Gatestone’s “New Direction”

Following the expulsion of Clare Lopez from the Gatestone family for quoting from Diana West’s book American Betrayal, which has been declared anathema in certain circles, the turn has now come to another Senior Fellow, the well-known Turkey expert Robert Ellis.

The following account of what happened was provided by a source close to Mr. Ellis.

A British journalist based in Denmark, Robert Ellis has for a number of years published critical articles on Turkish affairs in the Danish and international press, and in June and July posted five articles on the Gezi Park uprising at the Gatestone Institute’s website. Consequently, in August Robert Ellis’ name had already been added to Gatestone’s list of Distinguished Senior Fellows, as its President, Nina Rosenwald, expressed “total enthusiasm” with Mr. Ellis’s articles.

As a follow-up to the articles, Mr. Ellis suggested that it would be a good idea to go to Turkey and meet with various sources, as this was the only way to gain any insight into current developments. He subsequently received an email from Amy Shargel, Director of the Middle East Forum, informing him that on the recommendation of Nina Rosenwald he had received a grant of $5,000 to cover the cost of the trip.

Mr. Ellis was in Turkey for a week in late August, and upon his return wrote a comprehensive account of the present situation, A Hot Turkish Autumn, which was well-received.

As his expenses only amounted to $2,000, Mr. Ellis returned $3,000 to the Middle East Forum, together with a report and a statement of accounts.

Two more of Mr. Ellis’s articles were also posted in October. Therefore Mr. Ellis was surprised to receive the following email on November 6:

“Dear Robert, So sorry but our lawyers have advised us that we must diversify away from the Middle East. We are unfortunately forced to move in a different direction, and accordingly have to let go some Scholar [sic], of which sadly you are one. Thank you for all your contributions and expertise and wishing you the best of luck. Warmest, Nina.”

Apart from the fact that this looks like the beginning of a purge at Gatestone, Nina Rosenwald’s email begs a number of questions:

  • Who are the lawyers who have proffered this advice?
  • Why does Nina Rosenwald feel constrained to accept it?
  • In which direction is Gatestone now “unfortunately forced to move”?
  • Which other Scholars are next on the list?

Does anybody have any ideas?

For links to previous articles about the controversy over American Betrayal, see the Diana West Archives.

25 thoughts on “Gatestone’s “New Direction”

  1. “Diversify away” from the Middle East. I can understand why Nina would feel that way; after all, nothing much of sociopolitical or cultural significance is occurring in the Middle East these days. It’s all quiet and still there, as calm and silent under starry caravanserai skies as a crystalline night.

    • You loosened an old memory I’d forgotten: back in 1999 we had a subscription to Stratfor (hey we wuz rich then – the Baron was working). The end of the year was coming, not to mention [the commonly-accepted date for] the end of the millenium. Everyone was doing forecasts. The ones with probity were limiting it to five years at a time.

      That was when Stratfor had a few paragraphs that sounded much like what you just wrote, only less poetic. For the years 2000 ff, the ME would be of little significance in world affairs so we didn’t have to worry our little heads about *that* area…

      Well, it was end-of-the-year budget time, so I did cut out Stratfor, but I never forgot that…

      For other readers (me included), here’s what the wiki had to say about caravanserai. I love to find new words. With Wm Buckley gone, that doesn’t happen very often. Does that make Hesperado our resident WFB? [yeah, I know: sacrilege…]

      A caravanserai, or khan, or fondouk, also Han (in Turkish), also known as caravansary, caravansera, or caravansara in English or Sarai in Indian subcontinent (Persian: كاروانسرا kārvānsarā or کاروانسرای kārvānsarāi, Turkish: kervansaray) was a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce, information, and people across the network of trade routes covering Asia, North Africa, and southeastern Europe, especially along the Silk Road.

      In the last few years, I’ve been reading up on the Silk Road, which the Chinese are intent on resurrecting, but that’s another story…

      • Thanks Dymphna, I think I’d need considerably more ballast, laurels and gravitas to earn the Buckley crown. I had picked up the word caravanserai from one of Flaubert’s “Oriental” stories (while I had owned that Santana album of the same name years before, I never bothered to look it up).

