< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

"On being borked" by Daniel Pipes

Etiquette called on me, as a nominee of the president of the United States, not to talk about my nomination to the board of the United States Institute of Peace while it was in process. Although the nomination was contested, I found myself having to remain mute as opponents said what they would about me.

During five months of enforced quiet, I endured Senator Edward Kennedy borking me as someone not "committed to bridging differences and bringing peace," a Washington Post editorial criticizing me as "a destroyer" of cultural bridges, and other slings. Fortunately, others responded on my behalf; for example, Senator Chuck Schumer and the Los Angeles Times both endorsed my nomination.

My months of silence finally came to an end last Friday, when President Bush invoked his constitutional authority (Article II, Section 2) to recess appoint me and eight other persons; we will serve through the end of the current session of Congress, or January 2005.

But, as someone who has spent two-thirds of his life studying the Middle East, these public accusations remain painful to me. I have learned the Arabic language, traveled the Muslim world, lived three years in Cairo, taught courses on the region at Harvard, and specialized on it at the State and Defense departments. My career has been exactly devoted to "bridging differences and bringing peace."

So, how did it come to be that some people discern me as hostile to Islam? I see this resulting from two main developments.
Continue reading "On being borked" at Jewish World Review.