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Letters from alumni about Pro-Arab lectures at P.U.

January 15, 2002

We were surprised and saddened to read the Middle East Quarterly (Winter 2002) refer to one of Princeton’s academic units as "a blatant partisan" for the Arab side in the Middle East conflict. According to the article, Princeton’s Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia held a lecture series last spring on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that presented only "supporters, sympathizers and apologists for the Palestinian cause." The nine lecturers in the semester-long series, though drawn from Americans, Israelis, and Arabs, journalists, and academics, were all portrayed by the article as "inveterate Israel bashers," offering only lectures with titles like "The Israeli Policy of Closure: A Means of Domination and a Form of Neo-Occupation." According to the article, no lecturers presenting a Zionist view or anything like the opinion of the Israeli government (or the U.S. government, for that matter) were presented. Most serious, the article alleges that the lecture series’ bias reflects the fact that the Institute was established by a gift from Prince Moulay Hichani Benabdallah ’85 of Morocco. Obviously, any truth to these allegations would reflect very poorly on Princeton’s integrity and commitment to diversity, fairness, and truth.

Dina Eisinger ’85
Marc Lange ’85
Seattle, Wash.

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