* Columbia welcomes Ahmadinejad, even though among the pro-democracy academics his regime has imprisoned is one of Columbia’s own alumni, Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh
* Iran’s official Holocaust denial website launched last week
* Iran: a country where people are still stoned alive
* Revealed: Last weekend Ahmadinejad sent his nephew to Syria to assess the damage to the nuclear device being prepared there
1. A Holocaust denier at Columbia
2. Columbia’s decision sparks outrage
3. Silence from Columbia’s board of trustees
4. Columbia Dean: “We would have invited Hitler too”
5. NY Times editorial board “to host Ahmadinejad for lunch at the Four Seasons”
6. Iran’s official Holocaust denial website launched
7. What Ahmadinejad did this past weekend
8. Iran’s national security chief: western sanctions are ineffective
9. Ahmadinejad calls Hamas leader yesterday, endorses terrorism
10. Why isn’t the mainstream media reporting any of this?
11. The labor crackdown continues in Iran
12. Envoy: Ahmadinejad visiting Ground Zero like Hitler visiting Auschwitz
13. Columbia bans outside demonstrators against Ahmadinejad
14. Bollinger previously praised in mainstream media
15. Sarkozy: Get tougher with Iran
16. A country where people are stoned alive
17. Israel thwarts major Tel Aviv suicide attack on Yom Kippur
[All notes below by Tom Gross]
A HOLOCAUST DENIER AT COLUMBIA
This afternoon Iran’s Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will speak to university faculty and students at Columbia, one of the America’s most prestigious Ivy League campuses.
Further honoring Ahmadinejad’s presence, he will be introduced by none other than the president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger.
Ahmadinejad is in New York to address the upcoming 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. Many other presidents, prime ministers and world leaders are in New York for the UN General Assembly and yet Columbia University has not invited any other to speak on campus.
COLUMBIA’S DECISION SPARKS OUTRAGE
Columbia’s decision has sparked outrage across America, from both Republicans and Democrats.
Among the objections to providing such a prestigious platform to Ahmadinejad:
1. The Iranian President has turned Holocaust revisionism into a state policy, going so far as to host an entire Holocaust denial conference last year, which he dressed up as a scholarly inquiry. His invitation by Columbia legitimizes Holocaust deniers. When speaking to the Muslim world he has repeatedly called the Holocaust “a myth”.
2. His regime has suppressed women, gays and minority ethnic groups in Iran. It has hanged many people this year and has even allowed some to be stoned to death in defiance of all civilized norms. His regime has flogged homosexuals and murdered Bahais and Kurds. Women have been beaten for not dressing according to “Islamic law”.
3. His regime is actively involved in blowing up Americans and British troops in Iraq and supplies terrorist groups that have killed civilians in Lebanon, Israel, Argentina and elsewhere. The head of U.S. Central Command, Admiral William Fallon, also revealed last week that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is supplying sophisticated bomb parts to the Taliban.
4. Iran is rushing to build nuclear weapons and may well use them if acquired.
5. Ahmadinejad has on many occasions called for the destruction of Israel, and threatened to wipe Israel and its inhabitants off the map.
6. This year Ahmadinejad has increased his crackdown on Iranian universities, arresting professors who have spoken out against his regime. Among those imprisoned is one of Columbia’s own alumni, Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh. Providing Ahmadinejad a platform at Columbia is a betrayal of the persecuted scholars and students in Iran who do not enjoy academic freedom.
7. Ahmadinejad is personally involved in the attempts to give Syria and Hizbullah chemical weapons and nuclear devices, no doubt to be used against Israeli civilians. This weekend Ahmadinejad sent his own nephew, Ali Akbar Mehrabian, to Syria to assess the damage from Israel’s destruction on September 5 of one such facility.
8. Bollinger is granting Ahmadinejad one of the best propaganda coups the regime could have hoped for. But then extending invitations to vehemently anti-Semitic leaders is not a new phenomenon for Columbia University. In 1933, then Columbia President Nicholas Murray Butler hosted a reception for the Nazi ambassador.
SILENCE FROM COLUMBIA’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Not a single one of Columbia’s board of trustees has called for Ahmadinejad’s invitation to be withdrawn, and the board’s chairman has defended Bollinger’s decision.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that the visit is an internal matter.
COLUMBIA DEAN: “WE WOULD HAVE INVITED HITLER TOO”
John Coatsworth, the Dean of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, has confirmed that, given the chance, Columbia would have invited Hitler too. You can watch his interview here.
