Born in 1957, Mazin Qumsiyeh is a professor at Bethlehem University. He was previously a professor of genetics at the Yale Medical School and Duke University. Qumsiyeh a hater of Israel, which he refers to as an apartheid state. He is also a founder of Al-Awda. Professor Qumsiyeh has recently indulged his hatred of Israel and its Jewish supporters in a manner remarkable for a university professor.
In the past Professor Qumsiyeh has railed against the an alleged “cabal” of Jews manipulating Bush administration foreign policy: “It is now clearly evident from their own documents that those who put Israel and personal wealth ahead of U.S. public interests were first to plan this war [in Iraq] over 15 years ago.”
In a recent e-mail message sent over the Yale e-mail system to the members of the Yale Coalition for Peace, Professor Qumsiyeh disclosed his purported discovery that this cabal extends far beyond the Bush administration. In his e-mail message he warned that a similar cabal exists at Yale. Qumsiyeh wrote: “For your information, I include here the list of members of Yale Students ‘for Democracy,’ the pro-war cabal that subscribes to the same Straussian theology that the neo-cons around Bush have been pushing (Wolfowitz, Perle, Wurmser, Kristol, Feith). I think you will find the list informative. Note that there is significant overlap of this list with the ‘Yale Friends of Israel’ listserve.” The names and e-mail addresses of 64 Jewish students followed his message. But 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.
In an article he authored for Jerusalemites.org, Professor Qumsiyeh labels the same men to whom he likens Yale’s pro-war Jews—Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, in particular—”Israeli apologists” and “racists…whose main interest has always been a strong and domineering ‘Jewish State’…”
Professor Qumsiyeh’s message contains all the hallmarks of the phenomenon usually described as McCarthyism. It makes unfounded accusations from a person in a position of authority against students who possess no recourse against him. The accusations are intended to damage the reputations of the students he listed by smearing them as members of a sinister “pro-war cabal,” as “Straussians,” “neo-cons,” “Israeli apologists” and “racists.”Moreover, Professor Qumsiyeh implicitly exhorts a student group — the Yale Coalition for Peace — to join his smear campaign and defame a group consisting of its presumed political opponents. The message blatantly seeks to stigmatize students for their political affiliations.
But Professor Qumsiyeh’s inflammatory accusations go beyond McCarthyism to anti-Semitism. He dubs the students “Straussians” and “neo-cons,” not-so-secret code words for “Jews.” All the named government officials are Jewish, and it is the Jewish students he seeks to identify as such. He subsequently intimates that the Jewish Yale students who support the war in Iraq do so in the interests of Israel, rather than the United States. In one fell swoop, Professor Qumsiyeh seeks to brand every Jewish student even loosely affiliated with a pro-war group as guilty of dual national loyalties, accusing them of acting as agents of a larger Jewish cabal.
Qumsiyeh occasionally serves as a guest speaker for Wheels of Justice (WOJ), a group that accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing and human rights violations, and calls for an end to all American aid to Israel. Other noteworthy WOJ speakers include Brian Avery and Alison Weir.
Qumsiyeh has co-organized various campaigns for Academics For Justice, Al-Awda, and BoycottIsraeliGoods.org. He was honored with the Jallow activism award by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in 1998.
At a November 23, 2004 Wheels of Justice event at Newtown High School in Connecticut, Qumsiyeh told his audience of students and faculty: “I would compare this Palestinian/Israeli situation with the Native Americans here in America when the colonials first came. The Native Americans were driven from their natural homes and led to live on small reservations. Huge populations were wiped out. … There are approximately four million Jews living in America. Five billion dollars in military support goes to Israel every year. The American government is clearly behind Israel – at the expense of the Palestinians.”
This profile was partially adapted from the article titled “McCarthyism in Action at Yale,” written by Eliana Johnson and published by FrontPageMagazine.com on June 3, 2003.