Jewish World Review May 9, 2003 / 7 Iyar, 5763

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Consumer Reports

Berkeley's Center for Middle East Studies funded by al Qaeda financial supporter? | The University of California at Berkeley claims it wants to promote peace and understanding in the Middle East. I say, "Good for them." After 4,000 years of turmoil and bloodshed, I agree with Elvis Costello that there's nothing wrong with peace, love and understanding. Unfortunately, our friends at Berkeley think they can promote peace with the blood money of an al Qaeda bagman.

CAL. BERKELEY has long had the reputation of being one of America's most radical, left wing universities. Throughout the '60s and '70s, this campus provided constant comfort to communist regimes from Vietnam to Cuba. Their extremist agenda is legendary, but few have ever linked the college with a terrorist organization, until now.

It seems that Berkeley's Center for Middle East Studies is partially funded by a Saudi sheik that is one of al Qaeda's biggest financial supporters. Believe it or not, this story was broken by a college newspaper and quickly gained national attention. And for good reason. Leading up to America's war of liberation in Iraq, only the most unobservant American could miss the fact that many of America's most prestigious universities had professors actively pushing agendas that could only be described as anti-American and anti-Israel. News reports have documented the explosion of anti-Semitism on these college campuses and on campuses across Europe.

There is no doubt that Americans must begin working actively to build bridges with Arab nations. The recent events in Iraq prove that we have a long way to go before gaining the trust and respect of many in the Arab world. And make no mistake of it; we can no longer live in a world where Israel is America's only ally in the Middle East.

However, neither can we turn a blind eye to a possible terrorist connection between the University of California, Berkeley, and an al Qaeda financier.

Our hats are off to the enterprising college reporter who broke this story. Let's just hope that those running Berkeley and California's college system make things right, look into this story and if it's true, disassociate themselves from a bagman of Bin Laden.

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Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts “Scarborough Country,” 10 p.m. ET, weeknights on MSNBC. Comment by clicking here.

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