Collaborators in the Campus War against Israel and the Jews: Joel Beinin – by Steven Plaut


Joel Beinin, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History at Stanford University, has distinguished himself as a Jewish apologist for Islamist hatred of America and Israel.

Beinin may be best known within academia for his tour of duty as president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), a position generally reserved for haters of Israel and enablers of Islamofascism. Beinin’s publication record is largely a hodgepodge of books and articles smearing Israel or promoting Marxism, many of them appearing in pseudo-academic and in non-scholarly political magazines. (His book Workers and Peasants in the Modern Middle East, said one critic, “could have been written by a Soviet flunky back in the days of Comrade Brezhnev.”) Many academics, including some of Beinin’s colleagues at Stanford, have scoffed at his academic credentials. At least one Stanford professor has insisted that Beinin never should have been granted tenure.

Beinin has denounced American “imperialism” on Aljazeera, the network of choice for Osama bin Laden. Just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, he published an article claiming that al-Qaeda’s hatred of America was a justified and understandable reaction to America’s oppressive policies. Beinin believes, in fact, that 9/11 was America’s comeuppance for its alliance with Israel. “The American empire is going down,” Beinin claims.

Beinin celebrates genocidal Middle East terrorists and suicide bombers as martyrs. About the mullahs of Iran he has found little that he does not like. His writing about the “history” of the Middle East is often laden with Islamist fictions, such as the contention that the Palestinians descend from the Canaanites. Much of his “research” is a sort of radical tape loop, which consists of citing the works other anti-Israel propagandists.

To understand Beinin’s bizarre ideas, it is enough to note the dramatic contradiction between the two most notable items in his bio. As a young man he went to live for a time in the egalitarianism of an Israeli kibbutz. But rather than inspiring utopianism, that experience convinced him that Israel is an apartheid regime of barbarous evil. Later in life, he spent several years living in Egypt, with its brutish poverty, its open racial and religious discrimination, its oppressive dictatorship, and its oppression of women. Yet, that experience taught Beinin that there is nothing at all wrong with Arab regimes – other than their victimization by American “imperialism.”

Beinin seems to enjoy spinning the yarn of his largely imaginary transition from being a “Zionist” in his youth to a maturity as an anti-Israel cheerleader for jihad. As he likes to tell it, he “recovered” from his early Zionism by morphing into a Trotskyite and, from there, into a Maoist. He says this was because Zionism (unlike Maoism) was not sufficiently devoted to “social justice.” Appropriately, in this connection, Stanley Kurtz has compared Beinin’s political fanaticism to that of Noam Chomsky.

Here is how Beinin explains his devotion to the principles of Chairman Mao:

“Theoretically (which is the part I was never too interested in) it meant to support China’s line after the Sino-Soviet split of 1964. Practically speaking (which is what I was interested in) those who said they were Maoists went to work in industrial factories and other places where there were concentrations of the working class in order to create unions, radicalize existing unions, and to try to politicize workers. So after finishing my MA at Harvard I went to work in a Chrysler auto plant outside Detroit and also did organizing in the Arab community in Dearborn, a good percentage of whom were also auto workers.”

Beinin is a great believer in conspiracy theories about a Zionist cabal that controls American foreign policy. Israel is “the tail that wags the American dog,” in his words. He is highly critical of the “moderate” non-Hamas factions of the Palestinian movement for being insufficiently anti-American and anti-Israel, and for acting as puppets whose strings are pulled by the American “imperialists.” He rejects any theory of 9/11 or of Islamist terror that does not hold American imperialism to be the ultimate cause. He has cheered Palestinian terrorism as a “strike for peace.”

It would be hard to find a Hamas or Hezbollah terrorist that he does not insist is actually a “moderate.” Beinin has taken note in passing of “violent attacks against Israeli targets by Hamas,” but failed to point out that these “targets” were children and other civilians. He considers accusations of anti-Semitism to be nothing more than a hoax used by Zionists to hide their own crimes. He has expressed the view that terrorism should not be referred to as “terrorism” at all; it is just freedom fighting and peace seeking by other means.

hamasThe object of his affection: Beinin extols Hamas terrorists as freedom fighters.

