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Sunday, September 21, 2003

How did I miss this in May? And what happened after that?

Yale professor accuses Jewish students: "pro-war cabal"
The New York Sun, to which I should obviously subscribe, ran this on 5/28/03:
Yale in an Uproar as Professor Accuses Jewish Students

An e-mail sent by a Yale professor naming Jewish students from an Israel advocacy group as a "pro-war cabal" has caused an uproar at the elite Ivy League university.

Students charge that listing the Jewish names was anti-Semitic; many claim they are outspoken opponents of the war against Iraq.

"Just to insinuate that people who espouse pro-Israel views at Yale are automatically complicit in promoting the war is ridiculous and offensive," said Nelson Moussazadeh, co-president of Yale Friends of Israel.

The e-mail, sent Saturday by an associate professor of genetics, Mazin Qumsiyeh, to the several hundred members of Yale’s anti-war Coalition for Peace, contained the names of 64 students, nearly all of them Jews.

According to Mr. Qumsiyeh’s e-mail, the group "subscribes to the same Straussian theology that the no-cons [sic] around Bush have been pushing [Wolfowitz, Perle, Wurmser, Kristol, Feith].I think you will find the list informative.Note that there is significant overlap of this list with the ‘Yale Friends of Israel’ list serve."

The e-mail went on to state that the list was that of the Yale College Students for Democracy, which supported the war in Iraq.

The "Straussian philosophy’’ reference was to Leo Strauss, the late University of Chicago political philosopher credited with inspiring the so-called neo-conservative’ movement. In fact, all of the students named are on the Yale Friends of Israel list, said Mr. Moussazadeh, the YFI co-president. Not all are members of YCSD.

"I don’t like being misrepresented, regardless of my political opinions,’’ said Zvika Krieger, a student spokesman for YFI. "I was advertised as being part of a group I’m not part of.’’

Mr. Moussazadeh is one of only two students able to access YFI’s list. He claims that Mr. Qumsiyeh’s action is "violating people’s privacy," and he believes the professor obtained the list improperly.

When reached by phone, Mr. Qumsiyeh refused to comment beyond what he had written in his previous e-mails. Mr. Qumsiyeh is an outspoken critic of the Jewish state and speaks and writes frequently on the subject of the Middle East. This is not the first time that he has sent out a controversial e-mail. In late April, Mr. Qumsiyeh issued a mass e-mail that linked to an article containing a list of "Prominent Jews in the Media."

In a January 24, 2003, column for the Yale Herald, Qumsiyeh wrote that "…Hitler thought highly of Zionists and Zionists regularly collaborated with the Nazis."

When the Yale Political Union hosted a speech by an Israeli military officer in January of 2001, Mr. Qumsiyeh staged a walkout with about 10 other people.

He is a co-founder of the New Haven-based Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, which advocates for the "right of return" of the Palestinian Arabs into Israel proper. The professor is also involved with the Yale Coalition for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine, and the Yale Divest from Israel Campaign, which advocates that Yale disinvest all financial holdings in Israeli companies or companies that conduct business in Israel.

After an outcry by those Jewish students who were wrongly listed as being members of the campus pro-war in Iraq group, Mr. Qumsiyeh backtracked and stated that he had confused the e-mail lists of the two organizations. Writing the students whom he listed in his original e-mail, Mr. Qumsiyeh stated, "In my message listing your e-mail addresses, I obviously made a mistake. For this, I am sorry."

Mr. Qumsiyeh claimed that he obtained the individual e-mail addresses of the students when an e-mail he sent to both groups came back as undeliverable, but contained names of the individuals.

Matthew Louchheim, a Yale senior from Los Angeles, said Mr. Qumsiyeh’s sending a list of supposed pro-war students "smacks of McCarthyism."
Googling this story led me to Eliana Johnson's blog, new to me and fascinating ~

Yale Diva -- check it out.