course loads as compared to their more permanent peers, and they also have little if any job security. They are usually hired to fulfill specific university needs, like temporary boosts in enrollments or student interest in particular electives, and as such, their contracts are designed to be flexible and are subject to change at any time.

      Differences Between Adjunct and Tenured Faculty

      American universities typically hire faculty in two “tiers” based on permanency. “Tenure-track” professors are academics who are or who hope to become permanent members of a certain department’s teaching team. They usually have or are working towards contracts that make it very difficult for them to be fired or let go. This is often seen as the best sort of position to have, as it allows the faculty member leeway when it comes to setting a curriculum and engaging in independent research.

    • Betsy
      March 24, 2014, 10:45 pm

      @JeffB: adjunct faculty are entitled to academic freedom. They are teaching courses & are therefore not ‘staff’ in the sense that a parking attendant is ‘staff’. See #9 of the American Association of University Professors standards:

      9. Academic Freedom and Protection against Discrimination

      a. All members of the faculty, whether tenured or not, are entitled to academic freedom as set forth in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, formulated by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the American Association of University Professors. http://www.aaup.org/report/recommended-institutional-regulations-academic-freedom-and-tenure

      Non tenure-track faculty are now 70% of the teaching staff in US academe http://www.aaup.org/sites/default/files/Faculty_Trends_0.pdf

      Non tenure track faculty have fewer *institutional* safeguards, but their professional rights as scholars are well established by AAUP & other entities that set professional standards. It is perfectly acceptable to call him a small-p professor. That is normal reference to his category of work, not to his institutional title.

      And, faculty serve as advisors for all sorts of student groups http://www.colum.edu/Students/Engagement/Student%20Organizations.php, without that meaning that they are biased or somehow less ‘academic’. If a student group has been approved by the college, they need a faculty member to advise the student leadership. To advise young people is not to endorse or promote everything that the young people do or say.

      • adele
        March 24, 2014, 11:56 pm

        Betsy and Annie,
        credit to you both for taking the time to reply to JeffB with solid facts. When I read his post I rolled my eyes, shook my head and realized that he lives in a reality all his own where he just makes stuff up. How does one even have an adult conversation with people like that who espouse such nonsense?

      • JeffB
        March 25, 2014, 6:07 am

        @Betsy

        9a is a recommendation and as written may not even apply to Chehade. “non-tenured faculty” ambiguously means assistant professors and visiting professors. Assistants are tenure track but haven’t reached it yet. In any case the AAUP most certainly does support academic freedom for contingent faculty but they don’t believe this is policy at most universities: http://www.aaup.org/issues/contingency . So I’m not sure how the list of recommendations proves the point about his status.

        As for it being acceptable in usage to call him a professor in normal usage I’d agree. People called me professor when I was a TA too. But… this article is about academic freedom and there it starts to matter that he doesn’t actually have any academic freedom at all. The department chair is perfectly within his rights to tell him to change his course in anyway for any reason.

        @Annie:

        In terms of a link showing his status:
        http://www.colum.edu/Academics/Humanities_History_and_Social_Sciences/adjunctfaculty.php

    • Ecru
      March 25, 2014, 1:55 am

      @ JeffB

      “On the one hand he is Palestinians”

      Are Palestinians disqualified from teaching I/P then? Irish people disqualified from teaching about The Troubles? Jews from teaching the Holocaust? And why do I doubt that you’d have even mentioned the ethnicity of a Jewish lecturer teaching about Israel/Palestine?

      “…he’s the faculty advisor for Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. Which makes him IMHO a political activists teaching a class not an academic.”

      I can’t think of an academic I ever met in the humanities who didn’t have “political” interests – this does not negate them being academics. Try getting funding from English Heritage some time and you’d understand that.

      “He seems to have trouble understanding that there are two sides”

      Did you even read this article? Or look at the interview?

