Friday, October 31, 2014

US funding of Area Studies: do away with Title VI and free Middle East centers of fear and conformity to Zionism

I am not stressing over the US Congressional funding of under Title VI of area studies. That does not concern me in the least.  I mean, year after year, there is an outcry by some academics over the funding and the result is less money and more pressure for "balance" in Middle East studies.  This will basically year after year produce more docile centers and academics: the fear of MESA to adopt BDS (like American Asian Studies or even American studies association) is party due to the weak mentality generated by the fear over Title VI funding.  The pressure and the funding will only train those centers to internalize further the message of "balance" which means that the Palestinian question and viewpoint will be buried behind tons of Zionist lectures and classes, and that the few million Israelis have to be considered equal--if not more important--to the 1.6 billion Muslims and the 350 million Arabs, and that if you wish to teach Arabic or Urdu you have to offer classes on Hebrew (an almost dead language spoken by some 6 million people in the world, at most).  For that reason, I say, do away with Title VI and maybe we can then have Middle East studies (less funded but) independent and free of Zionist pressures, and where departments feel less obligated to host a "visiting Israeli professor" every year.