When I first discovered the work of Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi [pictured], I did come to one conclusion: His thoughts may be bizarre but they are his own. Now, I am not so sure.
I pointed out earlier this year that Dr. Khalidi sees “disturbing but superficial similarities in that suicide bombers apparently motivated by Islam were involved in both” attacks upon the United States and Israel. The Middle East Studies professor nevertheless criticizes what he sees as overdone American media coverage of the latter group of assaults and lists Iran as a thriving democracy in his book, Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East.
Nonetheless, Khalidi’s writing on his own American Committee of Jerusalem (ACJ) site eerily resembles some of work of the late Kamil Jamil el Asali of the University of Jordan. Not only do both scholars use the same sources but they adopt the same phrasing and analysis. Check it out:
Khalidi: In 1902, the British anthropologist Sir James Frazer wrote in his book The Golden Bough: “The Arabic-speaking peasants of Palestine are the progeny of the tribes which settled in the country before the Israelite invasion.”
Asali: In The Golden Bough, the British anthropologist Sir James Frazer (1854-1941) stressed that, “the Arabic-speaking peasants of Palestine are the progeny of the tribes which settled in the country before the Israelite invasion.”
Khalidi: The Israeli historian Zev Vilnay, in his Encyclopedia for
Knowledge of the Land of Israel, and Ephraim and Menachem Tilmay in their book Jerusalem agree that the age of the city is 5,000 years.
Asali: It is well-known that the correct age of the city, according to
historical accounts, is five thousand years. This estimation is given by the Israeli historian Zev Vilnay, among other sources, in his comprehensive work in Hebrew, The Encyclopedia for the Knowledge of the Land of Israel, in the chapter titled “Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel.”[i] The same age is given
by the Israeli historians Ephraim and Menachem Tilmay at the end of their
Khalidi: In the second millenium BC, Jerusalem was inhabited by the Jebusites, a
Canaanite tribe, and the culture of the city was Canaanite. The Jebusites built a fortress, “Zion”, in Jerusalem. Zion is a Canaanite word meaning “hill” or “height.” Jerusalem was also known as Jebus. Canaanite society flourished for two thousand years, and many aspects of Canaanite culture and religion were later borrowed by the Hebrews.
Asali: In the second millennium, Jerusalem was inhabited by the Jebusites. In the Bible the Jebusites are considered to be Canaanites. It was the Jebusites who first built the fortress Zion in the town. Zion is a Canaanite word which means “hill” or “height.”
The second name of Jerusalem was “Jebus”. The culture of Jebus was
Canaanite, an ancient society which built many towns with well-built houses, in numerous city-states, in industry and commerce and in an alphabet and religion which flourished for two thousand years and were later borrowed by the primitive Hebrews.
Neither Columbia University nor the New York media has any interest in pursuing the case or the story. Their ambivalence is remarkable given the universal standards on plagiarism adopted by nearly every university particularly prestigious ones such as Columbia.
Khalidi’s byline no longer appears on the ACJ site article. But some have unearthed it by using the so-called wayback search tool and typing in the original url.
[iii] http://www.columbia.edu/cu/vpaa/fhb/main.html Faculty Handbook,
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.