Jerusalem Post attacks Georgetown University’s Arab Studies centers
The fighting in Gaza may have cooled for now, but the Arab-Israeli conflict seems to have set its sights on Georgetown.
Amir Romirowsky of the Jerusalem Post published an article earlier this week lauding Georgetown’s Program for Jewish Civilization and lambasting the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) and the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU), alleging that the Centers have a pro-Arab bias.
CMCU Associate Director John Voll called the article “basically ill-informed” and took issue with its characterization of his Center as “the locus of academic apologetics for Wahhabism in America”:
“I have seen the article and am glad to see that the Program for Jewish Studies gets a positive description. However,the author clearly has not bothered to read anything that the people on the faculty of the Alwaleed Center have written. For example, I would find it difficult to describe what I have written on Sufism (the mystical tradition in Islam which is opposed by strict Wahhabi teachers) as presenting ‘a glossy version of Wahhabi Islam.'”
CCAS Director Michael Hudson echoed Voll’s sentiments and denied Romirowsky’s controversial allegation that CCAS supports a one-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, saying that CCAS does not take advocacy positions, although he did add that “as the possibilities for a two-state solution have receded (due in part to Israel’s colonization of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and in part to the failure of the U.S. to curb it) there is more discussion of going back to a one-state model.”
The Voice has defended the CMCU against allegations of bias in the past, and the latest accusations seem equally unfounded. Perhaps it’s naive to hope that the PJC, CCAS, and CMCU can be impartial places of academic inquiry, rather than lobbying organizations for their respective sides. But in light of the recent crisis, impartiality at places like Georgetown is more necessary than ever.
For more reporting on Georgetown’s take on the Gaza crisis, check out Eric Pilch’s News feature over on the main site.