Columbia University Under Criticism as Being Anti-Semitic

Nov 21, 2002 03:00 AM EST

NEW YORK, NY – Columbia University is criticized for leaning on the far-left of the American political spectrum.

The University¡¯s offer of the $3 to $4 million chair to Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Middle East history who heads the Center for International Studies in Chicago, who, according to Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, is known for sympathizing with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), along with the campus-wide divestment petition, draw criticism of the campus as being "anti-Semitic."

"He's someone with a long history of apologizing for the PLO and other unsavory organizations and governments," Pipes explains. "I dub him the 'court historian' of the PLO. He is much esteemed within his field, and is typical of the kind of extremism and inaccuracy that one finds at the higher levels of Middle East studies."

Khalidi, according to the New York Sun, has likened the creation of the state of Israel to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

An anit-Israel petition circulates on the Columbia campus alongside Khaldi¡¯s endowment. The petitioners seek the University¡¯s divestment from companies that sell military equipment and hardware to Israel.

Pipes claim this attitude is common of American college campuses.

"Columbia, as so many elite American universities are, is on the far-left of the America political spectrum -- which these days translates into anti-globalization and anti-Zionism, [and which] at times overlaps anti-Semitism," he says. "This is the consensual, the norm on such campuses."

University president Lee Bollinger says he will not lend any support to the petition, which compares Israel to South Africa at the time of apartheid. Bollinger notes that analogy is both grotesque and offensive.

By Pauline J.