This past Monday, Jan. 26, I was surprised that the presentation on the “Crisis in Gaza” failed to uphold UCSB’s academic integrity and quickly turned into a forum of anti-Israel rhetoric. One has to wonder if the grants given by the Saudi government to our Center for Middle East Studies department compromises the professorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ ability to be impartial on the conflict. The presentation was filled with half-truths and twisted facts designed to only further inflame the anti-Israel bias on campus. When analyzing their arguments, it is easy to identify their “academic claims” for what they truly are: blatant lies.
CLAIM: Israel broke the cease-fire.
FACT: Hamas never respected this cease-fire, bombarding Israeli civilians daily. Throughout the six month “cease-fire,” Hamas launched over 600 mortars and rockets onto Israeli cities.
CLAIM: Hamas wants peace.
FACT: Hamas’ charter clearly states: “Israel will exist until Islam will obliterate it…” And “there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time…” Does this sound like a desire for peace to you?
I hope that the audience, as well as the students of these so-called “academics” will not take their opinions as fact. I hope students will seek out the truth and form a more comprehensive opinion than those this panel portrayed.
In the future, I expect our university to maintain its usual scholarly standards and offer a fact-based perspective when teaching about this controversial topic.