After providing rich historical background on the evolution of Middle East studies, James Russell concludes that such scholarship at many institutions, notably Columbia-Barnard and New York University, are hopelessly politicized.
What to do about this? Russell notes:
there are two fine institutions of learning in Manhattan where genuine Near Eastern studies, untainted by Jew-baiting, apologia for terrorism, and unscholarly chicanery, might find a home, aided perhaps by the donations of alumnae and alumni of Barnard and Columbia. The nearer one to Columbia is the Jewish Theological Seminary on 122nd Street and Broadway. The farther one (in Arabic, al aqsa—and with its noble neo-Moorish dome and minaret the appellation almost fits) is uptown, in Washington Heights: Yeshiva University. Instead of writing angry letters to Lee Bollinger, alumni can pool their resources to help create rival MEALAC departments; and Columbia students desirous of an authentic education in subjects like Middle Eastern history can earn their transferable credits there. (The Current)