Wednesday, June 18, 2003

# Posted 12:29 PM by Patrick Belton  

FREE SPEECH IN NEW HAVEN: I've been asked by a reader to link to this essay by a Yale freshman on fairly reprehensible behavior by a genetics professor at Yale's medical school. Happily done. Professor Qumsiyeh, in conduct far unbecoming a professor (much less one at a university historically characterized by great respect and collegiality on the part of faculty for their students), sent a mass email at the end of the spring semester to members of a pro-peace student group, reporting his purported 'discovery' of a large overlap between the memberships of Yale Students for Democracy and Yale Friends of Israel. This was supposedly to be of interest because it apparently was to have demonstrated that for 15 years, a Jewish, Straussian, neo-conservative cabal had been planning to "put Israel and personal wealth ahead of U.S. public interests." (his words).

As Eliana points out, however, sleuthful, conspiracy-minded Professor Qumsiyeh sadly wasn't exactly as brilliant as he'd imagined,
Professor Qumsiyeh?s research was not quite as brilliant as he believed it to be; he had mistakenly copied the Yale Friends of Israel member list for comparison purposes rather than the member list of the Yale College Students for Democracy. He was therefore comparing two identical lists of members of the Yale Friends of Israel; not surprisingly, he found "significant overlap" between the two lists. And not surprisingly, Professor Qumsiyeh mistakenly named many students who were staunch opponents of the war in Iraq, and who were horrified at being identified as members of a pro-war cabal by dint of their affiliation with the Yale Friends of Israel.
Putting aside, though, the mistaken empirical basis of his epistle, Eliana notes "The message bears an ugly subtext consistent with Professor Qumsiyeh?s fevered "Jews on the brain" mania." Such behavior has no place whatsoever at a largely principled, humane, idealistic center of learning, and Eliana is right to bring it to widespread attention.

UPDATE: Incidentally, I just discovered Eliana also runs a very nice blog, which just moved to a new Movable Type site. Well done! OxBlog is sending over a bottle of blogwarming champagne.

UPDATE^2: Egads, I just realized Eliana was one of the two freshmen students we mentioned way back here.
(0) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments: Post a Comment