Today, Professor Bassam Frangieh, director of the Middle East studies program, teaches Arabic to the next generation of “leaders in the making.” The new program was founded with the high hopes that they will join the diplomatic corps and promote peace in the Middle East. If Claremont McKenna’s president, Pamela Gann, has her way, that program will have a study abroad component in the Middle East (most likely in Jordan).
But Frangieh, as seen in an investigation I published in The Claremont Independent, a student news magazine of the Claremont Colleges, supports two terrorist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah. He looks to Hamas, a group designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization with “with great pleasure,” and signed a petition that supported Hezbollah and condemned Israel as a “Zionist killing machine.”
Frangieh endorsed the most barbarous of attacks – suicide bombing – in a 2000 essay he wrote that celebrated Arab poet “martyrs” who fought Israel. That fight is justified because, according to Frangieh, Arabs have suffered the “most devastating blow” with “the creation of the state of Israel and the transformation of the Palestinians into a stateless people.” (He ignores that Israel allows Palestinians not living in the territories to vote and serve as members of the Knesset.)
Here’s what Frangieh wrote in that essay:Nietzsche wrote, “The ideal condition cannot be achieved by dreaming, we must fight and struggle to achieve it.” Clearly, the fights and struggles of isolated poets and individuals have not succeeded in making change. Even if the best one hundred Arab poets loaded themselves with dynamite and exploded in the streets of Arab capitals, it would not be enough. For real change to come about, thousands of people will have to die; thousands must martyr themselves. It appears that only massive revolution will succeed in overturning the corrupt regimes of the Arab world. Only then can significant and radical change take place. [Emphasis added][...]
Given Frangieh’s views and his role in training future diplomats, every American, every real lover of peace, ought to ask for an explanation, if not his dismissal.