Updated: May 29
Update: Two days after the publication of this post Hamid Dabashi disabled his Twitter account!
It is little wonder that Columbia University President Lee Bollinger has "increasingly become concerned about anti-Semitism", as he stated on March 6, 2020 before the senate plenary.
The recent dossier published by Alums for Campus Fairness (to which CU-Monitor staff contributed) dubbed Columbia University "a hotbed for hate." Bollinger is justifiably concerned that a bevy of Zionophibic professors encourage anti-Zionist agitation by student organizations such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) promoting antisemitic BDS movement. Unmentioned by President Bollinger in his speech, is the fact that Columbia University is now a subject of two different lawsuits and Office of Civil Rights complaints (one, two).
The shining star of Zionophobic vitriol in Bollinger's firmament of concerns is professor Hamid Dabashi, who has been a frequent subject of our blog. No sooner has Bollinger made his concerns about antisemitism at Columbia public, Professor Dabashi doubled down on his diatribes suggesting that the nefarious Jew Jared Kushner is plotting to move the US capital to Jerusalem.
If a tenured member of Columbia's Department of Middle Eastern South Asian and African Studies and Center for the Palestinian Studies is unable to distinguish a liberal democracy from a terrorist cult of murderous zealots then surely President Bollinger must be concerned about the quality of academic research and instruction coming out of that department.
But Bollinger's concerns should no longer be limited to antisemitic sentiments of his faculty. In his recently discovered tweet, Professor Hamid Dabashi creates another legitimate concern for President Bollinger. If a tenured member of Columbia's Department of Middle Eastern South Asian and African Studies and Center for the Palestinian Studies is unable to distinguish a liberal democracy from a terrorist cult of murderous zealots then surely President Bollinger must be concerned about the quality of academic research and instruction coming out of that department.
A number of respondents to the tweet (see below) attempted to help Professor Dabashi see the difference between Israel and ISIS. Less charitably inclined respondents questioned Dabashi's qualifications and cognitive abilities. Even more concerning for President Bollinger, some respondents expressed concerns about Columbia's reputation.
As alumni of Columbia University we are sad that Dabashi's ignorant remarks tarnish our Alma Mater.
May 28, 2020 Update
The next day after the publication of our blog the offensive Dabashi tweet was deleted and the Twitter account closed!
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