Paul Findley: Pressure on Campus
- Interest groups successfully stifling academic discourse
By Paul Findley
A Representative of Illinois in the US Congress for 22 years
Excerpted from the They Dare to Speak Out
The Israeli lobby pays special attention to the crucial role played
by American colleges and universities in disseminating information
and molding opinion on the Middle East. Lobby organizations are
concerned not only with academic programs dealing with the Middle
East but also with the editorial policies of student newspapers and
with the appearance on campus of speakers critical of Israel. In all
three of these areas of legitimate lobby interest and activity, as in
its dealings on Capitol Hill, pro-Israeli organizations and activists
frequently employ smear tactics, harassment and intimidation to
inhibit the free exchange of ideas and views.
As government, academic and public awareness of the Middle East
increased following the 1973 OPEC oil price hike, such organizations
as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC] and the
American Jewish Committee [AJC] developed specific programs and
policies for countering criticism of Israel on college campuses.
Making It "Hot Enough" on Campus
In 1979 AIPAC established its Political Leadership Development
Program, which trains student activists on how to increase pro-
Israeli influence on campus. Coordinator Jonathan Kessler recently
reported that in just four years "AIPAC's program has affiliated over
5,000 students on 350 campuses in all 50 states":
They are systematically monitoring and comprehensively responding to
anti-Israeli groups on campus. They are involved in pro-Israel
legislative efforts, in electoral campaign politics as well.
However self-serving and perhaps exaggerated such statements may be,
AIPAC works closely with B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation on campuses.
When Kessler is introduced to campus audiences, it is as one who
has "trained literally thousands of students." His campus contacts
send him tapes or notes from talks that are considered to be "pro-
Palestinian" or "anti-Israeli" and alert him to upcoming speaking
engagements. Kessler keeps the notes on file and when he hears that a
particular speaker is coming to a campus, he sends summaries of the
speaker's usual points an arguments, his question-answer style, and
potentially damaging quotes-or purported quotes-from other talks.
Kessler specializes in concocting questions with which the speaker
will have difficulty and in warning the campus organizers away from
questions the speaker answers well.
If the student union or academic senate controls what groups may be
allowed to reserve halls, Kessler works to get friends of Israel into
those bodies. IF the control is with the administration, speakers are
accused of advocating violence, either by "quoting" earlier speeches
of by characterizing them as pro-PLO, AIPAC students also argue that
certain forums, such as memorial lectures should not
be "politicized." While this may not always bar the speaker, Kessler
advises that "if you make it hot enough" for the administrators,
future events will be discouraged and even turned down rather than
Kessler's students receive training-through role-playing
and "propaganda response exercises"-in how to counter anti-Israel
arguments. These exercises simulate confrontations at pro- and anti-
Israel information tables and public forums.
Once a solid AIPAC contingent is formed, it takes part in student
conferences and tries to forge coalitions with other student groups.
AIPAC then has pro-Israeli resolutions passed in these bodies and can
run pro-Israel advertisements signed by the (liberal) Americans for
Democratic Action and (conservative) Young Americans for Freedom, for
example, rather than just by AIPAC. The workshop handout says: "Use
coalitions effectively. Try finding non-Jewish individuals and groups
to sign letters to the editor, for it is far more effective and
In 1983 AIPAC distributed to students and faculty around the country
a ten-page questionnaire on political activism on their campuses. Its
instructions include: "Please name any individual faculty who assist
anti-Israel groups. How is this assistance offered? What are the
propaganda themes ?" The survey results form the body of the AIPAC
College Guide: Exposing the Anti-Israel Campaign on Campus, published
in April 1984.
While AIPAC claims to respect the right of all to free speech, number
eight on its list of 10 suggested "modes of response" to pro-
Palestinian events or speakers on campus reads: "Attempt to prevent."
Number 10 on the same list reads "Creative packaging." Edward Said, a
professor of comparative literature at Columbia University who
frequently speaks on campuses in support of the Palestinian cause,
described a case of "creative packaging" at the University of
Washington where he spoke in early 1983:
They stood at the door of the auditorium and distributed a blue
leaflet which seemed like a program but it was in fact a denunciation
of me as a `terrorist.' There were quotations from the PLO, and
things that I had said were mixed in with things they claimed the PLO
had said about murdering Jews. The idea was to intimidate me and to
intimidate the audience from attending.
Said reports another experience at the University of Florida, where
the group protesting Said's talk was led by a professor of philosophy:
They tried to disrupt the meeting and [the professor] finally had to
be taken out by the police. It was one of the ugliest things, not
just heckling but interrupting and standing up and shouting. It's
pure fascism, outright hooliganism.
Another episode involving Said occurred at Trinity College in
Hartford, Connecticut. In the fall of 1982 Said spoke, at the
invitation of the college's Department of Religion, on the subject of
Palestine and its significance to Christians and Muslims as well as
Jews. As the day of the talk approached, the department began to get
letters of protest from prominent members of Hartford Jewish
community and from Jewish faculty members. Said, said the protesters,
was pro-Palestinian and had made "anti-Israel" statements. One writer
asked the organizers of the talk: "How could you do this, given the
fact that there are two Holocaust survivors on the faculty?"
After Said spoke, more letters of protest arrived at the religion
department, and a move was made to deny the department a new $1
million chair in Jewish Studies. The uproar died down after several
months, but the protests had their effect. Asked whether the
department would feel free, given the reaction of the Jewish
community, to invite Edward Said again, a department spokesperson
responded, "No, I don't think we would."
The AIPAC College Guide also includes profiles of 100 U.S. campuses
and the anti-Israel campaign "unprecedented in scope and magnitude"
which supposedly pervades them. Anti-Semitism is also cited as a
major influence on some campuses. For example, Colorado State
University's campus newspaper, the Collegian, is said to have printed
anti-Semitic letters to the editor; but only a letter which "sought
to draw attention to the `Jewish lobby and the true extent of its
influence over the U.S. media'" is cited as evidence.
An example of how the lobby works on campus came in the spring of
1982 when the American Indian Law Students Association (AILSA) at
Harvard Law School hosted a conference on the rights of indigenous
peoples in domestic and international law. They invited Deena Abu-
Lughod, an American of Palestinian origin who worked as a researcher
at the PLO mission to the United Nations, to participate in the
conference. The Harvard Jewish Law Students Association (HJLSA),
which according to one source has an active membership of only about
twenty, first asked AILSA to remove Abu-Lughod from the program.