Beinin opposes any act of self-defense by Israel as being by definition “disproportionate” and constituting “war crimes.” He defends Hamas terrorists choosing to attack Israel while hiding among Palestinian civilians to cause maximum civilian casualties in these words:

“Of course Hamas hides among civilians. Gaza’s a very small, densely populated place. Where else are they going to hide?”

Beinin denies that Arab aggression ever represented a serious threat to Israel, even in the 1967 Six Day War, because Israel has always been the Goliath oppressing the Arab David. He likes to denounce Israel as an apartheid regime and participates in “Apartheid Week” week events.

But, while living for years in the middle of Egyptian apartheid, he never managed to notice any inequality or discrimination there. Beinin spent 2006 to 2008 as a visiting professor at the American University of Cairo in Egypt. His main project during that visit was to whitewash Egyptian anti-Semitism, which includes Holocaust Denial and accusations that Jews commit ritual slaughter and drink the blood of gentiles. In his book on the fate of the Egyptian Jewish community, The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry, Beinin claims that there is no anti Semitism to speak of in Egypt.

Like Norman Finkelstein, Tony Judt and other Jewish Israel haters, Beinin likes to play the victim of persecution by the evil Zionist Lobby. He claims that a cabal of neo-conservatives orchestrated from Tel Aviv is conspiring to silence Middle East Studies. He does not hesitate to use anti-Semitic images and smears when attacking his Jewish critics, including Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer. It is his Orwellian idea that such critics should be silenced in the name of academic freedom and the First Amendment.

Beinin is a co-author (along with University of California at Santa Barbara professor Lisa Hajjar) of “Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Primer,” which has been is widely reprinted, including on anti-Israel pro-terror web sites such as “From Occupied Palestine.” The “primer” begins with the proclamation that religion plays no role in the Arab war against Israel and that it is all a “struggle over land.” In fact, one of the few unchallengeable assumptions about the Middle East conflict is that it has virtually nothing to do with land. Arab countries already control 6,145,389 square miles of land, almost twice the area of the United States. Israel, even when including all of the “occupied territories” retained from the 1967 war, controls less than 10,000 square miles. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip comprise about 2,300 square miles (a bit less when deducting Jerusalem and its suburbs from the account.) Beinin wants his readers to believe that with 6,145,389 square miles, the Arabs are justified in seeking genocide, but with just 2,300 more, they will want peace.

Beinin is so openly biased within his own classroom that the Stanford Review, the school’s conservative student newspaper, has published a column called Beinin Watch that regularly exposes his behavior. For instance, Beinin teaches a course on “Palestine, Zionism and the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” in which no dissenting opinions are aired and in which class sessions are fraught with conspiracy theories about Jews and Israel.

While demanding that Jewish Zionist professors be barred from teaching on US campuses, Beinin has campaigned on behalf of Sami al-Arian, the Florida professor indicted for his ties to Hamas. As president of MESA, Beinin issued a blistering denunciation of the University of South Florida for dismissing al-Arian.

“McCarthyism” seems to be Beinin’s third favorite “m” word, after Marxism and Mao, and he applies it liberally to anyone who dares to criticize him. Beinin wrote a 2004 article called “The New McCarthyism: Policing Thought about the Middle East.” In it, Beinin denounced the Ford Foundation’s decision to withdraw funding from any university grantee that finances the promotion of “violence, terrorism, or bigotry or the destruction of any state.” What worried Beinin was that such restrictions could potentially hurt a “Palestinian student group [that] called for the replacement of the state of Israel with a secular, democratic state,” meaning one seeking the extermination of Israel.

