Sectarian Librarians: Bias at Perkins

Posted: 2/17/2006 12:30:00 AM
Author: New Sense (Duke University)

Sectarian Librarians: Bias at Perkins
New Sense (Duke University)
December 2003
Summer is usually a fairly sleepy time on the campus of Duke University. The normal hustle and bustle of the school year has not yet arrived, and the college is markedly bereft of students.
Accordingly, Christof Galli, the "Middle East Resources Specialist" for Perkins Library, figured that this would prove a perfect time to eschew his role as a librarian in favor of donning the cap of political proselytizer. In August, Mr. Galli offered a website affixed to Perkins Library's main page, disingenuously advertised as a kind of start-up kit for students interested in the Middle East.
This website, interestingly titled "Palestine Internet Resources," lucidly demonstrated Mr. Galli's desire to misuse his post in order to force-feed his own views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to unsuspecting students. As DCU president Nathan Carleton proved in his September 16 column in The Chronicle, Mr. Galli presented the Duke community with a website chock-a-block with anti-Israeli sentiment that occasionally degenerated into outright anti-Semitism.

Students who visited the page, for example, were greeted with a map of Israel labeled "Palestine." The "News" section of the website listed 14 news sources, of which only one was pro-Israel. The ever-sensitive Mr. Galli also provided a link to a "Palestinian" cartoon website that features, among its other charms, a picture of the Star of David fashioned out of barbed wire.

To make matters worse, Mr. Galli listed Hamas, which the US State Department and the European Union deem a terrorist organization, as a "political group."
Justly outraged by Mr. Galli's obvious political cheerleading, two DCU members informed Mr. Galli and David Ferriero, Duke's University Librarian, of this disgrace. They not only demonstrated Mr. Galli's brazen disregard for objectivity, but also his patent incompetence: this "expert" on Middle Eastern affairs offered an introductory paragraph on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict replete with errors, including the ridiculous claim that "millions" of Palestinians had been expelled by Israel in 1948.
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