Using the ‘Arab Uprisings’ to Bash America and Israel


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When asked by a student why both Muslims and Christians have voted for Hezbollah in Lebanon, Cole—in typically apologetic form—answered that “Hezbollah has done a good job of rebuilding the infrastructure and protecting the Lebanese from Israel.”

Several questions revolved around Syria and the failure of its revolution thus far, to which Cole responded:

The U.S. and Israel are not interested in changing the regime in Syria. Syria is good for the U.S. and it’s good for Israel.

He never explained how the Assad regime in Syria—despite all evidence to the contrary—is good for either the U.S. or Israel, when in fact it’s an ideal candidate for regime change. In Cole’s conspiratorial mindset, the U.S. and Israel are behind everything, even when it’s not in their interests.

When a member of the audience described recent protests in the Palestinian territories, Gelvin noted that, “these uprisings in many ways are the most interesting to observe.” Referring to a group that calls itself “Gaza Youth Breaks Out,” Gelvin proudly put forth the opening line of its manifesto: “F— Israel. F— Hamas. F— Fatah. F— UN. F— UNWRA. F— USA!” Given that the group’s manifesto also promises to “start by destroying the occupation that surrounds ourselves,” it’s little wonder that Gelvin was so taken with them.

Continually deflecting attention towards the U.S. and Israel, the two speakers evinced a troubling state of affairs in the field of Middle East studies. Instead of asking the difficult and, at times, uncomfortable questions regarding the rise of radical Islam in the Middle East, both Gelvin and Cole whitewashed the revolutions by downplaying the role of religion and framing the discussion around economic grievances. The Arab uprisings are still unfolding, but what may be needed is an uprising in academia.

Please email your concerns and comments to UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies (cnes@international.ucla.edu) and the University of Michigan’s Department of History (umhistory@umich.edu).

Judith Greblya wrote this article for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at jgreblya@aol.com.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

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  • Fred

    Why can't the Jewish students on campus sue the university for harassment or the fact that they must be living in fear or their safety or feat to speak out and feel intimidation? Or sue under the Civil Rights Bill?
    There must be a way to hold someone accountable. How can anyone study and feel comfortable with this going on?

    • aspacia

      Are you kidding? Our DOJ does nothing to enforce our laws! The Panther intimidation was buried, the DOJ lawsuit against Arizona, another incarceration of a Border Officer.

    • George

      theArab spring is a misnomer. It is going to be the deep winter of a theocracy. Many miseries, injustices and lives it will cost.Can you see that Sadam 's reign and the Shah reign is almost benign if we compare it to the present. Mr. Bushes war was the greatest mistake, "after all he tried to kill my father" ! does this justify the many lives lost , so theocracy can take over. Sharia law, may have worked in the past 1500 yrs ago. Now we treasure human life, liberty, freedom and equal treatment of all humanity, and respect for all animals and nature, otherwise we are doomed to an atavistic future, and decline of civilization .

  • StephenD

    I think of a restaurant serving Alligators. "Two more for the back of the line…where they'll be eaten last."

  • Herman Caintonette

    Grebyla: "He went so far as to insist that the “Arab world, the recent strikes in Israel, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Chilean student strikes” were all reactions to these allegedly failed economic policies. In Gelvin’s myopic and reductionist view of the world, all revolts result from an egregious “rift between the rich and poor.”

    It is. The common denominator is high GINI scores. In every country, there has been a class war … and the poor lost.

    • stern

      Please do not respond to this poster. It is a vile anti-Semite. Bacteria like this can only thrive when in the spotlight. By depriving it of the light it so desires, we can cause its death.

      • Arius

        Thanks for the heads up, Stern.

      • Herman Caintonette

        Translated, "I can't vanquish Herm on the merits, so I have to defame him.

      • Herman Caintonette

        Translated, "I can't vanquish Herm on the merits, so I have to lie and defame him."

  • Herman Caintonette

    "Inspectors from the Tel Aviv municipality raided the Rothschild Avenue tent city Monday morning, and began to remove tents and other belongings that had not already been removed by social-justice protesters. As was the case at the Levinsky Street and Ben-Gurion Avenue tent cities, large trailer trucks were sent to take away the property."
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/

    Grab: "During the question and answer session, both Cole and Gelvin—engaging in an ahistorical and asinine comparison—insisted that the Occupy Wall Street movement and last summer’s tent protesters on Israel’s Rothchild[sic] Avenue took “inspiration from Tahrir square.”