In February 2007, Beinin complained in the San Francisco Chronicle that he himself had been a victim of “Zionist censorship.” Here is his version, as presented in the paper (in which he also compares himself to fellow martyrs Jimmy Carter and Tony Judt):

“I was to give a talk about our Middle East policy to high school students at the Harker School in San Jose. With one day to go, my contact there called to say my appearance had been canceled. He was apologetic and upset. He expected the talk would be intellectually stimulating and intriguing for students. But, he said, `a certain community of parents’ complained to the headmaster. He added, without divulging details, that the Jewish Community Relations Council of Silicon Valley had played a role [in his disinvitation]….”

The Chronicle’s reporter then called the Jewish Community Relations Council executive director Diane Fisher, its executive director. As it turns out, the organization had never actually spoken with anyone at the Harker School.

This was not the only Beinin lapse in remembering facts or getting a story wrong. In 2002 Beinin initiated a petition together with other anti-Israel academics in Israel, which charged Israel with plotting the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians under cover of the approaching war in Iraq. When the war began and no atrocities against the Palestinians took place, some of Beinin’s colleagues claimed, absurdly, that it was the petition itself that had prevented Israel from carrying out its genocidal intentions.

In another example of Beinin’s troubled relationship with the truth, journalist Alyssa Lappen reports that Beinin has obsessively insisted that he U.S. government “has given Israel nearly one trillion dollars.” But this is a completely fictional sum: total aid to Israel since 1949 has actually come to just over $90 billion, including $15 billion in loans. Informed of his whopper, Beinin insisted incoherently, “The basic point still stands.”

Beinin has repeatedly called for ending all arms sales to Israel. When Israel is disarmed, the Arab states can implement the sort of “peace settlement” for which Beinin yearns. Whether any Jews would survive such a “peace” is a proposition that the radical professor seems all too willing to test.

Articles in Frontpage’s Collaborators series:

Mark LeVine

Neve Gordon

Norman Finkelstein

Tony Judt

Michael Lerner

Marc H. Ellis

  • arenstein

    Well, just to save some time, the Neo-Nazi Akingu has not yet added his infantile racist talkbacks against Jews to this page, so let us save everyone some time and point out in advance that Akingu is nothing more than a Nazi piece of manured body excretion.

    • Mike

      I have to agree with this. Good point !


      Mike V

  • abrahamstubenhaus

    Joel Judas Beinin continues to try desperately to squeeze his way into that treacherous cadre of Jew hating Jews, peopled by Finkelstein, Chomsky, Shahak and Falk, who all proclaim in unison that it is not the Jews they hate; it is only the Apartheid Zionist Israelis that they protest. Relevantly, we must remember that Finkelstein of course, is so clearly an enemy of the Jews, that the Shin Beit interrogated him for 14 hours straight, when he arrived in Israel a year ago, and then refused him entry and sent him back to Europe. They have banned him from the country for ten years in a row now.
    Joel Beinin will soon be able to proudly include himself in the “Banned From Israel,” bunch. It will be a new medal to place on his kafia, while his eighteen year old students will look up at him in veneration and awe; their professor.
    Where else can one find such a unique stance of support for the poor, innocent, non violent, peace loving, homeless Palestinians? Only Mr. Beinin has thought of this. Oh, excuse me, PROFESSOR. Ah, “professor,” is supposed to hint at intelligence, yet there is no originality in this traitor's “thinking.” He tries to sound distinctive, yet, there are thousands exactly like Beinin, who eagerly Uncle Tom their way to be ingratiated in the Muslim eyes. Meanwhile, the Palestinians and other haters, quietly snicker at Beinin's meager, groveling and shnorring to curry their favor, while they giggle at his see through efforts.