      “So basically he’s doing a sucky job”

      Ahh so you’ve taken this course then? What EXACTLY led you to this opinion of your lecturer? Was it his manner? His marking scheme? Please I’d love to know. Especially considering you actually took the time to check his ratings and found he’s considered an excellent teacher – contradicting your assessment btw. It also contradicts your statement about making people uncomfortable; not that University students feeling uncomfortable is actually a bad thing. Learning’s supposed to be uncomfortable at times. Just so you know.

      But it’s your closing statement I love

      I think he was kinda unwise to have not assigned something Likud so that he could point to balance..

      Likud? Balance? Likud’s the very definition of UNbalanced.

      • tree
        March 25, 2014, 4:34 am

        “…he’s the faculty advisor for Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. Which makes him IMHO a political activists teaching a class not an academic.”

        Which only goes to show that your humble opinion isn’t worth sh*t. All student organizations at Columbia College are required to have a faculty advisor. He is the chosen one for JVP and SJP on campus. If you are silly enough to insist that every faculty advisor (specifically chosen BECAUSE he or she IS an academic) for a student organization at any given college is not REALLY an academic simply because of their selection as an advisor, then you are again illustrating that your logic has gaping holes in it. Which of course you have illustrated before so no one will be surprised. You are predictably illogical when it suits your argument.

    • Basilio
      March 25, 2014, 2:52 am

      I understand what you mean. I might work harder to present various points, but he did present various view points. Pro-Zionist speakers are never asked by universities to be “balanced” in Canada or the U.S. Only when speakers are dealing with views that show what’s happening to Palestinians in relation to international law, ethnic displacement and what not, do things become controversial because the Palestinians are meant to be viewed as inferior and various donors bought their lives. Their investments in the universities also entail buying academic freedom only for their side and paying for what lives or property are taken from the Palestinian side. And that’s the rub, I’m afraid. This is much to do with racism, I’m afraid. It’s one thing if the pro-Israeli speakers were always required to be balanced. It’s as if Israelis cannot be criticized and there’s something holy about it.
      It’s ironic that the US criticizes Turkey and says its banning of twitter is like 21st century book burning when so many people who want to talk about the bad situation Palestinians face just cannot. So much for freedom in America, eh?

      • JeffB
        March 25, 2014, 6:36 am

        @Basilio

        Pro-Zionist speakers are never asked by universities to be “balanced” in Canada or the U.S

        That’s probably true. Teaching the societal norms doesn’t generally demand balance. So for example if I want to teach general relativity I don’t have to balance it out with “tired light” (an alternative theory that is not contradicted by the experimental evidence but has tiny support within the physics community). If I were to teach tired light I need to contrast it with general relativity and explain that general relativity is the normative view. Not doing that but just teaching things like expansion from a tired light perspective would be an unbalanced position.

        Let me help you see the problem. Say for example you had a lecturer on African history who wanted to teach the class from the position of white racism. How liberals in Britain, Belgium and France conspired with Germany the USA and later the USSR to shatter the natural order and created the poverty and misery of Africa by pulling the most inferior race out of its natural protective relationship with the white man. Such a course would be taking a non-normative and offensive view. The question does academic freedom entitle that lecturer to demand that African history be taught this way? If a tenured professor published a book arguing this position and people demanded he be fired that’s when academic freedom kicks in.

        Obviously people have the freedom to be anti-Zionist. Free speech exists in the United States. This website among others proves it. There is no question that faculty at American Universities are entitled in the spare time to advocate for a change in USA attitudes / alignment so that Israel is no longer an ally of the United States but an enemy of the United States. And that deserves to be protected, because of America’s culture of free speech. Moreover faculty, which Iymen Chehade is not, deserve a guarantee of formal protection. The question here is not academic freedom but whether faculty are to be allowed to use the university classroom to teach views which are non-normative and offensive.

        The fact that you can’t imagine that the French would want to preserve France from the Germans without it being based on anti-German racism I think proves that you have an anti-French bias. Sorry I meant to write the fact that you can’t imagine that the Jews would want to preserve Israel from the Palestinians without it being based on anti-Palestinian racism I think proves that you have an anti-Jewish bias. Nations don’t like other nations coming in and taking over their country that has nothing to do with racism. I think Jewish kids are quite right to reject a narrative that assumes those sort of noxious views when they demand they be treated the same as every other country on earth is treated. The same way I would think black kids are entitled to reject a narrative that assumes they are part of an inferior race.