When this failed, the Jewish group protested vehemently to the dean
of the law school and also asked the dean of students to consider
withdrawing all funding for the conference. The latter refused,
saying she was "not in the business of censoring student
conferences." But the dean of the law school, who was slated to give
the opening address at the conference, backed out. Several members of
the Indian Law Students Association and the director of the Harvard
Foundation (which co-sponsored the conference), received telephoned
death threats. One came from callers who identified themselves as
Jewish Harvard students. Told of these, a member of the HJLSA
said, "We were contacted by the JDL [Jewish Defense League], but we
didn't want to have anything to do with any disruption of the
The conference took place as scheduled, but one organizer recalls:
The atmosphere was incredibly tense. We were really very concerned
about Deena's physical safely and about our own physical safety. WE
had seven policemen there. We had many, many marshals and very
elaborate security. We had searches at the door, and we confiscated
weapons, knives-not pocket knives-but butcher knives. We also had
dogs sniff the room for explosives. The point is that the event did
occur, but in a very threatening atmosphere.
The following spring, a group of Third World student organizations at
Harvard invited the director of the PLO Information Office in
Washington, Hassan Abdul-Rahman, to speak on the theme "Palestine:
Toad to Peace in the Middle East." Again the Harvard Jewish Law
Students Association organized a demonstration, but this time the
protesters packed the hall and actively disrupted the meeting. "It
was just an absolute madhouse inside," recalls one student who was
present. "Abdul-Rahman spoke for probably an hour and a half to
virtually constant taunting, jeering, insults, screams, shouts,
According to the Harvard Law Record, a representative of the Harvard
Arab Students Society "struggled" simply to relate a biographical
sketch of the speaker and to provide an introduction to his talk. "It
was an extremely intimidating atmosphere," recalls the student:
We just barely kept the lid on things. I think the fact that these
events occurred is a testimony to our perseverance, not to the lack
of intimidation. Because the intimidation is really very overt and
In both cases the protesters used material provided by the Anti-
Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.
In still another incident at Harvard, a member of the Harvard law
faculty who had visited the Israel-occupied West Bank on a tour
organized by North America Friends of Palestinian Universities gave a
talk on campus after his return. Prior to the talk, a group of
students from the Harvard Jewish Law Students Association came to the
professor's office. They told him that they just wanted to make sure
he knew "all the facts" before giving his talk, and if hew wasn't
going to give a "balanced" picture, they intended to picket his
Recently asked if he altered his talk in any way as a response to the
visit by the students, the professor said, "No, but that's because I
knew what was going whether or not they came to my office. I knew
they were going to be there and I knew what the situation was." He
added that "the presence of a highly charged group of Jewish law
students" changed the nature of his talk "from one that was more
directed at what was actually going on for the Palestinians into one
that was more abstract and about the relationship between power and
knowledge here and there and in a lot of other places." After the
talk, the representatives of HJLSA sent the professor a letter saying
they were "very satisfied with the balanced nature" of his
presentation. "Which made me think," he said, "it had been a little
He said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "an issue about which
we've never had a successful, open discussion at this school." The
professor said that, while he didn't feel intimidated, "I felt that I
was operating in a place in which there were limits on what I could
AIPAC is not the only pro-Israel organization to keep files on
speakers. The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith keeps its own
files. Noam Chomsky, world renowned professor of linguistics at MIT
and author of two books on the Middle East, was leaked a copy of his
ADL file, containing about a hundred pages of material. Says
Chomsky: "Virtually every talk I give is monitored and reports of
their alleged contents (sometimes ludicrously, even comically
distorted) are sent on to the [Anti-Defamation] League, to be
incorporated in my file."
When I give a talk at a university or elsewhere, it is common for a
group to distribute literature, invariably unsigned, containing a
collection of attacks on me spiced with "quotes" (generally
fabricated) from what I am alleged to have said here and there.
I have no doubt that the source is the ADL, and often the people
distributing the unsigned literature acknowledge the fact. These
practices are vicious and serve to intimidate many people. They are
of course not illegal. If the ADL chooses to behave in this fashion,
it has a right to do so; but this should also be exposed.
Student publications are also monitored. When the monthly Berkeley
Graduate, a magazine of news and opinion intended for graduate
students at the University of California at Berkeley, published in
its April 1982 issue several articles critical of Israeli Prime
Minister Menachem Begin and his government's policies, the office of
the magazine began to receive anonymous phone calls, generally
expressing in crude terms the callers' opinion of the magazine. One
caller suggested that the editor, James Schamus, "take the next train
to Auschwitz." According to Schamus, these calls continued for
The campus Jewish Student Board circulated a petition protesting the
content of the April issue and characterized the Graduate as anti-
Semitic-until it discovered that the editor James Schamus was himself
Jewish. Schamus met with Jewish Student Board members and agreed to
furnish space in the following issue of the magazine for a 4,000-word
rebuttal, but they were not satisfied.
The following week, members of the Jewish Student Board introduced a
bill in the Graduate Assembly expressing "regret" at the content of
the April issue and stipulating that if an oversight committee were
not formed "to review each issue's content before it goes to press,"
steps would be taken to eliminate the Graduate. The assembly voted
down the resolution but agreed to revive a moribund editorial
oversight committee to set editorial policy. Opponents of the bill,
including editors of several campus publications, defended the right
of the Graduate to print "without prior censorship."
The next day, the Student Senate narrowly defeated a bill that would
have expressed "dissatisfaction" with the Graduate magazine. An
earlier draft of the bill, amended by the Senate, would have asked
the Senate to "condemn" the publication. An editorial in The Daily
Californian, the university's main student newspaper, said that
such "meaningless censures" came not our of intelligent consideration
of an issue, but our of "irrational urgings to punish the progenitor
of an idea with which one agrees."
The May issue of the Graduate did contain a response to Schamus's
original article. The author concluded his piece by calling the April
issue of the Graduate "simple, unvarnished anti-Semitism in both
meaning and intent."
Later in May, Schamus left for a two-month vacation. While he was
gone, the Graduate Assembly leadership decided by administrative fiat
to cut the amount of student funds allocated to the Graduate by 55
percent and to change the accounting rules in such a way that the
magazine could no longer survive. Schamus resigned, along with his
editorial and advertising staffs. In an interview with the San
Francisco Examiner, Schamus said that the series on Begin "directly
precipitated our silencing." He told the Daily Californian: "This
whole situation was a plan by student government censors to get rid
of the magazine and create a new one in its own image next year." The
chairman of the Graduate Assembly denied any conspiracy. "The Israel
issue had absolutely nothing to do with it," he said. He
acknowledged, however, that the controversy over the issue "brought
up the question of content in the Graduate." The Graduate is today
little more than a calendar of events that comes out four or five
times a year.
