The Columbia abuse scandal has made it to the box, with Channel 7, CNN and Fox National News covering so far. I have been unable to see either CNN or Fox’s segment, so if anyone has, or knows, of transcripts, please send them to me. Thanks.
Monthly Archives: October 2004
I wouldn’t have thought that bloggers would have the time of day for the Columbia story with the election and Arafat’s impending death in the news, but I was happy to have been proven wrong: David Bernstein from Volokh has addressed the issue three times, as have others such as Molly and Phoebe from What Would Phoebe Do? Nice blog, nice bloggers.
Hopefully the big–dogs will get on this after the election, as they have before when other cases of intimidation on campus have occurred.
Just to widen the scope of this blog’s recent postings, for a second: a quote by one of Arafat’s doctors struck me as interesting:
Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a politician and one of the first to visit the ailing Arafat Wednesday night, observed Friday that masses of people failed to show up “because when [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon threatened to assassinate Arafat it was understood that the Palestinians would rise to protect him. But who are they going to rise up against now, God?”
I know that religious people in general feel that everything occurs in accord with God’s will, so is the sentiment in the street that God wants Arafat to die? And, if so, does that mean that Sharon’s plan and Arafat’s illness indicate that God wants peace? That does give a bit of concreteness to the saying in Hebrew, “Ya’aseh Shalom Aleinu.” If true, it means that God has finally heard the cries of all of Abraham’s children.
The Jerusalem Post publishes its article on the abuse scandal at Columbia. I appreciate that fact that Uriel quoted me saying,
“There’s a problem. And just because I love Columbia University doesn’t mean I should ignore this problem,” Ariel Beery, a senior, said at a news conference at which the video was shown. “It chills the academic environment. It stops up free speech. If the administration were to take this seriously, then we as students at Columbia would be in a different place.”
I have been trying to make that position clear with everyone I speak to–I love this place, and I am only trying to make sure that the students who come to Columbia after I graduate are not subjected to the same environment that the students in the film are.
Eric Greenberg from the Forward weighs in, in what I think is a fair and balanced article. He reports the allegations, and allows for responses from faculty members–exactly what a journalist is expected to do.
He does, however, wrongly attribute something to me. I did not quote “Massad telling students: ‘The Palestinian is the new Jew, and the Jew is the new Nazi’ and ‘I will not have someone in this class who denies Israeli atrocities.'” If you see the documentary, I said that Massad’s favorite comparison is the Palestinian to the Jews, and the Israelis to the Nazis. That’s something he wrote in Al-Ahram, and other student, who were in the classroom confirmed he does not only say in his published work.
As for the “I will not have someone in this class,” the exact quote is “I will not have someone sit through this class and deny Israeli atrocities,” and it was said by another student in the documentary, not me. I stand behind it, though, since that student is not the only one who recounted that story. But I myself cannot vouch to have been there–quite simply, I was not there. The Sun got this one right.
Fact is, I came into this as a Journalist, as a columnist, and see my role as to support those students who are speaking up and to represent those too afraid to come out of the closet. And I will continue making clear that this is a universal issue, one of student rights, and that it is high time the academic community faced this issue down.
I do apologize for the problems with my website. There seems to be a problem with either the code or a virus, and I have been trying to work to get it right…to no avail.
Please feel free to email me if you would like to comment on my posts. I will continue posting Saturday night.
This could be an interesting question to ponder on the day of rest: why has President Bollinger, or any other official who has viewed the film and seen the allegations, not put a public statement on the Columbia website–as he did when African-Americans were disturbed by a cartoon in a student paper last year? Not to diminish that incident, but rather to say that both seem pretty similar to me–so why the difference in action?
Could it be that he feels that meeting with Abe Foxman is enough? But Abe Foxman does not represent me. He has not met with the students who were affected, nor seen the video. Neither has Bollinger, for that matter. Doesn’t that seem a little strange that neither “president” has contacted the very people who were affected, and who are at the center of this controversy?
The problem, as I see it, is that both Bollinger and Foxman see this as a Jewish problem, which it isn’t. It is a student problem, and no “official organization” now in existence, except the David Project, has any right whatsoever to speak on behalf of the students in the film at this point.