        I actually corresponded with Buckley back in the late 80s — two letters each. He seemed somewhat eager to continue the correspondence, but I felt so apologetic for bothering him and diverting his time, I discontinued it on my own. In my first letter, I suggested that he convene a television debate (he was doing those once in a while, 2 hours, with opposing panels of sundry luminaries) revolving around the theme: “Resolved: The West is Superior to All Other Cultures”. He seemed to like the idea, but apparently it never materialized.

        In my second letter, I used the word “sublimated” in an unsual way, one closer to its original connotation: to lift something up to a transcendent level. The very next week, I noticed him on his TV show during a panel discussion use “sublimate” just that way. I always wondered if I may have jogged his mind in that direction.

  2. I get Gatestone’s daily newsletter. Seems aware of the Islam issue and is pro Israel. So far. I will wait to see what happens.

    As far as Diana West, I must admit I don’t understand what the controversy is about. If you read “Forgotten Man” by Amity Schlaes she goes into detail concerning Roosevelt’s Brain Trust going to see Uncle Joe in the USSR and coming back with glowing reports. What the hell difference does it make if Harry Hopkins or Harry Dexter White were Communist agents or not? They reliably acted like Communist agents 100% of the time. What’s all the fuss about.

  3. I just deleted Gatestone from my WW IV “favorites list”.
    They’s just too much of this stuff going around for me, these days.

    • Normally, I try to stay open to differences of opinion, figuring no two people are gonna agree on everything. However, the thing with Gatestone was a slap upside the head.

      What happened was that I’d been in the process of writing Diana West about that whoa Jack! Claire Lopez essay which mentioned DW favorably. I’d just read it in the Gatestone subscription I rec’d every day. Gob-smacked, I was.

      So after clipping out the reference to DW, I clicked on the Gatestone link so I could send that, too. The click took me to the main page where there was no sign of Lopez’ essay. What th’??

      I did a search both on the title and a few key words. Nada. It wasn’t there. I checked the time on that email. IIRC, it went out about 5:00 am. Here it was ~ six hours later and they’d disappeared the thing already.

      So I had the essay – which I did send on – but had to explain what I thought may have transpired in those intervening hours…iow, yet another cordon sanitaire had descended.

      Yeah, I sure was creeped out, especially when I recalled that John Bolton had recently been appointed to head their Board of Directors…another sad moment, one to put along with Allen West going AWOL over his former “sister” (so called, in friendlier times when being Diana West’s friend wasn’t so pricey). I know that politicians can’t always show up for every fight – not if they want to stay in the fray long-term – but these two are particularly painful for me because they have done much to admire. I’m having to rearrange my head to live with their decisions, but it will probably refuse to stay in this new configuration…

  4. Smelly money behind publications? FrontPage & Gatestone, reminds me, somewhat, back in the year of old, of the financial ‘scandal’ behind the British journal Encounter.

    • Wow. The wiki on “Encounter” is nothing if not free-wheeling. And looong – at more than 5,000 words, it’ll be cutnpaste & ask the Baron to print it out for me.

      That’s a veritable Who’s Who of Anglo-American last-half-of-20th-century ideas. Glad to see the CIA spent some of its black budget this way.. (and, yes, the left-leaning posture is tolerable. It was of its time and place)

      At one point, it gives the most apt description of political magazines I’ve ever read (I’d often wondered at the phenomenon it describes):

      “…The intellectual journal of opinion, it is often said, resembles nothing so much as a pantomime horse, with its front half devoted to analysis of the immediate political developments of the week or fortnight, trimmed more or less to fit a known ideological or partisan agenda – and its “back of the book” of book and arts reviews, held to little such discipline, affording freer range to varied literary and artistic minds to assay finished works of the imagination presumed to sustain an interest outlasting the date of issue…”

      Back when we had magazine subscriptions, we’d noticed this front end/back end disconnect. It was time to let our subscription lapse when we were reading nothing but the tail end of the horse.