      • freespeechlover
        March 25, 2014, 10:53 am

        I’m a tenured faculty, and at least at my university, being a faculty advisor to a student organization, any student organization, is not considered activism but service to the institution. Service of just that kind is an expectation of all full time faculty; when adjuncts do it, it’s considered something positive for them, a sign of their commitment to the institution, above and beyond the usual.

      • Betsy
        March 25, 2014, 10:53 am

        @JeffB: I am utterly fascinated that you follow this sentence:

        Teaching the societal norms doesn’t generally demand balance.

        with a sentence arguing that one should teach general relativity, rather than a scientifically unsupported theory. My fascination comes from the fact that there is no logical connection between the two sentences. The first sentence suggests that universities should promulgate social norms — when, in fact, universities are founded on the principle that they should promote critical inquiry, which interrogates merely customary norms, while stewarding & transmitting the best in cultural legacies. The second sentence deals with the progress of science, which is based also on critical inquiry — so that theories are taught when they are supported by a mass of good data & thoroughly critiqued experimentation. These scientific choices are the *opposite* of following “social norms”.

        Finally, you often in your comments conflate the narrowest of legal arguments with broad ethical or cultural statements. It is certainly true that some academic administrators violate faculty freedoms of thought & expression (especially of contingent faculty) — because those administrators believe that they can get away with it, because of their legal staff. But, that does not mean that the wider scholarly communities agree with those administrators. if medical experts follow the Hippocratic Oath, they are transmitting key societal values, that have upheld the social contract between healers & society for millennia. If academic institutions start thinking in the narrow terms you are advocating, rather than living up to the scholarly & ethical standards of professional communities — it will be the death knell, not only of the academy, but also of our great traditions of critical inquiry.

      • JeffB
        March 25, 2014, 12:07 pm

        @Betsy

        My fascination comes from the fact that there is no logical connection between the two sentences. The first sentence suggests that universities should promulgate social norms — when, in fact, universities are founded on the principle that they should promote critical inquiry, which interrogates merely customary norms, while stewarding & transmitting the best in cultural legacies.

        I agree with your goal. However, inquiry comes from within the system. One needs to understand and learn how academics work to critique it. So for example back when I was critiquing the system I worked generally on an extension of Class Field Theory. The general norm was that Class Field Theory couldn’t be extended, there were a group of people associated with a discipline called Langland’s Functoriality that believed it could (and it is so amazing cool that Wikipedia now has an article on this I can just link to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langlands_program). That was a critique but it was a critique within the system. Critical inquiry is not about just throwing out everything but understanding the general ideas and then testing those premises building on the field.

        I really don’t think undergrads (with exceptions made for the incredibly bright and talented) have anything to add to inquiry at all. They are still assimilating the basics. Inquiry at their level is about teaching them to challenge their cultural assumptions but in a guided way. And certainly for history it makes sense to teach them a variety of views in detail. I’m all for that. And certainly the Israel / Palestinian dispute is a good choice because Jewish students are used to this sort of thing in the abstract but may have trouble in the particular. But that’s precisely what’s not happening in a class which doesn’t present multiple views and try and deconstruct them. He’s not presenting the alternative case. Rather by being biased he’s asking students to parrot an anti-colonialist morality. That might still help with critical inquiry but it is also quire reasonable for a department chair to say that he wants a more critical approach.

        because those administrators believe that they can get away with it, because of their legal staff.

        If administrators were genuinely making use of their legal staff they could get away with it with their tenured faculty. The discrepancy in resources is so vast and employment law in America is so biased towards employers that even with a contract guaranteeing academic freedom an aggressive dean would easily be able to de-facto breach with out de-jure breaching. It is because there are strong traditions of academic freedom and strong societal support for it that academic freedom exists in America as strongly as it does.

