Columbia University, “a Poison Ivy”

November 23, 2004

* Edward Said's legacy of hate lives on at Columbia University

 

CONTENTS

1. Columbia University, a poison ivy
2. The Bollinger whitewash
3. "How many Palestinians have you killed?"
4. Canadian Prof: all Israelis over 18 can be targeted for death
5. "Resisting Israeli Apartheid" conference At SOAS, 5 December, 2004
6. New graffiti at Rutgers


THE LEGACY OF HATE CONTINUES

[Note by Tom Gross]

The legacy of hate established towards Israel at Columbia University by the late (and much lauded) Prof Edward Said, the so-called "professor of terror," continues.

Three of New York's main newspapers, the Daily News, the New York Post and the New York Sun have now covered this story. Unsurprisingly, the New York Times has yet to give prominence to accusations of harassment and anti-Semitism by professors towards students at New York's most prestigious university. (Were any other minority to be the targets of such abuse one can be sure the Times would not ignore it).

I attach several articles below, with summaries first for those who don't have time to read them in full. Those pressed for time may in particular want to read the New York Daily News story below. It appeared on the paper's front page under the banner headline "Poison Ivy: Climate of hate rocks Columbia University."

Please note that Columbia initially refused to say how their new chair of "Edward Said professor of Arab studies" was funded. But The United Arab Emirates, which denies the Holocaust on state TV channels and is one of the worst human rights violators in the Mideast, is reported to have provided $200,000 for the chair. (By contrast, Harvard University returned money from the UAE after complaints were raised about the propriety of taking money from that source.)

The new "Edward Said professor of Arab studies" at Columbia is Said's heir, Rashid Khalidi.

 

"RESISTING ISRAELI APARTHEID" CONFERENCE AT SOAS, DECEMBER 5

For those on this list who don't know, SOAS is one of the foremost institutes of higher education in London. Leading students from all over the world study there, including many who later assume important positions in government in their home countries.

On December 5, 2004, SOAS is holding a conference titled "Resisting Israeli Apartheid."

Tom Paulin, the Oxford University academic and BBC TV arts commentator, who has told the Egyptian media that he thinks some Jews should be shot dead, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker. (Other speakers include extremists Mona Baker and Jeremy Corbyn MP.)

Topics include "Settler Colonialism as Genocide" and "Our Duty to Expose Israel, the Extra-Judicial Pariah State."

[Information courtesy of MA students at SOAS who subscribe to this email list.]

 

NEW GRAFFITI AT RUTGERS

The anti-Israel Solidarity International Movement tried but failed to hold a conference last year at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Recently fresh graffiti has gone up on and near campus, stating: "Pro-Israel is Anti-American," "How many Americans must die for Israel," and "Destroy Jewish domination to achieve world peace."

[Information courtesy of students at Rutgers University who subscribe to this email list.]

 

SUMMARIES

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, A POISON IVY

"Hate 101. Climate of hate rocks Columbia University" (New York Daily News, November 21, 2004)

Many students say Columbia Prof. Hamid Dabashi, a department chairman, has bullied and threatened them for defending Israel.

It's a capital of "thuggery" a "ghastly state of racism and apartheid" and it "must be dismantled." A voice from America's crackpot fringe? Actually, Dabashi is a tenured professor and department chairman at Columbia University. And his views have resonated and been echoed in other areas of the university.

... In three weeks of interviews, numerous students told the Daily News they face harassment, threats and ridicule merely for defending the right of Israel to survive.

... Dabashi has achieved academic stardom: professor of Iranian studies; chairman of the Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department; past head of a panel that administers Columbia's core curriculum.

The 53-year-old, Iranian-born scholar has said CNN should be held accountable for "war crimes" for one-sided coverage of Sept. 11, 2001. He doubts the existence of Al Qaeda and questions the role of Osama Bin Laden in the attacks.

... "Students tell me they've been browbeaten, humiliated and treated disrespectfully for daring to challenge the idea that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish nation," he said.

"They say they've been told Israeli soldiers routinely rape Palestinian women and commit other atrocities, and that Zionism is racism and the root of all evil."

... In the world of Hamid Dabashi, supporters of Israel are "warmongers" and "Gestapo apparatchiks." The Jewish homeland is "nothing more than a military base for the rising predatory empire of the United States."

... Nicholas De Genova, who teaches anthropology and Latino studies said, "The heritage of the victims of the Holocaust belongs to the Palestinian people ... Israel has no claim to the heritage of the Holocaust."