      One notable exception is City Journal. Its back end appears to be in alignment with its head…

      Our last remaining subscription, but well worth reading for free online if we have to pare a little more closely. Right now, we save every quarterly issue because it is so aesthetically pleasing. I’m a Thrower, not a Keeper (the Baron is the latter), but even I save these jewels.

      While we would/could never willingly live in a large city, it’s impossible to overlook their importance. Any city’s survival in the coming malestrom will be partly due to each individual ‘urb’s’ ability to make strong connections to its countryside cousins, from whence its food supply will be more likely to come as The Great Retrenchment and Retreat gathers steam and international supply lines wither.

      Globalism as a vibrant idea is dead, but one very large & ultimately unpredictable global event(s) lies in the not-too-distant future: world-wide population decline. I wish we were going to be here to watch while at the same time I fear for my children and what they will face. Finally, Dickens’ line makes lived sense: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

      So to any 12 year-olds reading this – save those City Journals, kids.

  5. “Our lawyers”?

    Since when do LAWYERS make editorial direction decisions??!!

    That one phrase makes this stink mightily. Not obvious what this is but it won’t be pretty when it comes to light.

    • Well, that’s code, innit? We’re big enough and powerful enough to have “our” lawyers and you’re…not.

      We don’t EVER wittingly post essays that would bring the lawfare crowd out to make our lives difficult. However, once in a while, we say something untoward and we get the heavy-breathers in our email, demanding that something be taken down. If it looks legitimate we do. But those are *very* rare.

      By the way, liability extends to our comment sections also. The Norwegians went through our comment sections with a fine tooth comb looking for evidence of our collusion with Breivik. They managed to find two innocuous remarks under whatever nic he used. We didn’t know him from Adam, but his comments met our standards. The Norwegian and Swedish attackers did NOT – what a foul-mouthed, ugly bunch.

      However, it’s an ill wind and all that. We shut off comments entirely for a while as we coped with the shock and sorrow. Then eventually we hit on the idea of moderated comments. Our only regret was not having done it earlier rather than having to go ’round with a mop later.

      Lawyers are always a consideration when you’re discussing Islam.

      That’s one reason the free speech thing doesn’t exist here. I mean, aside from the requirement for civility.

  6. This distressing. I hope Raymond Ibrahim won’t be next.

    Yes, indeed: who are the lawyers who have proffered this advice? More importantly, what prompted them to proffer it? The prospect of Saudi-funded Muslim lawfare? Our own dear Muslim-penetrated federal government, with its politicized IRS? And to whom else are such threats being addressed?

  7. Maddeningly just hacks the hell out of me and Gatestone I gave the boot to a couple of months ago. Just could not put me finger on it but seemed like infiltration had occurred. I really do not have any proof but the I am very particular about what I read and color me resistor, which by the way is what real Americans, not Amerikkkans do.


  9. Clare M. Lopez is still listed at Gatestone as Distinguished Senior Fellow, Gatestone Institute, along with her biography and her essays.
    Robert Ellis’ essays are still there although his biography has disappeared.
    As Obama and Erdogan are such chums, perhaps the White House has a hand in Mr Ellis’ disappearance.

    • Interesting. They restored her, then. When I began looking, right after the contretemps, she was gone. Those folks are reactive.

      • I just checked thier website. Both of them are listed under “Authors”, where CML is mentioned as a Distinguished Senior Fellow but not RE.
        Under “Experts”, none of them is on the list of Distinguished Senior Fellows.

        • Gosh, when it’s not being a flashback to senior high school, this thing kinda reminds me of Little Green Footballs days, when Chazzer spent lots of time throwing people under the bus and occasionally pulling a few out from the oubliette.

          Wonder how it will read in say, six months? Someone ought to do a screen cap for posterity’s sake…

          I’ll bet that Distinguished Senior Fellow is sans any compensation now…but who knows? Maybe they sent her a telegram,

          “All is forgivenSTOPCome homeSTOPWestern Union bus ticket fundsSTOP.”

          Oh wait. A “Distingué Senior Fellow” but not an “Expert”?? Nah. Probably no money.

          If Clare Lopez is not an expert in her field, no one is.

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