  • abrahamstubenhaus

    Arenstein, just a note to let you know bro, that “akingu” also sent me one of his typical, low class, gutter-slug, turdo remarks, rambling on about 250 countries (as if his nineteen year old mind can grasp geography and reality at the same time).
    Guess what? Did you ever notice how akingu is not a real name. He is a coward, hiding behind the “name” akingu.
    His return email address is also a cowardly disguised “name.”
    Here it is… so, you see a real name there? No, we show our names. He is ashamed of his, and he is a sleazeball, sneaky homicide bomber type, who hasn't got the guts to face anyone head on, so he hides and disguises himself to avoid getting hurt while he tries desperately to hurt others. Of course, he is like all terrorists, who do cowardly acts and then call themselves, “heros,” “shahids.”
    Yo, AKINGU…can you read this?…..C O W A R D. You got that boy?

  • earthman

    And this so called “Professor” teaches at one of our colleges. Unbelievable! He should be in jail facing treason charges. What is the FBI doing if anything, especially under Mr. Holder. Bring back the FBI of the 40's and 50's when they were patriotic and not PC.

  • Eric the sceptic

    An illuminating profile of how a self-described radical Marxist can, by strange twists and turns, develop a strange sympathy for religious bigots and violent jihadists. It's surprising that the angry professor hasn't found more solace and satisfaction from living in Palo Alto and teaching at Stanford. Where does all his anger come from?

  • PAthena

    Abrahamstubenhaus' comment is interesting but makes a mistake, calling the communist, tyrant-worshipping Jews-of Convenience like Joel Beinin “Uncle Toms.” Uncle Tom, the hero of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, is not a fawning sycophant of his slave-owners but a Christ-like figure.

  • Rafael

    You may not undrestand the nature of this “professors”, “conspiracy theory believers”, “america haters”, “deaf to islamic imperialism, despite three civilization extremination'…
    unless you undrestand neurosis.
    A neurotic personality can not enjoy life, and can not be source of joy,
    is suffering of life, and wants to be the source of suffering,
    that is the quintesential nature of neurotic personality,
    and its etiology is not receiving love within first few years of life.

  • Akingu

    Let us please acknowledge that arenstein is a zionist crybaby b*tch. No debate, no posts to defend his positions, but rather it starts flinging names about like a rabid babboon flings it's own feces.
    Pathetically, it's own race is to blame and typically, it shows no remorse, no regret, no admittance to Israels terroristic tactics against civilians and their media ownership cover-ups so to keep the American public blind, deaf and dumb to their mass-murdering efforts.
    How's the push for gay rights going? Must be a JREW thing as Christians don't seem to promote such disgusting, perverted behaviours, but the ADL finances such perverted pedophiles.
    There are good jews, who respect human life and natural laws and then, there are jews like you. perhaps if you practiced what you preach, you wouldn't appear to be such a friggin' hypocritical *sswipe, neh??
    Perhaps if you had actually had the balls to serve in our military and seen the attrocities your race has committed, you might change your tune, but I doubt it. You're just another hater and bigot.


  • Akingu

    POX 181 Covington, OH. 45318. When you get to the PO, just tell them to call Mark Martin. I'll be there shortly. You might want to bring some friends.
    Are you able to afford it though, really? I mean, that job of yours, doing the clown voice for the local taco drive-thru, well, we all know it doesn't pay much. Besides, if you're gone for more than a day, your mommy might rent out your room in the basement to some nice Goy who'll schtoop her fat *ss every night.
    I've dealt with commie k*ke f*ggots like you before. Come on down! ;P

  • antioli

    Maybe the Muslims really view him as an Israeli Spy but are willing to tolerate him as long as he says the right thing.

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    • misobelly

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  • jtats85

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  • William Brenner

    I saw this PROFESSOR speak at UCLA. Like UCLA's Prof. Gaby Piterberg, the only thing this man professes is that he's a SELF-HATING JEW, so mentally ill that,like all psychotics, he's incapable of seeing just how CRAZY his life's work has become. May he join Torquemada, Haman, QUaddafi, Ahmadinejad andRahm Emanuel in the region of Dante's INFERNO reserved for TRAITORS who turn on and prosecute their own co-religionists.