Student Editor Under Fire
Another student newspaper editor who learned to think twice before
criticizing Israel is John D'Anna, editor of the Arizona Daily
Wildcat at the University of Arizona in Tucson during the 1982-83
academic year. In February of 1983, 22-year-old D'Anna wrote an
editorial entitled "Butcher of Beirut Is Also a War Criminal," in
which he decried the fact that former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel
Sharon was permitted to remain a member of the Israeli Cabinet after
being found "indirectly responsible" for the massacre of Palestinian
civilians at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon. If Nazi war
criminal Klaus Barbie, the infamous "butcher of Lyon" was to be tried
for his crimes against humanity, asked D'Anna, "shouldn't those
responsible for the Beirut massacre be tried for theirs?"
D'Anna was shocked at the reaction to his editorial:
My grandparents were the only John D'Annas listed in the phone book,
and they were harassed with late night phone calls. I personally got
a couple of the type `If we ever catch you alone ' There were threats
on my life. I also got hate mail. Some of the letters were so
vitriolic it makes me shudder.
There followed a series of letters to the newspaper accusing D'Anna
of "irresponsible polemic," "fanning hatred" and "inciting violence."
The director of the local B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation wrote that
D'Anna's editorial "merely inflames passions, draws conclusions on
half-truths and misleads."
The uproar prompted D'Anna to write an apology in a subsequent issue.
He said that while he stood by his beliefs, "I just wish I had
expressed those beliefs differently." He agreed with some of his
critics that it was a bad editorial and that he could have made the
same points "without arousing passions and without polemic."
Nevertheless, the day after D'Anna's apology appeared, members of
twenty local Jewish groups wrote to the university president
demanding that the Wildcat editor resign or be fired for his "anti-
Semitic" and "anti-Israel" editorial. If he was not fired by noon the
following Monday, said the letter, the group would tell Wildcat
advertisers that the newspaper was "spreading hatred," in the hope
that the advertisers would cancel their ads. The group's spokesman
was Edward Tennen, head of the local Jewish Defense League, a group
founded by Meir Kahane, who advocates the forcible expulsion of Arabs
from Israel. The JDL is shunned by AIPAC and other Jewish groups.
When the deadline passed without D'Anna's removal, the group calling
for a boycott, having dubbed itself "United Zionist Institutions,"
distributed a letter to local businesses and ad agencies urging them
to stop supporting the Wildcat's "anti-Semitic editor" and
his "consciously orchestrated bigotry." Calling D'Anna "an accomplice
to PLO aims," the letter asked the advertisers to "search your
consciences and do what you know must be done." D'Anna noted that the
group's acronym was UZI, the name of the standard issue Israeli
Meanwhile, about twenty-five members of local Jewish groups, mostly
from the campus Hillel organization, attended a meeting of the
university's Board of Publications during which they confronted
D'Anna with their complaints. As the former editor recalls it:
I was on the hot seat for about two hours. And I tried to deal with
all their questions and they kept demanding that steps be taken. I
asked them what steps, and they said they wanted a review board. And
I said `That's fine, you can review anything you want after it comes
out in the paper,' and they said `No, we want to review it before it
comes out in the paper,' and I said that was totally unacceptable.
In the end the boycott effort was ineffective, as only two businesses
cancelled their advertising. Moreover, D'Anna received firm support
from the newspaper staff and from the head of the university's
journalism department, himself Jewish. Yet the former editor recalls
that the campaign against him had an impact: "It was effective to a
certain extent. I was gun-shy and it was quite a while before I
touched any international issue."
"It Seemed to Be Politics"
The Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, has the oldest
Islamic studies program in the United States. Beginning in the early
1970s, the president of the seminary began to receive complaints from
members of the Hartford Jewish community that the program was anti-
Jewish. One person said the program was in fact an "al-Fatah support
group." More recently, Willem A. Bijlefeld, director of the
seminary's Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim
Relations, was asked by the local daily Hartford Courant to write a
piece about PLO leader Yasser Arafat. On New Year's Eve, 1983, the
day following publication of his article, Bijlefeld received a phone
call from a man who identified himself only as Jewish. The caller
said that the seminary had a long tradition of "anti-Jewish
propaganda" and accused Bijlefeld of supporting "the killing of Jews
and the destruction of Israel." He then expressed his joy at
the "extremely painful death" of NBC news anchorwoman Jessica
Savitch, killed in an automobile accident, which he said was
a "manifestation of divine justice" since she had "lied" 1982 Israeli
invasion. The caller said that he was fully confident that this kind
of punishment awaited "any enemy of Israel." Said Bijlefeld, "The
implications for me were clear."
Ostracism is another weapon of the lobby. Eqbal Ahmad is an American
scholar of Pakistani origin who holds two Ph.D. degrees from
Princeton University, one in political science and one in Islamic
studies. He is also a fellow at Washington's Institute for Policy
Studies, articles published on the op-ed page of the New York Times.
Ahmad says that as a critic of Israeli policies and a supporter of
the rights of the Palestinians, he has been ostracized by the
It is not only the material punishments that people encounter, but
the extraordinary environment of conformity that is imposed upon you
and the price in isolation that individuals have to pay for not
conforming on this issue.
Ahmad joined the faculty of Cornell University in 1965. "I was a
young assistant professor, generally liked by my colleagues," recalls
Ahmad. "And they continued to be very warm and civil to me despite
the fact that many of them were conservative people and I had already
become fairly prominent in the anti-Vietnam war movement."
After the Arab-Israeli war of June 1967, Ahmad made a speech at
Cornell criticizing Israel's conquest and retention of Arab territory
and also signed petitions supporting the right of the Palestinians to
self-determination. Throughout his two remaining years at Cornell,
says Ahmad, no more than four of the entire faculty spoke to him. "I
would often sit at the lunch table in the faculty lounge, which is
generally very crowded, and I would have a table for six to myself."
Ahmad says that of the four who remained his friends, three were
The issue is not one of Jew versus gentile. There is a silent
covenant within the academic community concerning Israel. The
interesting thing is that the number of prominent Jews who have
broken the covenant is much larger than the number of gentiles.
