Barnard Professor Speaks out against shabby anti-Israel scholarship

It takes guts these days for a professor to go on the record about anything, certainly about anything controversial.

My colleague Alan Segal has stood up for what he knows to be true and has been cited in the NY Times.

The case is a bitter contest over tenure at Barnard for a pseudo-scholar who obviously hates Israel. Here is what the Times reports that Segal said,
Dr. Abu El-Haj has some opponents at her own college. “There is every reason in the world to want her to have tenure, and only one reason against it — her work,” said Alan F. Segal, a professor of religion and Jewish studies at Barnard. “I believe it is not good enough.”

He said he was particularly troubled by her suggestion that ancient Israelites had not inhabited the land where Israel now stands, and he said that she had either misunderstood or ignored evidence to the contrary. “She completely misunderstands what the biblical tradition is saying,” he added. “She is not even close. She is so bizarrely off.”

He also said that a Barnard official, whom he declined to name, had asked him to suggest people who were not Jewish to comment on Dr. Abu El-Haj’s work for the tenure review, and that he had refused.

Elizabeth Gildersleeve, a Barnard spokeswoman, said that a high official of the college had met with Professor Segal on the tenure case and asked him to submit names for letters of reference. But Ms. Gildersleeve said that “the charge that restrictions were put on that request is absolutely untrue.”
Bravo to you, brave Alan, for speaking truth to tenure. You have been I fear too kind. And P.S. I have learned that a person who uses the denial, "absolutely untrue," is most often themselves in fact the one who is lying.

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