  • Joe Reader

    This article is a classroom example of vilification. References to a purported faceless “many” or “at least someone” who said this or the other. Baseless accusations and straw-man attacks in every and all possible directions. The previous commenters follow suit with open hate language. A shameful exposé worthy of the worst organizations and regimes the world has known.

  • arenstein

    Mark Martin aka Akingu hates dem Joos because his shmekele is so tiny!

  • arenstein

    Hey everyone, what has an IQ of 115?

    Answer: The average Jew or a group of any 27 members of Mark Martin's family.

  • LucyQ

    To Steven Plaut-why do you not include his addy and his snail mail so we could send him hate letters? Steven, make your terrific work complete…..please.

  • akingusaturd

    AKingu is angry because hi momma ran off with a Jewish traveling salesman and she left Akingu behind to be raised by dung beetles in the trailer.

  • akingusaturd

    Akingu wh*cking off in front of his poster of Hitler again?

  • abijah

    Self loathers, American, Jewish, and Israeli project their loathing upon their heritage because it is unbearable for them. Since they have great guilt and have rejected repentance and righteousness, guilty self loathers invent their own form of righteousness which consists of condemning everyone that holds to the Judeo-Christian faith for any all things real or imagined. They live dissipating lives and are dead internally even as they live, looking for self abnegation and forgetfulness in oblivion now and in the future.

  • arenstein

    Here is Beinin's web page:
    with all th eparticulars

  • LucyQ

    Great!!! Thank you lots.

  • Akingu

    Hey, that's pretty funny. Tell me jewboy, do you keep that unibrow thing going because it reminds you of your mother or is it the mustache instead?
    Smartest thing to come out of your mouth is your pedophile fathers d**k.

  • Akingu

    Sorry jewboy, my mother is still happily married to a wonderful Gentile man.
    You see, unlike you and YOUR father, with whom you've obviously used as a detrimental reminder and insult, MY father taught me morals, values, ethics while your father taught you about buggery and how to scam a Gentile.
    I'm guesing that you don't even have the balls to serve in our military. You do know there's still that “don't ask, don't tell” policy in effect.

  • arenstein

    You know Akingu, with a bit of hard effort and some serious study, you could actually someday get a 6th-grade equivalence certificate, allowing you to compete for jobs currently only available for graduates of elementary school. It could change your whole life. You could move out of your trailer park.

  • arenstein

    Poor little Akingu. So much noise from him all just to cover his latent homosexual impulses, overwhelming him. Why don't you just come out of the closet, Akingu? We will not make fun of you. Lots of Nazi crackers like you have already done so!

  • arenstein

    We are very happy to hear about Akingu's devotion and intention to serve in the military, despite his latent homosexuality. We believe it will not have to come out, because after all undre the rules of the military, Akingu should not tell and should not be asked. But we are sure he will find those nice long showers in the head very refreshing and stimulating. You know, his hero Joseph Goebbals was also gay, just like him!

  • Claudia

    I don't get one thing, why can't people raise voice for a genuine cause and why are they against their own humans?P90X

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  • rogermoore

    I also think they always think about "my Bosch AHS 7000 is the boss" a lot.

  • haibo

    This is definitely something new – students got involved? Thanks for the info!

  • haibo

    Should the professor continue teaching? Or at least some guidelines/rules should be used.

  • Joel

    Thanks for the post, i'll continue looking forward to it.

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  • Audrey Kelly

    They live scattering lives and are lifeless on the inside even as they live, searching for self abnegation and absentmindedness in nothingness now and in the coming times.

  • Joseph

    And this so called “Professor” teaches at one of our colleges. Unbelievable! He should be in jail facing treason charges. What is the FBI doing if anything, especially under Mr. Holder. Bring back the FBI of the 40’s and 50’s when they were patriotic and not PC.

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  • Helen Colon