        I’m not sure where I stand on the moral issue of extending the cultural tradition of academic freedom to adjuncts. But in a news article reporting his status I think it is worth pointing out he is not a professor he’s staff. This is not an issue of what should be the case, but rather what is the case.

      • freespeechlover
        March 25, 2014, 10:58 am

        He doesn’t have an ethical obligation to teach “both sides,” whatever those two sides might mean, since there are actually many many sides. No one is obliged to teach a mythical “whole” of any subject. It’s impossible to do.

        Ask any student, as well, and they’ll tell you the worst courses in universities are the kind of “survey” course on a topic that sweeps too broadly, doesn’t go into anything in any depth, and isn’t anymore neutral or “fair” in its content than any other course, but appears to be so, simply due to calling it a “survey.”

        Five Broken Cameras is not some “terrorist screed,” nor it is particularly controversial. What’s going on at this university is an inept department chair and inept administrator made a poorly thought out decision without considering all of the consequences, including push back from those who disagreed with their decision. Now, they have to put up with that pushback and the national media attention it’s getting. They have to account for their inane decision making process. So what?

      • pjdude
        March 25, 2014, 12:40 pm

        Did you really just compare teaching Zionist point of view a highly subjective ideology that is based on manipulating history rather than facts to the teaching of scientific theories that are fact actually backed by evidence? Political ideologies should never be taught fiat acompli

      • puppies
        March 25, 2014, 1:24 pm

        “I think Jewish kids are quite right to reject a narrative that assumes those sort of noxious views when they demand they be treated the same as every other country on earth is treated.”
        Still completely crazy, aren’t we? How would the Zionist entity be comparable to any regular country? Preposterous.

      • puppies
        March 25, 2014, 1:29 pm

        Societal norms? The top societal norm is international law, with an interdiction to colonize and invade and exercise right of conquest. By societal norm, the only correct thing to advocate is the complete abolition of the Zionist entity.

      • JeffB
        March 25, 2014, 2:43 pm

        @puppies

        Societal norms? The top societal norm is international law, with an interdiction to colonize and invade and exercise right of conquest.

        What does the latest polling show is the support for sending George Bush and Obama to the Hague? Is it rounded off more than 0%? Your opinion on those things are not the norm they are well outside the norm. They aren’t even popular enough to constitute minority positions.

      • puppies
        March 25, 2014, 6:43 pm

        Even though we live among a surplus of morons and criminals, they don’t dare officially take down the law, and it remains the norm. Not even the Zionists dare do that yet.

    • piotr
      March 25, 2014, 6:40 am

      Thanks to JeffB for pointing to Chehade’s ratings. This is perhaps a more enthusiastic review than most, but not by much: “I mean I love Iymen! This class was awesome. His teaching was great! Along with his Muslim charm! Tall, Dark&Handsome with 3 credits? Yes please! Take this class. It’s a must!”

      If this does not describe a poisoner of young vulnerable minds, nothing will.

      • RoHa
        March 25, 2014, 11:09 am

        I love this idea that university lecturers have immense influence over their students. My own experience as a would-be poisoner of young minds is that they are far more likely to be influenced by their idiot friends than by a middle-aged philosophy professor.

        Of course, Iymen is a lot younger, swarthy, and unshaven, so that might help, but there is still the obstacle that young people already know everything anyway.

      • Citizen
        March 25, 2014, 5:33 pm

        @ Jeff B
        You’re right, neither the USA nor Israel care about the international norms set down at Nuremberg, followed by its Geneva progeny. This has been glaringly obvious since Bush Jr administration attacked Iran, and Israel has been violating those norms since its birth in 1948, and its founders, since 1947. All those who died before the Nuremberg and Toyko Trials died in vain–“Never Again” means nothing at it has so not been the norm enforced on a universal level. In this sense, Jeff B looks at the facts. So, the question is, why teach the Shoah or the Nakba since neither illustrates a red line norm world civilization should not cross? Goering would support JeffB’s POV.

    • LeaNder
      March 25, 2014, 7:22 am

      There are plenty of political philosophies in which power is good, and the job of government is to control territory and dispossess enemies.

