Tuesday, November 15, 2005

At the Coleface

Mark Grimsley has a link to streaming video of Juan Cole at Ohio State University.

Also circulating the internet right now is this highly critical piece on Cole by Alexander Joffe at the Middle East Forum. I offer it up as an alternative viewpoint. It attempts to refute claims made by Cole on a point by point basis, with mixed success in my view. I have to say that a year or so ago I emailed Juan Cole asking for information on a at least two occasions and he was invariably helpful and forthcoming in spite of the fact that I was fairly self-evidently something of an ideological opponent. I also have to say that I find Joffe's "Campus Watch" setup fairly dubious and unfortunate and I speak as somebody of broadly pro-Israeli sympathies who has been more than happy to speak in support of Israeli accademics and an Israeli presence on British university campuses. I tend to feel that the way Campus Watch operates, however, tends to generate more heat than light and has from time to time been excessively broad-brush in its approach. Way back in the day Jacob Levy came up with an excellent critique of the way it worked on the Volokh Conspiracy but I can't find it now.

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