As George Orwell once remarked to a Communist sympathizer in the 1930s, “You must be an intellectual. Only an intellectual could say something quite so stupid.”
A master propagandist, Ahmadinejad will know how to win over gullible westerners just as Hitler did (among them British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who infamously announced after his meeting with Hitler in 1938 that we would now have “peace in our time”).
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD “TO HOST AHMADINEJAD FOR LUNCH AT THE FOUR SEASONS”
Before Monday afternoon’s speech at Columbia University, there were rumors that the New York Times editorial board has invited Ahmadinejad for lunch at the Four Seasons, one of New York’s most prestigious hotels.
There are murmurs of disquiet among some Times staff at the rumors of the proposed luncheon.
If it goes ahead, The Times will not have witnessed anything so disgraceful since it covered-up the Holocaust in the 1940s and it covered up Stalin’s starving to death of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s. (Both of these cover-ups have been documented on my website and elsewhere.)
See also: NY Times-owned Herald Tribune runs Iranian government advert to build nuclear reactors (May 1, 2007).
** Sept. 27, 2007 UPDATE: The NY Times lunch did not go ahead and the rumors proved unfounded. However, Ahmadinejad instead had lunch with other American journalists. See the next dispatch: Bravo, bravo, bravo, Columbia!” (& Hillary Clinton “confirms” Israel took out Syrian nukes).
IRAN’S OFFICIAL HOLOCAUST DENIAL WEBSITE LAUNCHED
The official Iranian “Muslim Blogger’s Committee” was last week put in charge of Iran’s official Holocaust denial site: www.holocaust.ir
WHAT AHMADINEJAD DID THIS PAST WEEKEND
After arriving in America yesterday Ahmadinejad gave an interview to the CBS television network, proclaiming that he came in peace.
News media around the world, such as the BBC, have repeated this, without mentioning where he was on Saturday, the day before.
Here is what Ahmadinejad did on Saturday. Please note there is nothing peaceful about it.
These pictures are from the semi-official Fars news agency.
Among the slogans painted on some of these missile trucks were “Death to the U.S.” and “Death to Israel.”
IRAN’S NATIONAL SECURITY CHIEF: SANCTIONS ARE INEFFECTIVE
Meanwhile, in Tehran, also on Saturday, the head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Majlis, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said that IAEA sanctions and attempts to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons were ineffective. “Enemies’ sanctions will not work against Iran and on the contrary will pave the way for flourishing of national talents,” Boroujerdi told IRNA on Saturday.
A partial translation of his remarks in English can be found here, from IRNA, the official government-controlled Islamic Republic News Agency.
Iran also claimed to have begun mass producing radar-evading drones.
AHMADINEJAD CALLS HAMAS LEADER YESTERDAY, ENDORSES TERRORISM
And virtually the very last thing Ahmadinejad did before leaving for the U.S. yesterday was to call Hamas’s leader in Gaza, endorse terrorism, and make “a divine promise that Jerusalem will be liberated from the Jews”.
A partial translation of his remarks in English can be found here.
WHY ISN’T THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA REPORTING ANY OF THIS?
Even though news media like the BBC, New York Times and Washington Post have devoted much coverage to Ahmadinejad’s visit they have not mentioned the above. If I can find these things, it is amazing that these major news organizations with all their staff and resources, cannot, even though the Iranians make most of it readily available in English on their official news websites.
It is hard not to conclude that Western left-leaning mainstream media choose not to mention them for political reasons, not because they don’t have the resources to find them.
THE LABOR CRACKDOWN CONTINUES IN IRAN
Meanwhile, virtually unmentioned by the left-leaning mainstream Western media (these things have only been mentioned on so-called right-wing media like Fox news and the National Review), the labor crackdown continues in Iran.
While British unions spend much of their time organizing a boycott of Israel, (the only democracy in the Middle East, and where labor unions enjoy considerable power), they haven’t said a word about Iran’s ongoing arrest of union leaders and its banning of trade unions.
Mansour Osanlou, the so-called “Lech Walesa of Iran,” has now been in prison 75 days on charges of “trying to unionize bus drivers. “
And teachers who participated in the recent labor protest have their salary reduced.
(There are many other examples of this crackdown, but I don’t have the resources to outline them all in full here.)
