Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Something is rotten on Columbia University campus.
Then, according to Palestine Legal, the Law School professor Katherine Franke proudly tweeted in support of the University of Michigan professor Cheney-Lippold, who withdrew his offer to write a recommendation letter for a student after learning that the student was applying for an internship in Israel. Even though Cheney-Lippold was criticized by the University of Michigan and disciplined for his actions, Franke has no fear of any repercussions at Columbia where the administration is tolerant of anti-Semites on its faculty. Franke, a knows BDS activist, who was banned from entering Israel, recently launched a deceptively named "Open University Project" whose only curricula interprets the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a "Settler Colonial Analysis." It is not hard to guess which party will be blamed.
The rot of anti-Israelism on Columbia campus originates with the virulently anti-Israel faculty who promote lies and anti-Semitic blood libels. Recently professor David Mikics devoted a large portion of his article "Ivory Tower Bigots" to the numerous bigots at Columbia, which he called "command center for anti-Zionist classroom." Specifically named were professors Hamid Dabashi, George Saliba, Joseph Massad, Rashid Khalidi, Nadia Abu El-Haj, and Gil Hochberg.
It should be noted that Hamid Dabashi, has been the subject of the recent complaint from a group of alumni and multiple Jewish organizations after posting anti-Semitic stereotypes and blood libels on social media.
[Columbia is] committed to freedom of expression; every great university must be so committed if it is to fulfill its academic mission. Not only do we recognize--indeed, we expect--that in such an environment, members of our community will inevitably be confronted with views they find highly objectionable.
And yet Columbia administration, eager to provide safe spaces and trigger warnings to other groups, sees no problem. In fact, Provost Coatsworth and Executive VP of Student Life Suzanne Goldberg would have us believe that allowing anti-Semitic incitement is fully aligned with Columbia's mission. According to their letter in response to complaints about Dabashi, they state, "[Columbia is] committed to freedom of expression; every great university must be so committed if it is to fulfill its academic mission. Not only do we recognize--indeed, we expect--that in such an environment, members of our community will inevitably be confronted with views they find highly objectionable." Furthermore, Jewish students should consider themselves lucky because "[Columbia] proudly stands as one of the great academic centers of Jewish life, culture and scholarship-a vital part of our identity embraced by our students, faculty, staff and alumni" according to the written response from the university.
It is time to tell Columbia administration that academic freedom is not an excuse for bigotry, that having a large Hillel and a few joint classes with Jewish Theological Seminary is not a substitute for actively opposing anti-Semitism and that President Bollinger's ten year old anti-BDS statement is not a free pass to inaction and tolerance of anti-Semitic faculty.
CONTACT Columbia University administration and trustees!
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