In 1983, Ahmad's name appeared in the B'nai B'rith publication Pro-
Arab Propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices. "This they are doing
to somebody who has not to date received any form of support from an
Arab government or an Arab organization," says Ahmad. Ahmad says that
about a quarter of his income comes from speaking engagements, mainly
university endowed lectures. Since the publication of the B'nai
B'rith "enemies list," his speaking invitations have dropped by about
50 percent. "These invitations come from my reputation as an
objective, independent scholar," says Ahmad. "By putting me under the
rubric of propagandist they have put into question my position as an
Since Ahmad left Cornell in 1969 he has not been able to obtain a
regular teaching appointment. He has been a visiting professor at one
college or another every year. Towards the end of his 1982-83 term at
Rutgers University College in Newark, New Jersey, he was considered
for a regular appointment, by at the last minute it fell through.
I have been told privately that it was because Zionist professors
objected to my appointment. The dean was told that I would not get
the vote of the faculty because accusations had been made that I was
anti-Semitic and had created an anti-Semitic atmosphere on the campus
while I was teaching there. All this was told to me in private; I
have nothing in writing...
S.C. Whittaker, former chairman of the Political Science Department
at Rutgers University College and the man who originally hired Ahmad
as a visiting professor, was away when the question of a full
professorship for Ahmad came up. "When I got back," said
Whittaker, "I was told that he'd been a great smash as a teacher and
that his enrollments were terrific. But when the proposal to have him
stay on permanently came up, it was shot down, and it seemed to be
Arab Funding Too Hot to Handle
In 1977, three of America's most prestigious small colleges,
Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr, proposed to seek funds from a
private Arab foundation for a joint Middle East studies program. The
three "sister schools" located in the affluent "mainline" suburbs of
Philadelphia, already shared a Russian studies program.
The idea for the joint program originated in conversations between
college officials and Swarthmore alumnus Willis Armstrong, a former
assistant secretary of state who had recently become secretary-
treasurer of the Triad Foundation. The Washington-based foundation
had been established by wealthy Saudi entrepreneur Adnan Khashoggi to
finance, in his words, "programs with long-range goals for building
bridges of understanding between countries." Khashoggi is a
flamboyant multimillionaire who made his fortune by serving as a
middleman to foreign companies, including several major defense
contractors, seeking business in Saudi Arabia.
The three-year $590,000 program worked out by Armstrong and the
colleges was exemplary by everyone's account. The plan would provide
foreign student scholarships to needy Arab students, expand the
colleges' collections of books and periodicals dealing with the
Middle East and strengthen existing Middle East-related courses. In
addition, about one-fourth of the grant would be used to finance a
rotating professorship. The visiting professors would be used to
finance a rotating professorship. The visiting professors would teach
courses on the Middle East and its relation to disciplines including
anthropology, art history, economics, history, political science and
"It was as innocuous and rich as a proposal could be," recalled
Swarthmore Vice-President Kendall Landis five years later. Haverford
president Stephen Cary had described it at the time as "promising in
terms of academic enrichment." The program would serve to "raise the
consciousness of students about the Middle East situation, "
commented Haverford's associate director of development, John Gilbert.
Perhaps the most enthusiastic supporter of the plan was Bryn Mawr
President Harris Wofford. A former Peace Corps director, Wofford was
known for his long interest in promoting international understanding.
He called the Middle East studies proposal "a good prospect for
something we badly want."
The grant proposal included a guarantee of absolute academic
freedom. "This was to be done in accordance with the highest academic
standards," explained Armstrong. "The colleges would choose the
visiting professors, they'd buy the books and they'd pick out the
students to whom to give scholarships."
Moreover, the rotating professorship meant that no one professor
would be around long enough to develop roots. "We really bent over
backwards to be completely fair," said Landis. "Jewish professors
would be employed as well as others."
"There was never any pressure from Triad in any discussions we had
with them," said Haverford's Cary, "nor any indication from them that
it couldn't be a study that would include Israel. So I never had any
criticism of the Triad Foundation people at all."
The agreement with Triad was all but concluded by the three colleges.
All that remained was to present the grant proposal formally to the
Triad Foundation which, Armstrong assured the college officials,
would accept it and write out the check.
Some, however, like Ira Silverman of the American Jewish Committee,
saw dangers in the plan. Silverman had received a telephone call from
Swarthmore political science professor James Kurth alerting the AJC
to the grant proposal. In a confidential memorandum he prepared for
the AJC's National Committee on Arab Influence in the United States,
Professor Kurth, who is not Jewish, believed that the proposed
program should be of concern to the AJC inasmuch as it would not only
expand the study of the contemporary Arab world but would explicitly
seek to bring the Arab political message to those campuses.
Professor Kurth brought these facts to our attention and asked for
AJC help in blocking the implementation of the program. We discussed
the matter and agreed that it would make most sense to try to kill
the program through quiet, behind-the-scenes talks with college
officials, before `going public'; and that protests against the
program need not be based solely or particularly on Jewish opposition
to Arab influence. Instead, we thought it should be possible to
generate concern about the program based on its sponsorship by
Khashoggi and its evident public relations aims, not appropriate for
colleges of the stature of these three schools.
Silverman went right to work orchestrating a campaign to discredit
Khashoggi and Triad:
I immediately sent Professor Kurth a folder of information on
Khashoggi, the Triad Corporation and Triad Foundation which was
compiled by the AJC Trends Analysis Division.
I also notified the AJC Philadelphia chapter of these developments so
that they could be in touch with Professor Kurth to assist in getting
some local Philadelphia Jewish community leaders, alumni of the
schools or otherwise associated with them, to raise questions about
the proposed grant."
The effect of the AJC's efforts to "kill the program" was stunning.
Using material provided by Silverman, the Swarthmore student
newspaper, The Phoenix, published an article which falsely stated
that Khashoggi was "under indictment by a federal grand jury" in
connection with certain payments to Lockheed. Asked later about the
role this article played in the controversy, James Platt, who had
edited the student newspaper, said: "The Phoenix got things out their
publicly, at least for students and certain alums who probably hadn't
heard about it beforehand, to make their phone calls and be upset and
so forth." Where had he gotten this information? He refused to
say. "I'd prefer to talk to the people first just to make sure they
have no problem with that. At the time, it was to remain
Before the Phoenix article appeared, Swarthmore President Theodore
Friend called a meeting of department representatives to obtain the
concurrence of faculty on the tentative grant proposal. Some of the
faculty were reported to have objected to the plan. On the evening
after the Phoenix article appeared, a petition was circulated in the
college dining hall calling Khashoggi a "munitions monger" and
referring to "kickbacks" in the Middle East. The petition, which
called on the administration to drop the proposal, was signed by 230
students and faculty. Almost at the same time, the Philadelphia
Jewish Federation had a letter on the president's desk.
