News Release

Finkelstein * Mearsheimer/Walt * Khalil Gibran School


AP reports that “a DePaul University professor who has drawn criticism for accusing some Jews of improperly using the legacy of the Holocaust agreed Wednesday to resign immediately ‘for everybody’s sake.’

“University officials and political science professor Norman Finkelstein issued a joint statement announcing the resignation, which came as about a hundred protesters gathered outside the dean’s office to support him.

“Finkelstein was denied tenure in June after spending six years on DePaul’s faculty, and his remaining class was cut by DePaul last month.”

Author of the forthcoming book Patriotic Correctness: Academic Freedom and Its Enemies, Wilson said today: “One of the most notable developments in the ‘war on terror’ has been the extension of college censorship to supporters of Palestinian rights. Most of the attempts to cancel campus speakers and fire professors for their views have been aimed at critics of the Israeli government.”

Wilson is the founder of the Institute for College Freedom and blogs about intellectual freedom. He has written extensively about the Finkelstein case as well as others.

He is also the author of four other books, including The Myth of Political Correctness: The Conservative Attack on Higher Education and Barack Obama: This Improbable Quest.
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Brand is chair of the Committee for Academic Freedom for the Middle East Studies Association. The group wrote a letter this week to the president of DePaul University, stating: “However one judges Professor Finkelstein’s qualifications for tenure, it seems clear that DePaul has mishandled his case in a variety of ways and has repeatedly violated generally accepted standards of academic process and fair play. In so doing your administration has in effect given aid and comfort to those who seek to undermine the academy as a bastion of academic freedom and as a forum for the open and critical discussion of issues of vital public concern.” Brand is a professor and director of the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California.

The group also recently wrote a letter regarding the cancellation of a scheduled talk by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt (authors of the new book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy) at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Eldahry is founding director of AWAAM: Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media, an organization that provides young women and girls with opportunities in media production and community organizing. She said today: “Politicians in New York are saying they support the Khalil Gibran International Academy, which just opened as the first Arabic-language school in New York City. But for six months, there was a smear campaign that culminated with United Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten’s denouncement of the school’s founding principal, Debbie Almontaser, which led to her resignation. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein welcomed her departure. The school had been incorrectly linked to our organization — we put out T-shirts reading ‘Intefadah NYC.’ When asked about the T-shirt, Debbie correctly noted that ‘intefadah’ means ‘shaking off’ and then found herself compelled to resign for the good of the students and the school. This is part of how prejudices tie the Arabic language to criminality. If they really want to support the school, our public officials should offer the school the PR support that it needs and invite Debbie Almontaser to resume her position as principal.”

See the Economist, “Words of the prophet: Arabic-language teaching arrives in New York.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.