... Joseph Massad, who is a tenure-track professor of Arab politics, allegedly asked one student, Tomy Schoenfeld: "How many Palestinians have you killed?" ... To Massad, CNN star Wolf Blitzer is "Ze'ev Blitzer." ... Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon can be likened to Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, he once declared.

George Saliba, a professor of Arabic and Islamic science, told a recent graduate, Lindsay Shrier: "You have no claim to the land of Israel... no voice in this debate. You have green eyes, you're not a true Semite. I have brown eyes, I'm a true Semite."

[Full article continues below]

[Much of the research into the atmosphere of hate at Columbia was conducted by Charles Jacobs and Avi Goldwasser of the David Project. Both are long time subscribers to this email list.]

 

THE COLUMBIA WHITEWASH

"The Bollinger whitewash," (New York Sun (editorial), November 19, 2004)

The president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, has been quietly making the rounds in town, reassuring key figures in the Jewish community and in other communities that he deems unacceptable the kind of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel behavior recently uncovered by documentary filmmakers on the Columbia campus. He assigned the university's provost, Alan Brinkley, to look into the matter. But Mr. Brinkley's early statements are already sending a ripple of concern through the key parties watching this dispute that what is going to be done will be a whitewash of a serious situation.

... The fact is that Columbia has been infected with a contingent of faculty members whose hatred for Israel has eclipsed any academic mission that makes sense in a crown jewel of education in the city of New York.

... In the long run, a failure by Columbia to address the scandal in its midst, or hide behind an academic code of conduct, will not only invite intervention by the federal authorities but will also bring market pressures to bear. Our own view is that it is long past time for the community of big givers to Columbia to call a halt to further financial support of the university until such time as it is clear that a whitewash is not going to be Mr. Bollinger's approach to the current scandal...

 

"HOW MANY PALESTINIANS HAVE YOU KILLED?"

Film on anti-Israel bias on campus
Columbia abuzz over underground film
By Jacob Gershman
New York Sun
October 20, 2004

At a history class, a professor mockingly tells a female Jewish student she cannot possibly have ancestral ties to Israel because her eyes are green.

During a lecture, a professor of Arab politics refuses to answer a question from an Israeli student and military veteran but instead asks the student, "How many Palestinians have you killed?"

At a student meeting on the topic of divestment from Israel, a Jewish student is singled out as responsible for death of Palestinian Arabs...

 

CANADIAN PROF: "ALL ISRAELIS OVER 18 CAN BE TARGETED FOR DEATH"

"Canadian prof won't be disciplined for calling all Israelis 'targets'" (The Associated Press, November 18, 2004)

A Canadian university professor who is also president of the country's Islamic Congress won't be disciplined for saying that all Israelis over the age of 18 are legitimate targets of suicide bombers, the University of Waterloo announced Wednesday.

... Officials with B'nai Brith Canada said in a statement that the university's decision not to discipline Elmasry is "unacceptable." "Surely, Israeli students cannot feel comforted in knowing that a professor considers them to be fair game legitimate targets for murder."

... Canadian police have launched an investigation into Elmasry's comments as a possible hate crime...


FULL ARTICLES

CLIMATE OF HATE ROCKS COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Hate 101. Climate of hate rocks Columbia University
By Douglas Feiden
New York Daily News
November 21, 2004

Many students say Columbia Prof. Hamid Dabashi, a department chairman, has bullied and threatened them for defending Israel.

It's a capital of "thuggery" a "ghastly state of racism and apartheid" and it "must be dismantled." A voice from America's crackpot fringe? Actually, Dabashi is a tenured professor and department chairman at Columbia University. And his views have resonated and been echoed in other areas of the university.

Columbia is at risk of becoming a poison Ivy, some critics claim, and tensions are high.

In classrooms, teach-ins, interviews and published works, dozens of academics are said to be promoting an I-hate-Israel agenda, embracing the ugliest of Arab propaganda, and teaching that Zionism is the root of all evil in the Mideast.

In three weeks of interviews, numerous students told the Daily News they face harassment, threats and ridicule merely for defending the right of Israel to survive.

And the university itself is holding investigations into the alleged intimidation.

Dabashi has achieved academic stardom: professor of Iranian studies; chairman of the Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department; past head of a panel that administers Columbia's core curriculum.