      Interesting way to put it. You mean my desire to dispossess them turns whoever into my enemies? And I fight them ultimately only with that aim in mind? Who do you think comes to mind first if I start to ponder this theorem?

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 25, 2014, 9:36 am

      JeffB:

      “He has an ethical obligation to teach both sides”

      So if a history professor teaches about the Holocaust, does he have an ethical obligation to teach both sides; not only that the Holocaust was wrong and a great crime against humanity (one side), but also that it was the Salvation of the Aryan race thwarted by the subhumans (the other side)?? Or does the professor have the academic freedom to present the material in the manner he sees fit?

      • ritzl
        March 25, 2014, 10:36 am

        @WT- Bingo.

        So if a history professor teaches about the Holocaust, does he have an ethical obligation to teach both sides;…

        It would seem so, in JeffB world. But zios never get the paradox in their quest for balance, do they? It’s all me, Me, ME!, all the time. Balance is crucial only if “MY” version is not represented.

        Selectivity is their universality.

      • JeffB
        March 25, 2014, 11:05 am

        @Woody

        So if a history professor teaches about the Holocaust, does he have an ethical obligation to teach both sides; not only that the Holocaust was wrong and a great crime against humanity (one side), but also that it was the Salvation of the Aryan race thwarted by the subhumans (the other side)??

        He doesn’t teach either position. He is teaching history not theology. He is a specialist in history not ethics. Intermixing his own opinions about ethics are as wrong as when Social Science professor intermix their own opinions about statistics, which I’ve frequently castigated them for. Who cares what professor X thinks about the morality of anything?

        So what he should be doing is presenting the Nazi view accurately, faithfully knowledgeable and explaining how their view originated and how their actions came from it. The anti-views that should be presented are mainly those of the time so a much stronger emphasis on concepts from the International Peace Movement or the Christian morality movement. Language like “crime against humanity” that wouldn’t become mainstream until later can be skipped. If it is going to be taught it should be taught in the context in which it developed historically.

        Exactly the same standard should be applied.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 25, 2014, 11:50 am

        “He is teaching history not theology.”

        What a stupid statement. First, it’s not a matter of theology. (Do you even know what the word “theology” means??) Second, the notion that history should be tought as straght facts, divorced from the social mores, ethics and the social structure in which it arises is no longer a viable teaching method, if it ever actually was.

        “He is a specialist in history not ethics.”

        You speak as if these are separate disciples. They’re not.

        “Intermixing his own opinions about ethics are as wrong as when Social Science professor intermix their own opinions about statistics, which I’ve frequently castigated them for.”

        If you’ve castigated them for that, you’re a moron. The world is an interdisciplinary place and has been for a long time. Time for you to vault ahead to the 20th Century, then maybe one day you’ll join us here in the 21st.

        “Language like ‘crime against humanity’ that wouldn’t become mainstream until later can be skipped. ”

        And you clearly have no goddamn idea what you are talking about. It is rather pathetic that you “castigate” others for going beyond what you believe to be their competance, and here you are, spout on about this subject whic you clearly have no clue about. Not even a little.

        So why don’t you take your own advice and shut the hell up and leave it to others. Okay?

      • Citizen
        March 25, 2014, 12:47 pm

        @ JeffB
        There has never been a college course, or any TV documentary, that puts the development and origins of the NAZI and Zionist movements in their parallel historical perspective, especially not with full historical/cultural context. Are you arguing we need this? If so, I agree. If not, why not?

    • lyn117
      March 26, 2014, 2:52 am

      There are plenty of political philosophies in which power is good, and the job of government is to control territory and dispossess enemies.

      Yes, and the nazi political philosophy exemplified exactly that. Yep, they surely did dispossess all those Jews who happened to be the nazi government’s enemies. I can see it now, Professer JeffB, standing up in front of class, stating that it’s a good thing to attack other countries, pillage them and kill anyone who doesn’t flee.

