Jewish Students at Columbia University ‘Outraged,’ ‘Distressed’ by Antisemitic Graffiti on Campus

Benjamin Kerstein

The Algemeiner

Fri Nov 30 2018

...SSI’s Dayan, however, was sharply critical of the administration at Columbia.

“It has to do a lot with the environment here on campus,” she said. “When I have friends coming up to me and saying their professors are teaching books called The Invention of the Jews and the university’s allowing that, and the university is allowing people professors like Hamid Dabashi to say that Israel is the root of all evil in the world and people like Rashid Khalidi can spread their hatred across campus, yes, I’m not surprised that something like that happens. And I would not be surprised if these hate crimes, these antisemitic acts are even enough for the administration to learn its lesson.”

Dayan was referring to academic Shlomo Sand’s book The Invention of the Jewish People, which rejects the idea of Jewish peoplehood and claims most Jews are descended from other ethnic groups that converted to Judaism.

Dabashi is a ferociously anti-Israel Iranian professor at Columbia who has claimed Israel is an apartheid state and a tool of American imperialism. Khalidi is an anti-Zionist Palestinian academic who supports boycotts of Israel and has called the two-state solution “impossible.”

Referring to the often-violent anti-Israel campus group Students for Justice in Palestine, Dayan said, “My colleagues in Students Supporting Israel submitted a 13-page complaint against SJP saying how they’re targeting us.” The university “just dismissed it and did not say anything.”

She also noted that the university also once hosted then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel.

SSI issued an official statement of its own following the incident, saying, “We are appalled and horrified by this anti-Semitic crime, but at the same time, we are not surprised. Columbia has become a breeding ground for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda. As such, the university has allowed for this kind of bigotry to flourish.”

“Their consistent dismissal of complaints made by students targeted by ‘anti-Israel’ professors and students, along with their seeming compliance with the distribution of anti-Semitic materials in the classrooms, has made this act possible,” the statement charged.

“We call on Columbia to not only punish the perpetrators of this horrible crime,” it added, “but also to learn a lesson and more consistently and vigorously reject all forms of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism inside and outside the classroom.”

Dayan, who is the daughter of Israel’s consul general in New York, Dani Dayan, was the subject of a September 29 article in the New York Post detailing the antisemitic intimidation she and other Jewish students have faced from radical organizations on campus, especially SJP.

In one incident, a girl heard her speaking Hebrew and “started screaming, ‘Stop killing Muslim ­babies! . . . You’re a murderer!’ Then she screamed, ‘Zionist, get out!’ A nearby public-safety ­administrator did nothing.”

In another incident, SJP members saw her outside a pro-Israel event and “started screaming their slogans with a microphone to intimidate us. There were at least 50 SJP members blocking the walkway. They were really angry and it was scary. I believed it would escalate to physical violence.”...

Jewish Students at Columbia University ‘Outraged,’ ‘Distressed’ by Antisemitic Graffiti on Campus