The 53-year-old, Iranian-born scholar has said CNN should be held accountable for "war crimes" for one-sided coverage of Sept. 11, 2001. He doubts the existence of Al Qaeda and questions the role of Osama Bin Laden in the attacks.

Dabashi did not return calls.

In September in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, he wrote, "What they call Israel is no mere military state. A subsumed militarism, a systemic mendacity with an ingrained violence constitutional to the very fusion of its fabric, has penetrated the deepest corners of what these people have to call their soul."

After the showing of a student-made documentary about faculty bias and bullying that targets Jewish students, six or seven swastikas were found carved in a Butler Library bathroom last month.

Then after a screening of the film, "Columbia Unbecoming," produced by the David Project, a pro-Israel group in Boston, one student denounced another as a "Zionist fascist scum," witnesses said.

On Oct. 27, Columbia announced it would probe alleged intimidation and improve procedures for students to file grievances.

"Is the climate hostile to free expression?" asked Alan Brinkley, the university provost. "I don't believe it is, but we're investigating to find out."

But one student on College Walk described the campus as a "republic of fear." Another branded the Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department the "department of dishonesty."

A third described how she was once "humiliated in front of an entire class."

Deena Shanker, a Mideast and Asian studies major, remains an admirer of the department. But she says she will never forget the day she asked Joseph Massad, a professor of modern Arab politics, if Israel gives warnings before bombing certain buildings so residents could flee.

"Instead of answering my question, Massad exploded," she said. "He told me if I was going to 'deny the atrocities' committed against the Palestinians, I could get out of his class."

"Professorial power is being abused," said Ariel Beery, a senior who is student president in the School of General Studies, but stresses he's speaking only for himself.

"Students are being bullied because of their identities, ideologies, religions and national origins," Beery said.

Added Noah Liben, another senior, "Debate is being stifled. Students are being silenced in their own classrooms."

Said Brinkley: If a professor taught the "Earth was flat or there was no Holocaust," Columbia might intervene in the classroom. "But we don't tell faculty they can't express strong, or even offensive opinions."

Yet even some faculty members say they fear social ostracism and career consequences if they're viewed as too pro-Israel, and that many have been cowed or shamed into silence.

One apparently unafraid is Dan Miron, a professor of Hebrew literature and holder of a prestigious endowed chair.

He said scores of Jewish students about one a week have trooped into his office to complain about bias in the classroom.

"Students tell me they've been browbeaten, humiliated and treated disrespectfully for daring to challenge the idea that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish nation," he said.

"They say they've been told Israeli soldiers routinely rape Palestinian women and commit other atrocities, and that Zionism is racism and the root of all evil."

One yardstick of the anti-Israel sentiment among professors, critics say, is the 106 faculty signatures on a petition last year that called for Columbia to sell its holdings in all firms that conduct business with Israel's military.

Noting that the divestment campaign compared Israel to South Africa during the apartheid era, Columbia President Lee Bollinger termed it "grotesque and offensive."

That didn't stop 12 Mideast and Asian studies professors almost half the department and 21 anthropology teachers from signing on, a review of the petition shows.

To identify the Columbia faculty with the most strongly anti-Israel views, The News spoke to numerous teachers and students, including some who took their courses; reviewed interviews and published works, and examined Web sites that report their public speeches and statements, including the online archives of the Columbia Spectator, the student newspaper.

Their views could be dismissed as academic fodder if they weren't so incendiary.

Columbia's firebrands

In the world of Hamid Dabashi, supporters of Israel are "warmongers" and "Gestapo apparatchiks."

The Jewish homeland is "nothing more than a military base for the rising predatory empire of the United States."

Nicholas De Genova, who teaches anthropology and Latino studies. The Chronicle of Higher Education calls him "the most hated professor in America."

At an anti-war teach-in last year, he said he wished for a "million Mogadishus," referring to the slaughter of U.S. troops in Somalia in 1993.

"U.S. patriotism is inseparable from imperial warfare and white supremacy," he added.

De Genova has also said, "The heritage of the victims of the Holocaust belongs to the Palestinian people. ... Israel has no claim to the heritage of the Holocaust."

De Genova didn't return calls.

Bruce Robbins, a professor of English and comparative literature.

In a speech backing divestment, he said, "The Israeli government has no right to the sufferings of the Holocaust."

Elaborating, Robbins told The News he believes Israel has a right to exist, but he thinks the country has "betrayed the memory of the Holocaust."

Joseph Massad, who is a tenure-track professor of Arab politics. Students and faculty interviewed by The News consistently claimed that the Jordanian-born Palestinian is the most controversial, and vitriolic, professor on campus.

