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March 20, 2020 1:04 pm

Columbia Faculty Members Back School President’s Antisemitism Condemnation, Pan Upcoming BDS Vote

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Columbia University. Photo: Students Supporting Israel at Columbia University.

A dozen Columbia University faculty members have penned a letter expressing support for President Lee C. Bollinger’s recent statement against antisemitism on campus and voicing opposition to an upcoming BDS referendum at the school.

The letter — organized by the Academic Engagement Network (AEN) — said, “We hope that President Lee C. Bollinger’s powerful speech against antisemitism will become the basis for a remedial action plan for the campus, with concrete and measurable goals. We stand ready to work with President Bollinger and others in the Columbia senior leadership to improve the campus climate for all students, including Jewish students.”

Regarding the planned BDS vote, the letter said, “[T]he proposal for divestment is unwise, analytically flawed, and violates a sense of fairness and proportionality.”

Other members of the Columbia faculty have also been invited to sign the letter.

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In his March 6 statement, Bollinger noted his “concern” about “rising antisemitism on our campus,” connecting it to the activities of the BDS movement.

“What must be avoided at all costs, and what I fear is happening today, is a process of mentality that goes from hard-fought debates about very real and vital issues to hostility and even hatred toward all members of groups of people simply by virtue of a religious, racial, national, or ethnic relationship,” he said. “This must not happen.”

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