Students accuse Columbia University of 'importing racism' from Israel

Azad Essa

Middle East Eye

Wed Dec 11 2019

Following news that Columbia University will be starting a dual degree programme with Tel Aviv University in 2020, student activists have denounced the elite US university for choosing to tie its future to an institution complicit in Israel's oppression of Palestinians.

In a petition released by students affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), activists urged the university to reconsider the degree, or face becoming part of the oppressive architecture of the Israeli state.

"Columbia risks violating Title VI of the Higher Education Act by operating a programme that, as a matter of conforming to official Israeli government policy, would require the university to discriminate against students on the basis of their race and/or national origin with regards to their access to education," the petition read.

"Israel has targeted Palestinian students, graduate workers and faculty members based at American universities with years-long travel bans from their homeland and research sites, often with little to no clear justification. Without providing due recourse to address such issues and support university affiliates, Columbia risks abetting systemic anti-Palestinian racism and reproducing the racial inequalities of Israeli policies on our own campus."...

Students accuse Columbia University of 'importing racism' from Israel