Phi Beta Cons

Portrait of a Palestinian-Activist Professor

Hatem Bazian, a Palestinian native, teaches various Islamic studies at the University of California, Berkeley, all the while prolifically engaging in pro-Palestinian activism that demonizes Israel and, at times, the United States.
Cinnamon Stillwell of Campus Watch documents Bazian’s activism. To give but a few examples:
·        He was the sole speaker at a high school event billed as a Middle Eastern “cultural assembly,” which featured a rap song by a student comparing Zionists to Nazis as students ran back and forth with Palestinian flags.
·        At one university forum – an annual conference of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement – he shared the podium with now-jailed academic and terrorist fundraiser Sami Al-Arian of Florida Atlantic University.
·        At an American Muslim Alliance conference promoting the Islamic State of Palestine, he sought out the following Hadith: “‘In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews … and the stones will say, ‘Oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him!’”
·        He is said to be working on a book with the overheated title, Virtual Internment: Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians, and the War on Terrorism.
·        At an anti-war protest he called for an “intifada in this country” and then went on to proclaim, “[sic] They’re gonna say some Palestinian being too radical – well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet!” (See zombietime.com.)
·        In the same vein, Bazian will be one of the speakers this week (May 11) at an event in Dearborn, MI called “Palestine: We Will Return,” which will commemorate “the 1948 occupation of Palestine and the 1967 occupation of the West Bank” (i.e, the 59th anniversary of Israel’s founding, whereby the Palestinians, then called Arabs, were offered, but refused, their own state, and Israel’s triumph in the Arab-initiated 1967 six-day war).
Stillwell aptly concludes that “all too often, those with Bazian’s political proclivities are seen by the academic establishment as suitable representatives for Middle East studies in American universities. Until colleges and universities distance themselves from such polarizing figures rather than legitimizing them with positions of influence, public distrust of academia is likely to persist – and rightly so.”