Antisemitism and anti-Zionism: Blurring of lines
Sun Jan 05 2020
...Several weeks ago, Columbia University invited the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad, to address its Global Leadership Forum. Dr. Mohamad is a notorious, self-proclaimed anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. But despite this history – known to all – one of the world’s most prestigious universities extended an invitation to an outspoken, vile antisemite to address it. After news of this invitation became public, I wrote to Columbia’s President, Lee Bollinger to protest this appearance. He responded: “You are correct that I find the antisemitic statements of Prime Minister Mahathir to be abhorrent, contrary to what we stand for, and deserving of condemnation. Nevertheless, it is in these instances that we are most strongly resolved to insist that our campus remain an open forum and to protect the freedoms essential to our University community.” This is the tolerance of intolerance. “Protect the freedoms essential to our University community.” But what of the freedom to be sheltered from vilification based on one’s religious identity? Must an “open forum” include the right to slander and abuse?...