  5. Sycamores
    March 24, 2014, 6:47 pm

    Iymen Chehade will probably have a bigger fight on his hands soon. probably really soon if Louise Love becomes more involve, considering what happen to Douglas Giles.

    the growing list of educators who dare to mention the suffering of the Palestinians or zionism in a critical light kowningly risk their careers. the only word that can describe these people is courageous.

  6. John Douglas
    March 24, 2014, 7:17 pm

    The Lobby has done a great deal of damage to the U.S. in many areas. One of them has been to use pressure to establish a tradition of violating academic freedom in higher education. Attempt to suppress expression during the late sixties, concerning the war and civil rights were easily brushed aside. But in the case of pro-Israel pressure to suppress ideas and speech a pattern has been set. It could spread to other issues concerning evolution, the environment, climate change, police behavior, free market economics. That would be yet another tragedy.

    • Kay24
      March 24, 2014, 11:27 pm

      That dangerous lobby, has been able to control our Congress, write our foreign policy bills, make Congress go against their own President, leaders, control the media, attack those who criticize Israel by cries of anti-semitism, and now academia. This is an occupation of a different kind, deadly in some ways.
      Would Israel allow their Knesset members to be bought, controlled, media and entertainment business controlled by a one sided narrative, and allow our President to interfere in their elections, by supporting an opponent?
      As soon as our Congress decides collectively to not allow an alien nation, with deadly intent, to control the US, even in colleges, we would be liberated.

    • RoHa
      March 25, 2014, 6:32 am

      I have seen suggestions that it already happens in respect of climate change. Proponents of the Anthropogenic Global Warming speculation allegedly pressure new entrants to the field in academia to toe the party line, even in the teeth of the empirical evidence.

      However, I have not seen details of any specific cases, so, although it is well known that this sort of thing happens in academic circles (as in other circles), it would be wrong for me to claim that it is happening in this case.

  7. piotr
    March 24, 2014, 8:04 pm

    JeffB:

    He has an ethical obligation to teach both sides. He seems to have trouble understanding that there are two sides: “because the conflict is not balanced: One side has more power than the other and has continually dispossessed them” is frankly a completely unacceptable excuse for not doing his job. There are plenty of political philosophies in which power is good, and the job of government is to control territory and dispossess enemies. A history professor should be aware of philosophies other than the ones he subscribes to.

    I am not a historian, but I was a history buff, and I have a little trouble in listing those “plenty philosopies”. Fascism. Colonialism. Racism. Does it make “plenty”?

    • david sp
      March 24, 2014, 11:58 pm

      Good thing the Chinese are not Jewish. Or they would have to answer for their actions in Tibet. And it was good that Saddam Hussein was Molem because you are allowedto gas people as long as you are not a Jew.

      • ritzl
        March 25, 2014, 11:17 am

        @david sp- Saddam is dead. Get it? HANGED! And his country in shambles.

        Many people minimize how much made in China crap they buy for that very reason (and others).

        You guys don’t seem to be able to comprehend that the more you try to “whatabout?” to show Israel is singled out for “harsh” treatment, you promote awareness that the exact opposite is the case. Or alternately, that Israel IS singled out, but for a remarkable level of preferential treatment.

        So, keep talking. Keep talking louder.

      • Citizen
        March 25, 2014, 12:54 pm

        @ ritzl
        It’s so true that the more Israel Firsters claim Israel is singled out for criticism, the more the US-Israel “special relationship” is also singled out for criticism. You can’t take 20% of total US foreign aid to Israel and not expect anybody to ask, why?

      • Donald
        March 25, 2014, 1:08 pm

        “david sp- Saddam is dead. Get it? HANGED! And his country in shambles.”

        Apparently david sp thinks the US should give Israel the tender treatment it gave Iraq. Sanctions that destroyed the economy and killed hundreds of thousands, and then an invasion which killed hundreds of thousands more.

      • ritzl
        March 25, 2014, 3:30 pm

        Yep, Donald. It suggests a new self-help book (or Shel Silverstein?): How Hermetic is Your Cocoon?

        Peace.