"How many Palestinians have you killed?" he allegedly asked one student, Tomy Schoenfeld, an Israeli military veteran, and then refused to answer his questions.

To Massad, CNN star Wolf Blitzer is "Ze'ev Blitzer," which is the byline Blitzer used in the 1980s, when he wrote for Hebrew papers but hasn't used since.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon can be likened to Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, he once declared.

"The Jews are not a nation," he said in one speech. "The Jewish state is a racist state that does not have a right to exist."

Massad didn't return several calls. On his Web site, he says he's a victim of a "witch hunt" by "pro-Israel groups" and their "propaganda machine."

George Saliba, a professor of Arabic and Islamic science. His classroom rants against the West are legendary, students have claimed.

One student says his "Islam & Western Science" class could be called "Why the West is Evil." Another writes that his "Intro to Islamic Civilization" often serves as a forum to "rail against evil America."

A recent graduate, Lindsay Shrier, said Saliba told her, "You have no claim to the land of Israel ... no voice in this debate. You have green eyes, you're not a true Semite. I have brown eyes, I'm a true Semite."

Saliba did not return calls.

Rashid Khalidi, who is the Edward Said professor of Arab studies. He's the academic heir to the late Said, a professor who famously threw a stone from Lebanon at an Israeli guard booth.

Columbia initially refused to say how the chair was funded. But The United Arab Emirates, which denies the Holocaust on state TV channels, is reported to have provided $200,000.

When Palestinians in a Ramallah police station lynched two Israeli reservists in 2000 throwing one body out a window and proudly displaying bloodstained hands the professor attacked the media, not the killers.

He complained about "inflammatory headlines" in a Chicago Sun-Times story and called the paper's then-owner, Conrad Black, who also owned the Jerusalem Post, "the most extreme Zionist in public life."

Reached at Columbia, Khalidi declined to comment on specifics.

"As somebody who has a body of work, written six books and won many awards, the only fair thing to do is look at the entire body of work, not take quotes out of context," he said.

Lila Abu-Lughod, a professor of anthropology, romanticizes Birzeit University in the West Bank as a "liberal arts college dedicated to teaching and research in the same spirit as U.S. colleges."

But it is well-established that Birzeit also is the campus where Hamas openly recruits suicide bombers, stone-throwers and gunmen.

As in her published works, Abu-Lughod gave a carefully nuanced response when reached Friday by The News:

"The CIA has historically recruited at Columbia, but that's not the mission of Columbia. The mission of Birzeit is to educate students, and they're working under very difficult circumstances to do that."

 

THE BOLLINGER WHITEWASH

The Bollinger Whitewash
Editorial
New York Sun
November 19, 2004

The president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, has been quietly making the rounds in town, reassuring key figures in the Jewish community and in other communities that he deems unacceptable the kind of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel behavior recently uncovered by documentary filmmakers on the Columbia campus. He assigned the university's provost, Alan Brinkley, to look into the matter. But Mr. Brinkley's early statements are already sending a ripple of concern through the key parties watching this dispute that what is going to be done will be a whitewash of a serious situation.

The provost has blundered at the outset by saying, as our Jacob Gershman reported Wednesday, that he was primarily concerned with incidents inside the classroom, as opposed to what professors say or write beyond their teaching. This comes amid pressure from guilt-ridden professors who do not want standards enforced in their department or professors disciplined and who know that much of the harassment that has taken place has been outside the classroom or, in some reported instances, off campus. The approach Mr. Brinkley is taking ignores the content of the scholars' research. In other words, Mr. Brinkley is avoiding the heart of Columbia's problem.

Treating this problem as one of harassment of students is all well and good, but only up to a point. The fact is that mistreatment of students is but a simple matter that could be taken care of by federal civil rights prosecutors or investigators, either from the Justice Department or the Department of Education in Washington. The Education Department recently indicated it will expand its enforcement activities in respect of campus anti-Semitism. Our reporting suggests that eventually federal authorities will have to get involved at Columbia. But a more fundamental problem exists, one articulated by a professor of Yiddish at Harvard, Ruth Wisse, in an interview with The New York Sun last spring: "This is not a question of comfort of students. The real question is what is the status of Middle East studies at Columbia University."