ENVOY: AHMADINEJAD VISITING GROUND ZERO LIKE HITLER VISITING AUSCHWITZ
Ahmadinejad’s request to lay a wreath at Ground Zero, site of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, was denied by New York city officials on security grounds and condemned by local politicians.
There was also concern that his true motive was to lay a wreath in honor of the hijackers, not the victims. The Iranian regime has done more than any other government to encourage and pay for suicide terrorism against civilians.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Gillerman, said that a proposed visit by Ahmadinejad to Ground Zero would be similar to a visit by a resurrected Hitler to Auschwitz.
COLUMBIA BANS OUTSIDE DEMONSTRATORS AGAINST AHMADINEJAD
Columbia University has refused permission from Jewish, gay and other groups to demonstrate against Ahmadinejad, unless they are presently students at Columbia. Such groups have expressed bewilderment that Bollinger has banned them from peacefully demonstrating outside the hall in which Ahmadinejad is due to speak.
One Columbia alumni who subscribes to this list said: “This is a university president at his stupidest. Bollinger is a modern day useful idiot, reminiscent of Western apologists and supporters of Stalin and Hitler in the twentieth century.”
BOLLINGER PREVIOUSLY PRAISED IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA
Among many examples over the last five years:
Newsweek has called Bollinger a “new, visionary breed of college presidents.”
In The New Yorker, Nicholas Lemann wrote that “if you were called upon to invent a perfect university president, you couldn’t do better” than Bollinger.
At the same time, Bollinger has consistently supported far leftist causes.
Despite having a Jewish background himself, he has been criticized by Jewish groups in the last few years for allowing an “intimidatory, anti-Semitic atmosphere” to exist among some professors and students on campus.
SARKOZY: GET TOUGHER WITH IRAN
In an interview with The New York Times, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he wanted tougher sanctions applied on Iran. He also warned two French energy companies not to invest in Iran.
But Sarkozy distanced himself from comments made by his foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, who said last week that preparations must be made for war with Iran as a “last resort.”
Sarkozy said there was a “range of solutions” to be found “between surrender and war,” and predicted that “reinforced” sanctions could succeed. He also said the European Union should institute its own sanctions against Iran if the United Nations does not go far enough with its package of sanctions.
Sarkozy, who has toughened the French position on Iran since taking office in May, called the possibility of Islamic Iran getting a nuclear bomb “unacceptable.”
(Separately, a 34-year-old Jewish woman, Chrystel Friedman, was violently attacked in Paris, it was revealed yesterday. The attack took place last Tuesday afternoon, the latest in a long line of anti-Semitic attacks in France in recent years. Friedman was beaten by a gang, and suffered severe injuries to her face and body. She was wearing a Star of David necklace, and her attackers were described as North African.)
A COUNTRY WHERE PEOPLE ARE STONED ALIVE
Here is a picture of one of the recent stonings in Iran. According to the Iranian interpretation of Islamic law, victims are first buried up to their waist, before being stoned to death.
For more on stoning, see: American ‘Rachel Corrie’ judge compares Israel to Nazis (& Stoned to death in Iran) (July 12, 2007)
ISRAEL THWARTS MAJOR TEL AVIV SUICIDE ATTACK ON YOM KIPPUR
A terrorist attack in Israel’s largest city, Tel Aviv, on Israel’s holiest day, Yom Kippur (which this year was on Saturday), was thwarted when police recovered the suicide bomb belt packed with explosives to be worn by the attacker.
The belt was in the possession of a Palestinian from Nablus who worked in Tel Aviv.
Following a tip by Israeli intelligence, an elite Israeli army unit entered Nablus on Friday and arrested the man who provided the belt and learned about the planned attack from the suspect. The suicide terrorist was also arrested. One Israeli soldier, Staff Sergeant Ben-Zion Haneman, was killed, and another injured during the operation.
In the search for the explosives in Tel Aviv on Saturday, a police officer was injured in a scuffle with Palestinians living in the Tel Aviv apartment. The belt was detonated in a controlled explosion, Ha’aretz reported.
The weapons cache had been smuggled into Israel by a pregnant woman who hid it under her clothes. Following criticism from Israeli human rights groups, the army has not been checking pregnant women recently.
In spite of the attempted terror attack, the Ehud Olmert government yesterday announced it would free another 90 convicted Palestinian prisoners. Lawyers representing the victims of Israeli terror victims have appealed to the Supreme Court to stop the prisoners from being released.
-- Tom Gross