"Speaking from memory," says one observer close to the Swarthmore
scene, "it all happened in about eighteen and a half minutes. It was
like the Great Fear sweeping across France during the French
On November 3, 1977, articles appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer
and in another Philadelphia paper, The Evening Bulletin. The latter
was headlined: "Colleges Hesitate in Scandal." By November 4, the
student newspaper published jointly by Bryn Mawr and Haverford had
also published an article detailing both the grant proposal and
Khashoggi's background. The same issue included an editorial
entitled "Say No to Triad."
The Jewish Community Relations Council, the American Jewish Committee
and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith also issued a joint
statement: "It is altogether appropriate that the schools should
seriously question the wisdom of accepting any grant from such a
tainted source and one which is dominated by a figure like Adnan
Finally, the Washington office of the AJC put Professor Kurth in
touch with Congressman James Scheuer, who is Jewish and a Swarthmore
alumnus. According to Armstrong, Scheuer called President Friend and
requested the telephone numbers of the members of the college's Board
of Managers "so he could call them at once and get them to put a stop
to this outrageous thing."
Various groups tried to enlist faculty intervention. Harrison Wright,
a professor of history at Swarthmore, recalled later that there
were "memos to the whole faculty and to the department chairmen by
different groups. It was a fairly short but quite sharp exchange of
different points of view."
The first of the three colleges to publicly withdraw from the joint
effort was Haverford. In a prepared statement, Haverford President
Cary said the college was "grateful to Triad for its willingness to
consider an application" but "because of Haverford's Quaker
background it has decided it shouldn't apply for funds derived so
directly from arms traffic which it deplores."
Swarthmore's withdrawal followed immediately. President Friend
announced the college's decision in these words:
At a time of rigorous financial planning and examination of
curriculum, our lack of significant existing base in Middle Eastern
studies at Swarthmore does not in our view warrant what at present
could only be a temporary experiment.
Peter Cohan, a leader of student protest against the Triad grant,
complained later to a Phoenix reporter that the statement "did not
establish principles, but spoke only to the immediate situation." In
the same Phoenix article, Swarthmore Vice-President Landis pointed
out that the decision on the Triad grant was made "amid a whirlwind
of protest which arose from `more than just Khashoggi.'" According to
Landis, "There were other concerns within the protest."
In a letter to the Phoenix, Ben Rockefeller, another student, agreed
Jewish students are not disturbed about the Rockefellers' business
conduct because they aren't truly contesting anybody's business
conduct: the alleged concern about Mr. Khashoggi's professional
character is a ruse to conceal an anti-Arab prejudice.
Only Bryn Mawr continued to pursue the grant. "I think the question
of judging the source of money is not a simplistic one," said
President Wofford. Wofford defended the college's decision in an
article published in the Bryn Mawr/Haverford student newspaper, The
News, which was on record as opposing the grant:
No one at Bryn Mawr has suggested that Mr. Khashoggi's record is
irrelevant or that we don't care about it. We explored that record in
the three-college discussions last summer and circulated information
we found. If there is new information we should consider it
carefully. But of simply saying `No' to Triad, as The News proposes,
I think we should examine all the facts and together think about the
In deciding our next steps, we need to guard against prejudice,
against misinformation, and against the politics of purely personal
psychic satisfaction. Wouldn't it be prejudice to accept a donation
from Lockheed, for example, which was found guilty of improper
practices, while refusing it from Triad, whose donor (contrary to the
Swarthmore Phoenix's allegation) has not been indicted let alone
convicted of anything?
The Philadelphia Inquirer supported Bryn Mawr's position. In an
editorial entitled " But Money Has No Smell," the newspaper said it
did not believe it necessary that Haverford, Swarthmore and Bryn
Mawr "look with revulsion" at the source of the $590,000 grant. "We
believe they would do well to follow the counsel of the celebrated
American philosopher, Woody Allen, and take the money and run." Like
Wofford, the newspaper pointed out that "quite a few sources of
donations to higher education would not bear close scrutiny."
The American Jewish Committee memo notes with satisfaction that,
though Bryn Mawr pursued the grant proposal, it did so "on a
substantially reduced scale."
In fact, Bryn Mawr's request for funds ultimately went unanswered.
Khashoggi had been badly burned. He gave up the foundation and with
it the offer to the three colleges.
Reflecting on the controversy and on Bryn Mawr's decision to stay
with the proposal, Wofford said: "We were in a relatively strong
position because that same year we had started a program of inviting
people who wanted to contribute to Bryn Mawr's Judaic Studies program
to donate Israel bonds." The Jewish community was pleased by
this. "In fact," said Wofford, "I was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt
award of the Israel Bonds Organization." Asked how he felt about the
withdrawal of the other colleges, Wofford said,
We felt sort of run out on by both of them. In the first place they
publicly withdrew without any real consultation. And secondly, it was
something we had thought through and it seemed an unfair flap at a
In a letter to President Friend, Willis Armstrong said:
Swarthmore seems to me to have taken leave of its principles and to
have yielded all too quickly to partisan and xenophobic pressure from
a group skilled in the manipulation of public opinion. I am at a loss
to think how the United States can promote peace in the Middle East
unless we can gain Arab confidence in our understanding and
objectivity. For a Quaker institution to turn its back on an
opportunity to contribute to this understanding is profoundly
Haverford President Cary, like Swarthmore's President Friend, denies
that his decision to withdraw from the grant proposal was influenced
by pressures from the Jewish community. Said Cary:
I did have some letters from some of our Jewish alumnae who thought
that we should have no part of such a thing. But that had nothing to
do with my decision.
Haverford's provost at the time, Tom D'Andrea, assesses the
importance of Jewish opposition differently:
One of the big issues, of course, had to do with very strong
opposition from Jewish organizations. I think a lot of it had to do
with Arab influence and the whole Middle East situation. But then, of
course, you get into really serious questions about academic freedom.
The freedom of expression. Well, one way you can avoid that is to
find another peg to hang the protest on and the arms one is a little
cleaner given the Quaker factor.
In concluding his memo describing the success of the American Jewish
Committee's efforts to foil the Middle East studies program at the
three colleges, Ira Silverman wrote:
Our participation was not widely known on the campuses and not
reported in the public press, as we wished. This is a good case
history of how we can be effective in working with colleges to limit
Arab influence on campuses-although in view of the schools' Quaker
background and Khashoggi's cloudy reputation as an arms merchant, its
happy ending is not likely to be replicated easily in other cases.
Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr have done little since the 1977-
78 events to improve their offerings in a field that has become too
hot for many colleges to handle.
Another college about a hundred miles away showed more courage,
although it too nearly faltered.
Returning Solicited Gifts
Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS)
was the first academic program in the United States devoted
exclusively to the study of the modern Arab world. Established in
1975, the center is a functional part of the Georgetown University
School of Foreign Service. As such, CCAS not only offers an academic
program leading to a master's degree in Arab studies but also
provides opportunities for students with other international
interests to learn about the 22 political systems and 170 million
people in North Africa, the Nile valley, the Fertile Crescent, and
the Arabian Peninsula.
Since federal funding for a traditional Middle East center at
Georgetown had twice been sought and denied, the directors of the new
center decided early on to seek support from private sources. They
hoped to obtain about half the needed funds from Arab governments.
The dean of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, Peter F. Krogh,
explained the original plan: "It was our view that we should not play
favorites among the Arab states and seek support from some but not
from others. This would then suggest that the academic program would
also play favorites."
After obtaining approval for the plan from the university's
development office and from Georgetown's president at the time, the
Reverend R.J. Henle, Dean Krogh visited all the Arab embassies and
missions in Washington. He told them about the center's plans and
asked for their assistance. "I went to all of them," says
Krogh, "whether they had diplomatic relations with the United States
or not, whether they were moderate or radical, whatever their
stripe." John Ruedy, chairman of the center's program of studies,
recalls the fund raising philosophy in similar terms: "We were going
to be sure that we weren't labeled as being in anybody's pocket."
The first country to contribute was Oman, soon followed by grants
from Unite Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Then, in May 1977,
Libya committed $750,000, payable over five years, to endow a
professorial chair in Arab culture.
The Libyan gift aroused controversy. According to one faculty member,
there was "considerable consternation" among faculty, students and
some administrators and trustees. The protest included a letter to
the student newspaper, the Georgetown Voice, from columnist Art
Buchwald. Buchwald calling the gift "blood money from one of the most
notorious regimes in the world today." But Georgetown's executive
vice-president for academic affairs, the Reverend Aloysius P. Kelley,
told the Washington Post at the time that the Libyan
gift "contributes to the fulfillment of the main purpose of the
center which is to increase knowledge of the Arab world in the United
States. Says Dean Krogh, "Libya was responding to the blanket request
to all Arab countries to take an interest in our work and to help us
where they could. It was an endowment. They sent the check; we
deposited it. They never inquired, never asked for an accounting.
They didn't even ask for a stewardship report." Center Director
Michael Hudson stressed in press interviews that no conditions were
attached to the gift regarding who could occupy the chair or what the
chosen professor could teach. "We don't mix politics and education,"
Hudson told the Washington Post.
The next governmental contributors were Jordan, Qatar and Iraq. The
Iraqi gift of $50,000 came in the spring of 1978. It was an
unrestricted contribution which the center subsequently decided to
use to hire a specialist in Islamic ethics.
In the meantime, Henle had been replaced as president of Georgetown
by the Reverend Timothy S. Healy. In July of 1978, Healy took the
unusual step of returning Iraq's $50,000 gift without advising the
center of his intentions. The official reason given for the action
was that another donor had come forward to provide funds for the same
purpose. In his letter to the director general of Iraq's Center for
Research and Information, Healy wrote:
I feel obliged in conscience to return to Your Excellency the
generous check which you have sent us. I hope that in doing this, we
can continue our conversations and that it will be possible for the
university to return to the generosity of the Iraqi government in the
future and ask for a gift for which full credit can be given to the
government which gave it. I am sure you will understand the delicacy
of the university's position in this matter.
But faculty members at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies said
they did not understand "the delicacy of the university's position."
Arab Studies Director John Ruedy commented at the time: "Acting as
agents of the university, we solicited money from Iraq. The president
of this university returned it without ever seeking our approval. His
intervention into this is really extraordinary." Dean Krogh told the
press: "This is the first time we've given back a grant as long as
I've been here," adding that the issue had been "taken out of my
According to the Washington Star, both supporters and opponents of
the Iraqi grant agreed that "decision was politically motivated."
Ruedy told the Star: "I don't know what other basis there would be
for refusing the money." CCAS faculty members charged that Father
Healy's own support for Israel, combined with pressure from the pro-
Israeli members of the university's community and from influential
Jewish leaders, led him to return the gift.
John Ruedy recalls the incident:
The timing was appalling. We were just shocked. We had been arguing
with [Healy] over that for a couple of months. He said he didn't like
it. We knew he was distressed about it. But we thought that we had
convinced him that he must quietly accept the gift because we had
asked for it under the mandate given to us by his predecessor.
According to one member of the CCAS faculty, the center's problems
really began with the arrival of Healy:
His whole political socialization regarding the Middle East took
place within the context of New York City [where Healy grew up]. He
told us early on that if he had been here in our formative days, we
wouldn't exist. He was a vulnerable instrument for these people and
they kept pushing and pushing and pushing. He was under enormous
Father Healy refused to comment to the press on his decision to
return the gift, saying that to do so "would only harm the
institution." The university's executive vice-president for academic
affairs and provost, the Reverend Aloysius P. Kelley, declined to
comment directly on whether the university had considered any other
use for the general purpose grant.
Despite Healy's return of the Iraqi gift, Georgetown's new Arab
studies center came under attack. In June 1979 The New Republic, a
liberal weekly that has become a staunchly pro-Israeli magazine under
owner Martin Peretz, ran an article by Nicholas Lemann on
Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies insinuating that
the center was "nothing but a propagandist for the Arabs." Wrote
Lemann, "Unlike the older Middle Eastern studies centers at other
universities, the Georgetown center makes no attempt to achieve
balance by studying Israel along with the Arab nations or by hiring
Israeli scholars." Center Director Michael Hudson and Dean Krogh
answered this charge in a reply which was prepared but never
Since when was it required, for example, that a center for Chinese
studies study the Soviet Union and employ Soviet scholars The center
studies the Arabs and it employs scholars recruited through normal
University Departmental and School procedures which provide for
appointments without discrimination of any kind. If this country is
not allowed by particular interest groups to pursue the study of the
Arabs by the same standards applied to the study of other major
peoples and cultures, this country's knowledge of, and international
relations with, a significant group of countries is going to be
deeply, perhaps tragically, flawed.