In other words, if Mr. Bollinger thinks the problem at Columbia can be dealt with by establishing new grievance policies for students or by creating a professorship of Israel studies, as Columbia is setting out to do, it's time for the Trustees to get involved. For such measures will only palliate the university's crisis. There will be much quoting of Columbia's code of academic freedom and tenure, which states that faculty members "may not be penalized by the University for expressions of opinion or associations in their private or civic capacity." But it also calls on them to "bear in mind the special obligations arising from their position in the academic community." The fact is that Columbia has been infected with a contingent of faculty members whose hatred for Israel has eclipsed any academic mission that makes sense in a crown jewel of education in the city of New York.

This point is well understood by the courageous critics who have been seeking to expose the problems at Columbia, including Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum and Campus Watch, and the David Project, which produced the film that forced Columbia to mount the investigation that Mr. Brinkey is now heading. Writing in the Columbia Spectator this week, Charles Jacobs and Avi Goldwasser of the David Project conclude with a call for an intellectually diverse Middle East department "that deals with the major challenges in the Middle East, including the oppression of women, gays, and minorities, and the challenges of democracy, human rights, civil society, and modernity," all matters that the anti-Jewish crowd fears will cast a harsh light on the enemies of Israel.

In the long run, a failure by Columbia to address the scandal in its midst, or hide behind an academic code of conduct, will not only invite intervention by the federal authorities but will also bring market pressures to bear. Our own view is that it is long past time for the community of big givers to Columbia to call a halt to further financial support of the university until such time as it is clear that a whitewash is not going to be Mr. Bollinger's approach to the current scandal. There are other universities in New York City, both private and public, where great philanthropic opportunities await that do not confront donors with the risk that their funds will be hijacked by haters of Jews and Israel. And where, if such a problem does occur, it will be addressed by the university leadership both inside the classroom and without.

 

FILM ON ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS ON CAMPUS

Film on anti-Israel bias on campus
Columbia abuzz over underground film
By Jacob Gershman
New York Sun
October 20, 2004

At a history class, a professor mockingly tells a female Jewish student she cannot possibly have ancestral ties to Israel because her eyes are green.

During a lecture, a professor of Arab politics refuses to answer a question from an Israeli student and military veteran but instead asks the student, "How many Palestinians have you killed?"

At a student meeting on the topic of divestment from Israel, a Jewish student is singled out as responsible for death of Palestinian Arabs.

Those scenes are described by current and former students interviewed for an underground documentary that is causing a frisson of concern to ripple through the Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University, where the incidents took place.

The film, about anti-Israel sentiment at the school, has not yet been released to the public, but it has been screened for a number of top officials of Columbia, and talk of its impact is spreading rapidly on a campus where some students have complained of anti-Israel bias among faculty members.

"The movie is shocking," one Columbia senior, Ariel Beery, said.

"It is shocking to see blatant use of racial stereotypes by professors and intimidation tactics by professors in order to push a distinct ideological line on the curriculum," Mr. Beery, who was interviewed for the film, said.

The film is the creation of the David Project, a 2-year-old group based in Boston that advocates for Israel and is led by the founder of the American Anti-Slavery Group, Charles Jacobs. The David Project, which is refusing to make the film public, has screened it for Barnard College's president, Judith Shapiro, and Columbia's provost, Alan Brinkley, according to sources.

Neither Ms. Shapiro nor Mr. Brinkley would return calls seeking comment about the film, though at a meeting in Washington this week with women active in Jewish charitable work the Barnard president is said to have spoken of how emotionally affected she was by the film.

With versions at 11 minutes and 25 minutes in playing time, the film consists of interviews with several students who contend that they have felt threatened academically for expressing a pro-Israel point of view in classrooms.

One of the scholars discussed most in the film, according to a person who has seen the film, is Joseph Massad, a non-tenured professor of modern Arab politics, who is teaching a course about Middle East nationalism this fall. Mr. Massad, a professor at Columbia's department of Middle East and Asian languages and cultures, has likened Israel to Nazi Germany and has said Israel doesn't have the right to exist as a Jewish state.

In the film, a former Columbia undergraduate, Tomy Schoenfeld, recalls attending a lecture about the Middle East conflict given by Mr. Massad in spring 2001. At the end of the lecture, Mr. Schoenfeld prefaced a question to the professor by informing Mr. Massad that he was Israeli, Mr. Schoenfeld told The New York Sun. "Before I could continue, he stopped me and said, 'Did you serve in the military?'" Mr. Schoenfeld, who served in the Israeli Air Force between 1996 and 1999, recalled. He said that he told Mr. Massad he had served in the military and that Mr. Massad asked him how many Palestinians he had killed. When Mr. Schoenfeld refused to answer, Mr. Massad said he wouldn't allow him to ask his question.