      • eljay
        March 25, 2014, 11:43 am

        >> Good thing the Chinese are not Jewish. Or they would have to answer for their actions in Tibet. And it was good that Saddam Hussein was Molem because you are allowedto gas people as long as you are not a Jew.

        The Chinese should answer for their actions, just as Saddam answered for his. And just as Israel should answer for its actions.

        But Zio-supremacists seem to think that “the rapist should be permitted to continue raping until such time as the murderer is caught and jailed” is a good argument in defence of Israel. It’s not.

      • Antidote
        March 25, 2014, 1:10 pm

        “Good thing the Chinese are not Jewish. Or they would have to answer for their actions in Tibet.”

        If the Chinese were Jewish, China would hardly be, to quote a recent book title, the “forgotten ally” of WW II. It would be generally accepted that WW II started with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1937, not the German invasion of Poland in 1939. The greatest and fiercest battle would be Shanghai (1937), not Stalingrad (1942/43). The prime victims of the war would not be the Jews, much less the Soviets or Poles but ethnic Chinese (and a few million other victims of the Japanese, such as Filipinos). Their actions in Tibet would be understood as legitimate self-defense (as in understandably rejecting “Auschwitz borders”, or ending up as another Czechoslovakia etc etc)

        “And it was good that Saddam Hussein was Molem because you are allowedto gas people as long as you are not a Jew.”

        Or a German (WW I or II)

      • Antidote
        March 25, 2014, 1:28 pm

        “invasion of Manchuria in 1937”

        correction – Manchuria was invaded in 1931. The Japanese invaded China proper in 1937 (Nanking)

      • piotr
        March 26, 2014, 7:14 pm

        Battle of Shanghai:

        total engaged (both sides): 900,000, total casualties (both sides): 420,000

        Battle of Stalingrad: total engaged at the peak period: 2,180,000

        total casualties (full length of the campaign, I presume): 1,970,000

      • RoHa
        March 27, 2014, 6:40 am

        Probably the least remembered ally is the Libyan Brigade which supported the British forces in North Africa.

        And it seems to me that Americans often fail to understand that “British forces” means “British Empire forces”. Indians, Nigerians, Malays, and a rainbow of others, as well as Canadians, Australians, South Africans, and New Zealanders. The first time a lot of the Free French saw France was when they liberated Paris.

        Australians were very annoyed that MacArthur, in his dispatches, referred to American troops as “American”, but Australian and NZ troops as “allied”.

    • JeffB
      March 25, 2014, 6:40 am

      @piotr

      Also the mainstream philosophy of the both USA parties. We don’t intentionally lose wars and delight in American power often bemoaning the fact that we don’t have enough of it to accomplish are aims. We also bemoan the fact that we can’t dispossess enemies easily and cheaply enough. Watch any foreign policy debate from the mainstream.

      Racism BTW is not a political philosophy.

      • puppies
        March 25, 2014, 1:19 pm

        “Racism BTW is not a political philosophy”
        Never heard about a place called the US of A, have we?

  8. Kay24
    March 24, 2014, 9:29 pm

    In the main stream media, the narrative is always one sided – the Israeli side. We never see what goes on in the other side, the side that lives in misery, that has to go through numerous check points, the lack of water, or access only to polluted water, the refugee camps and the hardship, so it seems some people find it hard to sit and watch a well acclaimed movie, directed by a Palestinian AND an Israeli, showing the hardship these poor occupied people have to live on a daily basis. For the student who complained about it, it must have been hard to see the truth, or must feel uncomfortable, that what Israel is doing, goes against what Americans are told – that they are all terrorists, and that the majority of Palestinians are basically human being trying hard to do what is best for their families, while they live in limbo.

  9. seafoid
    March 24, 2014, 9:31 pm

    Rima Kapitan is a name to watch. She’s a great lady and an example of what the Palestinian American community is doing in the 4th generation post Nakba.

  10. seafoid
    March 24, 2014, 11:02 pm

    The real News video is worth 10 minutes of your time. Very impressive. The bots have obviously opened a front in the universities.
    Fight them on the beaches.