The New Republic article added that the Georgetown Center "is
constantly charged with violating standards of scholarly objectivity"
but did not say by whom. Author Lemann referred to the centers
critics, "who, in the cloak-and-dagger spirit, like to remain
Hudson and Krogh, in their unpublished reply, wrote:
Detective Lemann, to his credit, discovers "an informal network of
people" operating in the "cloak and dagger spirit" who are busy
trying to embarrass the center in some way. To his discredit, he
associates himself with this undercover group by borrowing upon these
anonymous accusations in criticizing an open, legitimately
constituted academic program. A more worthy approach would have been
to investigate and reveal the composition, operations, and
motivations of this "informal network." We think the public should be
deeply concerned about an underground group which seeks to undermine
the imparting of knowledge and understanding about the Arab world;
certainly we would be interested in any findings Mr. Lemann (or his
publisher, Mr. Martin Peretz) could provide on this question.
Despite the return of the Iraqi grant, Georgetown continued to
receive Arab funds, including grants of $1 million each from Kuwait
and Oman in the fall of 1980. An article in the Washington Post
reporting the Kuwaiti gift quoted Ira Silverman of the American
Jewish Committee [and the Swarthmore/Haverford/Bryn Mawr controversy]
as saying that Georgetown's Arab studies center "has a clearly marked
pro-Arab, anti-Israel bias in its selection of curriculum material,
its faculty appointments, and speakers." By accepting money
from "political sponsors of one point of view," Said Silverman,
Georgetown might be "selling something very precious to Americans-the
integrity of its universities."
Georgetown officials rejected criticism of the Arab gifts, pointing
out that if it had pro-Arab scholars in the Arab studies center, it
had pro-Israel scholars elsewhere on its faculty, particularly in its
Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Then, in February 1981 President Healy again returned an Arab
donation which had been solicited and received by the Arab studies
center. This time it was the grant from Libya received four years
earlier. Of the $750,000 pledged over five years, $600,000 had been
received. Healy personally took a check for that amount plus $42,000
in interest earned, to the Libyan embassy. Healy said Libya's "accent
on violence as a normal method of international policy and its
growing support of terrorism made [keeping the money] incompatible
with everything Georgetown stands for."
Once again, many doubted the official reason given. As one professor
in the Arab studies program put it: "If it was strictly an ethical
judgment, it certainly was a long time in coming." John Ruedy added:
If you ask around here, you'll probably find nobody in our center who
approves of the policies of [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein. But we
have tried to maintain cooperative relationships with the government
and, to the extent that we can, with the Iraqi people. We think that
this is our mission. And I feel the same way about Libya. I find
[Libyan President] Kaddafi very objectionable in most instances. This
was a gift, as far as I'm concerned, from the Libyan people.
"This whole thing is something out of the blue," Professor Hisham
Sharabi told the Washington Post. "It's very strange."
Dean Peter Krogh opposed returning the money but did not make an
issue of it. He declined to comment to the press, except to say, "We
never felt any pressure from the Libyan government" on how the money
was to be spent. But, he observes: "Deans are deans and presidents
are presidents. Presidents do pretty much what they please."
Ira Silverman of the American Jewish Committee was "delighted that
Georgetown has made this decision." Moreover, the day after the
return of the Libyan money, the New York City investment firm, Bear,
Stearns & Co., donated $100,000 to Georgetown. Said senior managing
partner Alan Greenberg, "We admire them, and this is our little way
of saying thank you."
Healy told the Post that in returning the money to Libya, "I was
under absolutely no heat and pressure, but it worried me. I guess I'm
just kind of slow to move, but I came to a growing realization that
what Libya is up to is incompatible with Georgetown."
In an interview with the Washingtonian magazine, however, he was more
candid. Originally, he had approved the Libyan gift despite some
misgivings. He told the magazine the Libyan money "had been a huge
nuisance and had kept him entangled in a verbal version of the Arab-
Israeli war." Reported in the Washingtonian:
His Jewish friends screamed at him privately, and the American Jewish
Committee issued a statement publicly condemning the university. Even
his gestures of appeasement and balance-a goodwill trip to Israel, an
honorary degree for the Israeli ambassador to the United States,
refusal of a gift from Iraq, wearing a yarmulke at a Jewish service
on campus-did little to offset the Jewish anger over the Libyan money.
In fact, pressure on Healy had been intense before his return of the
Libyan grant. One expression of Jewish anger took the form of a visit
to Healy's office by a delegation of rabbis. Max Kampelman, an
influential Jewish member of Georgetown University's Board of
Trustees, also interceded with Healy directly. As a former ambassador
to the Helsinki Accords, Kampelman was "a major factor," observes
Dean Krogh. Former ambassador to the United Nations Arthur Goldberg
reportedly added his weight to the combined pressure. In addition,
Healy received, according to John Ruedy, "loads of letters." Another
Georgetown professor called it "hate mail."
Indeed, controversy over the Arab studies program largely subsided
after the return of the Libyan grant. As one professor at the center
put it, "If returning the Libyan money has brought us some breathing
space and gotten the monkey off our backs, maybe it was worth it."
But since then Arab governments have been less forthcoming with
contributions. Says Ruedy, "We Know that in some cases it has
specifically to do with a sense of affront. Returning a gift in one
donor's face is seen as an attack on all of them."
On the other hand, Georgetown University has now committed itself and
its won financial resources to Arab studies. In the spring of 1983,
Arab studies was one of nine graduate programs which the
university "designated for excellence." "I feel that this may mean we
have crossed the Rubicon," said Ruedy.
One reason Georgetown's Arab studies center has been able to survive,
and even prosper despite the controversy, is that it is affiliated
with a private university. Says Ruedy,
You could probably not have an Arab studies program in a public
institution. You can have a Jewish studies program, of course. In
fact, that is politically very advantageous Georgetown and the
Jesuits are as far from dependency on Jewish support as you could be.
"That Was the Buzzword, `Arab'"
The second U.S. university to create an Arab studies program,
Villanova University in Pennsylvania, is also Catholic. In 1983,
Villanova set up the Institute for Contemporary Arab and Islamic
Studies. The director, Father Kail Ellis, is an Augustinian priest of
Lebanese origin. Villanova's is a modest program, involving as yet no
outside funds, which offers certificates in Arab studies to
undergraduates majoring in other fields. The institution also
sponsors conferences, lectures and cultural events. Says Father
Ellis: "Our goal is to familiarize the students with the history,
language, politics and culture of the Arab Islamic world."
Despite the program's modest scope and the absence of Arab funding,
there was considerable opposition to it from within the university,
mainly from the political science department. "The pressure wasn't
really overt as such," says Ellis. "It was always behind the scenes.
