View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Duke University's Library - and Hamas

Duke University has decided to put up links and resource pages about Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian problem. The president of the Duke Conservative Union has detected a bias. I think he's got a point.

The University Librarian hides behind academic freedom in order to call Hamas a "political party," which is a bit like calling Glenn Close fond of Michael Douglas. Ah, yes, that, but so much more. All the Palestinian links get top billing. The UN even gets its own little refugee camp.

Mr. Ferriero, the University Librarian, argues that the site represents a diversity of opinions. Ah, that must be why they left Shas and the National Religious Party off of the list of Israeli political parties, while giving billing to the Socialists and, what's this?, Chadash, the Arab party in the Knesset.

When confronted with a lack of independent sources, such as Memri, Mr. Ferriero responds that, in effect, anti-Semitism doesn't have anything to do with Israel. Funny then that the section "Middle East at Duke" refers to the school's Hillel House. The "Collection of Links" includes a link to a list of Palestinian websites. For balance, it refers to Duke's Jewish Subject Resources, and the Jewish Virtual Library, not to any Israeli links site, like Wallah. If anti-Semitism isn't at issue, if this is a national conflict and not a religious one, why is Perkins going out of its way to point people to Jewish, rather than Israeli, websites? It may be the same impulse that forgives French Arab immigrants for gang-beating Rabbis and Jews out of frustration over Israel.

Under the "Maps," the Jewish Agency gets one map. Every other map links to the UN, to the Palestians, or to Gush Shalom. The Security Fence is always called the "Separation Wall." All three links to it are either Palestinian, Gush Shalom, or UN. Despite the presence of a perfectly good Israeli government site devoted to the fence. People who think this represents a "diversity of opinion" also never wondered why Jesse's Rainbow only seemed to have one color.

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