Mr. Massad did not return phone calls for comment yesterday. Mr. Schoenfeld told the Sun that his encounter with Mr. Massad was not representative of his dealings with Columbia professors and that the Middle East-Asian department is "usually balanced."

Mr. Beery, the senior at the school, told the Sun that anti-Israel bias is prevalent in the department and said the documentary film demonstrates how many students at Columbia have been affected by it.

"You would be surprised," Mr. Beery said, "to find the number of students who were willing to stand up and be counted as members of the student body who oppose the intimidation of students in the classroom, especially on topics related to the Middle East."

In 2003, Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, convened a committee of six Columbia professors to investigate the possibility of the school's declaring stricter boundaries between academic expression and political activism. But the credibility of the investigation came into doubt among those following the issue seriously when Mr. Bollinger told the New York Daily News that the committee found no claims or evidence of bias or intimidation in the classroom.

Mr. Beery said the committee did not look hard enough for bias and said Jewish students at Columbia have no avenue for pressing complaints about anti-Israel prejudice among faculty members.

"Because Jews are seen as this overrepresented ethnic group and not prone to protests, they sweep it under the rug," he said.

Columbia is looking to raise money for an endowed professorship in Israeli studies to make up for what Mr. Bollinger has said is lack of contemporary Israel scholarship at the school.

That effort comes at a time when the university is under a cloud for having accepted money from the United Arab Emirates, one of the worst human rights violators in the Middle East and a country hostile to Jews and Israel, to help finance a chair named for the late professor Edward Said, who was a writer and anti-Israel Palestinian activist. Harvard University returned money from the UAE after complaints were raised about the propriety of taking money from that source.

The situation of Jewish students on anti-Israel campuses like Columbia is an issue that is coming into focus only slowly among a Jewish communal leadership whose attention has been elsewhere. The isolation of Jews on campuses has been recognized for decades.

One of the most famous letters ever written by a Jewish figure was penned in 1918 by the Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky and sent to a South African university student. Jabotinsky had heard that in the face of campus anti-Semitism the student was contemplating suicide. Jabotinsky advised him that it would be cowardly for the student to take his own life and that, instead, he should take heart from the Zionist stirrings, which were then just beginning.

The letter, which is reproduced in facsimile form in the "Encyclopedia Judaica," says: "I think, in a very conservative estimate, that the next ten years will see the Jewish state of Palestine ... a reality; probably less than ten." He said it would be "foolish to forego all of this" because of anti-Semites at the university.

Jewish students interviewed by this reporter at Columbia suggest that they perceive their situation in a different light than the student to whom Jabotinsky wrote. The Columbia students do not charge that they are facing anti-Semitism on campus. They attach an importance to what they see as a distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments.

"They teach everything in the context of one special, small struggle, when there are 23 countries out there where minorities are being oppressed, where women are bound to their homes, where homosexuals are being put in jail. They're ignoring the rest of the Middle East in favor of a small dimension of it," Mr. Beery said.

 

CANADIAN PROF WON'T BE DISCIPLINED FOR CALLING ALL ISRAELIS 'TARGETS'

Canadian prof won't be disciplined for calling all Israelis 'targets'
The Associated Press
November 18, 2004

A Canadian university professor who is also president of the country's Islamic Congress won't be disciplined for saying that all Israelis over the age of 18 are legitimate targets of suicide bombers, the University of Waterloo announced Wednesday.

Mohamed Elmasry was a panelist on Ontario current affairs television program Michael Coren Live last month when he said Israeli adults can be attacked because they all are members of the country's military.

Elmasry has said he was trying to express the view of many Palestinians, not his personal opinion.

"Although the statements made are indeed abhorrent and unacceptable, I have taken into account the contents of the apology and retraction and your long years of distinguished service as a faculty member at this university as well as your assurance that there will be no repetition of any such statements in the future," dean of science George Dixon said.

Officials with B'nai Brith Canada said in a statement that the university's decision not to discipline Elmasry is "unacceptable." "Surely, Israeli students cannot feel comforted in knowing that a professor considers them to be fair game legitimate targets for murder," said executive vice president Frank Dimant.

Despite Elmasry's remorse over the incident, local police have launched an investigation into his comments as a possible hate crime.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.