    Chehade says he wants to open the discussion. The bots hate that.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isrr7Ebf7gk

    I am guessing that he is related to the Shehadeh family – are they Qudsi or Khalili ?

    • piotr
      March 25, 2014, 5:03 am

      This describes the self-perception of Zionists (mind you, it is an endless repetition, but the first 36 seconds show it all).

      (they invented humus rather than shishkebab, but this is a minor detail).

  11. Pamela Olson
    March 24, 2014, 11:34 pm

    I was lucky enough to meet Iymen when I was in Chicago. His class looks terrific, and he seems extremely knowledgeable. Which is precisely why he is targeted. Can’t have him corrupting the youth with the truth.

    • Pamela Olson
      March 25, 2014, 1:15 am

      Leave aside, for the moment, the fact that Chehade’s main “bias” is toward historical fact, international law, and equal rights for all.

      If the shoe were on the other foot — say, if a professor were an admitted Zionist, and taught primarily from a Zionist perspective — would he be accused of “bias” and therefore unqualified to teach a university class?

      • Kay24
        March 25, 2014, 1:54 am

        Zionism is accepted in many institutions and even by Congress. To support any form of zionism, from Capitol Hill to the classrooms in schools, colleges, and media, is to support Israel. Any professor having a class showing zionism as preferable, and preaching the Israeli narrative, will be able to do so freely, and without accusations of being unqualified.
        Those who complain about his classes and his bias, will be immediately labelled an “anti semite”.

    • seafoid
      March 25, 2014, 5:14 am

      He comes across as very impressive. That’s the tragedy of Zionism- it’s a dead ideology at this stage and it can’t compete with the truthtellers.

      • Kay24
        March 25, 2014, 7:28 am

        It is dead all over the world except in the US….they keep flogging that dead horse, and whipping the devotion.

  12. david sp
    March 25, 2014, 12:01 am

    Why should Israel make concessions? It has the land. And the Moslems offer nothing. What would Mexico haveto offer I wonder if it demanded a US pulback to the 1840 borders?

    • freespeechlover
      March 25, 2014, 11:01 am

      Because if it doesn’t make such concessions, it will end up being treated as South Africa was. Also, the areas of Israel that the current Israeli Knesset are most interested in “cleansing” or disciplining in various ways are those with heavily Christian populations such as Nazareth.

    • seafoid
      March 25, 2014, 11:12 am

      Israel should pull back before TSHTF.
      The US isn’t going to go under. Israel prolly is.

    • pjdude
      March 25, 2014, 12:49 pm

      Except the Muslims have the actual legal claim to the land were as israel has none

    • amigo
      March 25, 2014, 1:59 pm

      “Why should Israel make concessions? It has the land. And the Moslems offer nothing.”dsp

      I see Hasbara central has sent another dim witted zionist racist bigot.

      Ever heard of an Arab Christian zio .

  13. RoHa
    March 25, 2014, 6:16 am

    “professors are not obligated to present an opposing view to every opinion or fact presented in class.”

    Indeed not. Students at university level should be able to (and in any decent university are expected to) do their own research and find alternate views.

    • seafoid
      March 25, 2014, 11:13 am

      Zionism is incompatible with university thinking. There is no research. You swallow the ideology whole and you do not ask questions.

  14. Citizen
    March 25, 2014, 8:41 am

    “The other side is fighting in retreat,” Chehade says. “They’re fighting, and they’re losing, but they’re upping things.”

    Looks like they’re upping things in Italy too:
    http://www.jta.org/2014/01/19/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/italys-jewish-community-grapples-with-attitudes-on-israel-middle-east

    Even upping things to the international summit level:
    http://www.jta.org/2013/11/06/life-religion/israel-world-jewish-leaders-convene-for-summit-on-israel-diaspora-relations

  15. frankier
    March 25, 2014, 11:41 pm

    I think we know exactly what happened…
    Follow the money and take a look at the “supporters” list.
    http://www.colum.edu/Giving_to_Columbia/OurSupporters/

    It is an established fact that zionism is trying to shape the narrative by threatening to redirect “support” away from recipient institutions… you know, just like they do with elections.

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