Thursday, March 31, 2005
Victory for freedom of speech!
A Columbia University panel investigating student complaints of intimidation by Middle East and Asian studies professors said on Thursday it found no evidence that teachers made anti-Semitic statements.And an excerpt from CNN:
The five-member committee was formed in December after a videotape backed by a pro-Israel group showed Columbia students saying that professors had mistreated them and held pro-Palestinian biases. Since when are professors supposed to be unbiased when expressing their OPINIONS? Moreover, since when is anti-"Israel" = anti-Semite?
The Columbia panel said it found no cases where students were penalized for their views.
The report cited campus tensions dating back to 2001, with pro-Israel students disrupting lectures and teachers fearing they were being spied on.
Some students were upset that certain classes were canceled in April 2002 so that professors could attend a pro-Palestinian rally, according to the report. I thought those same students were the ones disrupting lectures? Huh?
The panel also found that Professor Joseph Massad did not exercise "responsible self-discipline" in an exchange with a student in 2002. The student said Massad threatened to kick her out of class for "denying atrocities ... committed against Palestinians." Massad denies the incident took place.
And here's what the Columbia University website says:
Bari Weiss, a 21-year-old student who co-founded the group Columbians for Academic Freedom (misleading name), questioned the thoroughness of the report, which she said was compiled by a "committee of insiders." Budding conspiracy theorist?
"We are pleased that we were able to drive Columbia University to acknowledge that they had a problem, that professors abused their students and disregarded their rights," Weiss said. What? The committee is supposed to look into exactly that, and its formation in no way is an acknowledgement of abuse (WTF?). "But unfortunately, it is clear that the university cares more about protecting the faculty and its own public image than about its students." Why don't you start your own university if you don't like it? (using a typical "Israeli" response, just for you).
In a statement posted on Columbia's Web site in November, Massad said the student-made video "is the latest salvo in a campaign of intimidation of Jewish and non-Jewish professors who criticize Israel. This witch-hunt aims to stifle pluralism, academic freedom, and the freedom of expression on university campuses in order to ensure that only one opinion is permitted, that of uncritical support for the State of Israel." Amen.
The Committee reaffirmed the principles of academic freedom for students and faculty alike. The findings of the Committee included one incident of inappropriate faculty behavior towards a student, in the 2001-2002 academic year. Two other incidents from the same time period were discussed in the report, but the Committee determined that these did not constitute student intimidation because of unclear information and other contextual circumstances. The Committee also found incidents of harassment of certain MEALAC teachers, apparently by outside visitors and auditors of classes. Joy! Those "outside" visitors could not have been pro-Palestinians, since if the professors were so pro-Palestinian, why would any pro-Palestinian ever harass them? So who are the troublemakers now? Could it be that those righteous pro-"Israelis" are the culprits? God forbid!Read the full report of the committee here. Another victory for freedom of speech!
Good job, Columbia University!!
This is not only a victory for pro-Palestinians and anti-zionists, but also for all defenders of academic freedom and freedom of speech against the smear-campaigners who call themselves "pro-"Israelis"".
Their claims are so ridiculous. Did you read that bit about the green eyes? Hahahaha... it's hilarious man, I tell you..