The detailed report, published by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) highlights the Center’s Director Paul Beran’s longtime activism in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. In 2004 it says, he participated in the Presbyterian Church’s BDS campaign and claimed that he formed an alliance with an extreme anti-Israel group in order to counter criticism from “Zionists and their ilk.” The report details how following the failure of a similar BDS petition in Somerville, MA, Beran accused the town mayor, pension-fund manager and elected state representatives who voted against it of being “recruited by pro-Israel groups” and urged divestment activists to counter “Zionist backlash.”
The report mentions that in 2007 Beran protested the enrollment of former Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz into a Harvard Business School course, calling him “a noted war criminal,” although the General was never tried or found guilty of any war crimes.
Reached on the phone by the Algemeiner, Beran declined to comment.
The report finds that the Center’s speakers, recommended resources and course syllabi (some of which are available online) similarly reflect a one-sided focus. Recommended readings heavily favor anti-Zionist writings, including works by deceased professor Edward Said, a Palestinian advocate, and former Israeli professor Ilan Pappé, the driving force behind academic boycotts of Israel. (CAMERA points out that Pappé’s scholarship is now under critical scrutiny as he is charged with fabricating a quote that alleges to show how Israel planned to expel Arabs in an article published in the Journal of Palestine Studies and in his 2006 book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. He was also harshly criticized for promoting a graduate thesis centered on a bogus claim of an Israeli massacre of Palestinians that was formally recanted in a libel case). Also mentioned in the report is the Center’s recommendation of the propaganda film, Occupation 101, featuring such well-known defamers of Israel as Noam Chomsky and Richard Falk.