- When Discussing The Middle East On Campus and In the Classroom
- Richard Benkin, Ph.D. Chicago, IL Chair
- (Approved by Board of Directors, November 6, 2002)
On university campuses and elsewhere, the issue of falsified, fabricated and politicized information often masquerading as scholarship, specifically in regard to the Middle East, has become a serious and important issue. Scholars For Peace in the Middle East (SPME) asserts that, regardless of the particular political perspectives motivating these abuses, they do not contribute to a resolution of the conflict. Nor do they serve the cause of peace and justice in the Middle East. Beyond that, they
- Fraudulently issue misinformation as fact.
- Intentionally mislead students and abuse the position of authority which the dissemination of such false statements represents.
- Legitimize the precedence of political goals and personal interests over standards of truth, accuracy, and scholarship.
- Diminish the authority credibility of scholarship and of academia to both students and the general public.
- Are motivated by intent to base policy on false information.
- Often blur any meaningful distinction between opposition to specific Israeli policies and anti-Semitism, and contribute to anti-Semitism on campus.
- Have the chilling effect of stifling scholarly debate and the expression of differing opinions.
As scholars committed to the integrity of scholarship, the ideals of truth and justice, and a belief in the possibility of true peace in the Middle East, we stand unalterably opposed to this dangerous trend. We are opposed to falsification, fabrication and misrepresentation of information about the situation in the Middle East. We see such practices as an intentional abuse of academic freedom and privilege, and an issue of moral turpitude. As such, SPME resolves to combat such falsification, fabrications and misrepresentation with a commitment to revealing and seeking truth in the best traditions of academic integrity.* SPME will impanel a Task Force to monitor statements on the Middle East and solicit independent submissions from faculty and students on campuses worldwide.
The Task Force may investigate any identified statements to determine whether they are indeed falsified and politicized misinformation.* SPME may issue a formal rebuttal to the offending scholar and institution, including its student newspaper and other outlets.* SPME may offer its members who agree, as resources and speakers on this topic.* Through its web site www.spme.net, Network LISTSERV, internal and external communications, SPME will encourage ongoing discussion and identification of such abuses. For Further Information Contact: Dr. Edward S. Beck, President and CEO, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, www.spme.net 717.545.5500
This statement may be reproduced and distributed without permission from Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. We encourage all websites dealing with these issues to post this statement as a link to their website and for its distribution to College Presidents, Deans, Department Chairs, the Media and the Community. Copyright 2002Contributions to Scholars for Peace in the Middle East may be made to: Susquehanna Institute Attn: Scholars for Peace in the Middle East 624 Sandra Avenue Harrisburg, PA, 17109-5816 USA