There are a couple of faculty people who were the most vocal against
it and they organized the opposition."
The political science department was originally asked to comment on
the proposal for establishing the institute. In a minority report
attached to the departments comments, one professor warned about the
effect of such a program on the Jewish community:
Villanova exists in a larger community on which it depends for both
financial and political support. This larger community is made up of
Protestants, Catholics and Jews and very few Muslims. If Villanova
creates an Islamic Studies Institute, it will have no effect,
positive or negative, on its Catholic and Protestant constituencies.
But because this issue has high emotional content, it will in my view
have strong negative effects on the Jewish community in the Villanova
area who though relatively few in number are financially and
Such an institute might reflect on Villanova University's president
in such a way as to affect his ability to function on the Holocaust
Committee where his efforts have provided great credibility for
Villanova among the Jewish Committee. It is my opinion that the
existence of such an institute might dry up possible Jewish financial
and political support.
Another professor commented:
Israel is the single most important United States ally in the Middle
East politically, it has extensive and close economic and business
ties with the U.S., it is the cultural and religious homeland of
millions of Americans. To exclude the study of Israel from the
proposed program is a mistake and may affect potential enrollment.
Ellis explains: "The idea was to broaden the program from Arab
studies. That was the buzzword, `Arab.'"
Georgetown's John Ruedy was invited to Villanova as a consultant to
participate in the preparations for the Arab studies proposal. "The
opposition was very interesting," says Ruedy:
It was the Zionist issue but nobody said it. I could just tell,
because I'd been there before. The first line of opposition is on
academic grounds. But when you get around all these and answer all
the questions, then they bare their fangs and say, "This is anti-
Israel, this is anti-Semitic, and it will be against the interests of
the university. And we have to relate to Jewish donors and so on."
This is precisely what happened at Villanova.
After the institute opened, Father Ellis received a letter from
American Professors for Peace in the Middle East, a national pro-
Israeli organization. The executive director, George Cohen, took
issue with a map that appeared in the brochure. The map, clearly
labeled "The Arab and Islamic World," shows only the Arab countries
of the Middle East and Africa in dark green and the non-Arab Islamic
countries, namely, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan in light green.
Cohen noted that the map did not identify Israel. "Is this an error,"
he asked, "or is it intended to make a political statement, excluding
Ellis wrote back that the purpose of the map was to identify the Arab
and Islamic countries with which the program dealt:
It was not our intention to make a political statement about Israel,
or any other country, such as Ethiopia, Cyprus, Mali, Chad or even
Turkmen, Uzbek and Tajik Republics of the Soviet Union, all of which
are located in the area and have substantial Moslem populations but
which were excluded from the map.
Cohen was not satisfied and wrote another letter, saying he did not
accept Ellis's response and asking him to "present this issue to your
department before I take it further."
Cohen did not specify what measures he might employ in "taking it
further," and Ellis did not respond to his second letter. Meanwhile
the Institute for Contemporary Arab and Islamic Studies has continued
to gain acceptance within the Villanova scholarly community.
Meanwhile, the attacks against the academic community in Middle East
studies are, in the view of a leading scholar, continuing
and "perhaps getting even stronger." He adds, "They are not directed
just at one or two institutions but appear to have a nationwide
Think Tank Under Pressure
Of the many "think tanks" that have sprung up around the country in
the last two decades, Georgetown University's Center for Strategic
and International Studies is one of the most prestigious. Established
in 1965, CSIS has grown to comprise a staff of 150, with a budget of
$6 million and a publications list of nearly 200 titles. Among the
eminent names on the Center's roster are Henry Kissinger, Howard K.
Smith, Lane Kirkland and John Glenn. CSIS is a non-profit, tax-exempt
organization which, though known to be conservative in outlook,
includes both Democrats and Republicans on its advisory board.
Based in Washington, the center views the provision of expert
research and analysis to government leaders as one of its most vital
functions. As part of Georgetown University, CSIS considers itself
an "integral part of the academic community." Scholarly participation
in all center activities "insures that the widest and most rigorous
thinking is brought to bear on issues."
The center, says its brochure, is "well-equipped to function in a
true interdisciplinary, nonpartisan fashion." Yet, a report completed
in 1981 by the director of the Oil Field Security Studies Project was
suppressed on the eve of Congressional action on the sale of AWACS
planes to Saudi Arabia. Supporters of Israel from outside the center
were opposed to the sale and did not want the contents of the report
known because they feared it could be used effectively in winning
Congressional approval. Six months later, the author of the offending
study was fired by the center and urged to leave town.
The victim was Mazher Hameed-a native of Saudi Arabia, a graduate of
the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a specialist on
international security affairs. Former U.S. ambassador to Saudi
Arabia James Akins wrote of Hameed in 1983, "I know of no one else in
this country with his insight, his honesty, his analytical ability
and his profound knowledge of the Middle East, particularly the
Arabian Peninsula." Hameed was hired by the center in November of
1980 as a research fellow "with responsibilities for research on a
project on Saudi oil field security." In the letter of appointment,
CSIS Executive Director Amos Jordan wrote: "This letter also
constitutes a formal approval of the oil field security project."
The scope of the project was outlined in a memorandum to Jordan
prepared a month earlier by Wayne Berman, responsible to Jordan for
fund raising. That memo stated that the project would focus on the
political and military analysis of oil field vulnerabilities in the
Middle East, the likelihood of attacks from various sources, an
examination of security planning, and technical defense profiles.
Amos Jordan himself brought up with Hameed the need to evaluate the
AWACS/F-15 enhancement package before it became an issue on Capitol
For the next nine months, Hameed carried out his research and wrote a
series of drafts of a report on his results. These drafts were shown
to Amos Jordan, who had become vice chairman of the center, and to
David Abshire, the chairman, as well as to several experts outside
the center. The final report was to be published by CSIS.
Jordan told Hameed after reading one of the earlier drafts that his
work was "brilliant" and that he wanted to see more work for that
caliber emerging from the center. Abshire concurred with this view.
Jordan personally gave copies of one of the earlier drafts to William
Clark, at the time deputy secretary of state and subsequently
President Reagan's national security advisor. Other Middle East
experts who praised the report were Anthony Cordesman, international
editor of the Armed Forces Journal, and William Quandt, director of
the Energy and National Security Project of the Brookings Institution.
In August 1981, Abshire and Jordan left together for a trip to Tokyo.
They took Hameed's final draft with them. Jordan sent back a Telex
praising the study: "On plane I read Hameed's Saudi se<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)