    They appear to have. Even the Green movement in Iran is a part of that family tree.

  • Herman Caintonette

    Greblady: "When asked by a student why both Muslims and Christians have voted for Hezbollah in Lebanon, Cole—in typically apologetic form—answered that “Hezbollah has done a good job of rebuilding the infrastructure and protecting the Lebanese from Israel.”

    All politics is local. As long as the trains run on time….

  • Herman Caintonette

    Grab-Lady: ". Instead of asking the difficult and, at times, uncomfortable questions regarding the rise of radical Islam in the Middle East, both Gelvin and Cole whitewashed the revolutions by downplaying the role of religion and framing the discussion around economic grievances."

    History shows that at essence, all strife is economically-related, whether it is the American, French or Russian revolutions. Hitler came to power in a period of great economic strife, as have many dictators. Islam has been the people's only refuge, and even the dictators have been loath to challenge it head-on.

    The Tunisian revolution was the death-knell for al-Qaeda, as people prefer their change to be peaceful and non-violent.

  • StephenD

    I LOVE that no one is responding to Herman "killing Jewish kids is morally legitimate" Caintonette.
    Invalidation is what he deserves here on FPM.

    • Herman Caintonette

      Translated, "I can't vanquish Herm on the merits, so I have to defame him.

      Again I ask: If morality is objective, and your god killed a Jewish kid as punishment for his father's adultery and every first-born Egyptian male as punishment for Pharoah's tyranny, why wouldn't it be morally legitimate for the Palestinians to kill Jewish kids as punishment for the Zionists' tyranny?

  • voted against carter

    ' TAQIYYA '
    Do your own research about it if you don't know what this means.

    i s l a m IS EVIL. PERIOD.

    i s l a m strives for world domination.

    The q u r a n commands m u s l i m s to exercise jihad.

    The q u e r n commands muslims to establish s h a r i a h law.

    The q u e r n commands m u s l i m s to impose i s l a m on the entire world.

    i s l a m is NOT a religion, it IS a totalitarian ideology.

    i s l a m IS and has remained a death cult from its beginnings.

    i s l a m wants to dominate all aspects of life, from the cradle to the grave.

    s h a r i a h law is a law that controls every detail of life in a i s l a m i c society.

    From civic- and family law to criminal law.

    It determines how one should eat, dress and even use the toilet.

    Oppression of women is good, drinking alcohol is bad.

    The core of the q u r a n is the call to j i h a d.

    J i h a d means a lot of things and is a r a b i c for battle.

    i s l a m means submission, there cannot be any mistake about its goal.

    i s l a m and freedom, i s l a m and democracy are not compatible.

    They are opposite values.

    m o h a m e d 's "wife" was six years old.

    That makes m o h a m e d a P E D O P H I L E!!!

    And you want to base a "R e l i g i o n" on this a z s -holes rantings?

    Are you INSANE?

    I STAND with Israel

  • Arius

    Cole and Gelvin are Internal enemies.

  • UCSPanther

    Isolated academics like the two mentioned in the article have idea how the real world works.

    Some probably praised the Iranian revolution of the '70s, but when refugees starting telling horror stories of persecution, over the top violence and brutal purges, some of the cheerleaders of the Iranian revolution probably shut right up.

    You will notice that no one, no one ever talks about the post-revolution period in countries like Nicaragua, Cuba, etc. There is a reason, and anybody who has an understanding will know why.

    The Arab Spring will be no different, and I'm sure you will see silence from those two "professors" when refugees start coming in, bringing with them the same nightmarish stories as the Iranian nationals that were forced to flee their country's revolution.

  • Ben

    Jewish anti-semites impress me always as the mentally ill people though prof. Cole looks impudent. I see majority of people don`t understand it and swallows everything seriously.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    These two thinking themselves clever confirm their duplicitious program of
    defaming Israel and America. The only need we have from the Middle East
    is to let the Islamists live in their misery but leftists have been importing
    them throughout the entire World as a scourge and curse, weaking populations
    for leftist takeover. Sickening and demonic to the core the marrage of Leftists
    and Islamists becomes known with each passing day and the cumulative
    effect of their subversive villiany within Judeo-Christian societies……..William

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    When will this Jew on Jew anti-semitism cease? Oh, I'm confused now. Why is this not a case of free speech and equal protection for Jews? Why is this a case of ragged commie fundamentalists unbellyfeel Israel?