Columbia University

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Call on Columbia University to condemn anti-Semitism in the Department Of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), Remove professors who bluntly promote anti-Israel propaganda, hire objective professors, and disclose large donations from foreign foundations or from American foundations funded by foreign foundations.

For years, Columbia University Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), was criticized for its anti-Israel sentiment and academic intimidation of Jewish and pro-Israel students.

Columbia University officials still stood by them. Not only did the university continue hiring professors with well documented histories of demonizing Israel and the Jewish people, it also allowed these professors to freely spread their hateful propaganda without leaving any room for more balanced opinions.

As a result, many of MESAAS’ professors:

√        Support the Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel

√        Signed at least one, but probably several, anti-Israel petitions

√        Support anti-Israel resolutions

√        Deny Israel’s right to exist and call for its destruction.

√        Express blunt anti-Semitic views

 Here are some examples:

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Hamid Dabashi

Was investigated following accusations of anti-Semitism.Equated Israeli policies with ISIS and Nazi Germany.

Expressed support of violent anti-Israel protests and demonized Israel on social media.

Blamed Israel for “every dirty treacherous ugly and pernicious act happening in the world,” and called Israel and the U.S. “hyenas.”

*Click here for pervious calls for action

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Allegedly acted as the spokesperson of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) when it was listed as a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Claimed that Hezbollah and Hamas are not a “direct threat to the United States.”

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Timothy Mitchell

Signed the “Columbia University Apartheid Divest: Faculty Petition,” authored by Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD).

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Argued that “the last Semites and the only Semites” are Arabs.Claimed that “the Arabs have become the race that is still attached to its religion, whereas the Jews have in fact become Western Christians, and therefore are no longer marked, neither by race nor by religion”.

Referred to Israel as a “colonial enterprise” and a “colonial settler state.”

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Partha Chatterjee

Launched a campaign calling on professors to boycott an academic seminar at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Accused Israel of practicing “apartheid” and stated that “I fully support every effort to put pressure on the Israeli government to end its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.”

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Gil Hochberg

Demonized Israel and criticized its supporters.

Described the establishment of Israel as “coordinated Zionist attacks on Palestinian villages aimed at Judaizing strategic parts of the country.”

Accused Israel of genocide.

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Mahmood Mamdani


Called for the dismantlement of Israel: “Jews can have a homeland in historic Palestine, but not a state.”

Compared Israel to “settler America” and Palestinians to Native Americans, stating that “Zionists in Israel have long drawn inspiration from how Americans cleansed the land of Indians.”

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Joseph Massad

Propagated allegations that Israel is a “racist settler colony”

Stated that “The Jews are not a nation… The Jewish state is a racist state that does not have a right to exist.”

Accused Jewish Zionists of complicity in the creation of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and likened Israeli Jews to Nazis.

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Brinkley M. Messick

Pledged “not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions, not to teach at or to attend conferences and other events at such institutions, and not to publish in academic journals based in Israel.”

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Signed a statement against UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, a former vice president of Columbia’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, for raising questions about the BDS campaign at Columbia.

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Anupama Rao

Signed a petition encouraging the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to pass a resolution that would boycott Israeli academic institutions.

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George Saliba

Allegedly told a student: “You have no claim to the land of Israel … no voice in this debate. You have green eyes, you’re not a true Semite. I have brown eyes, I’m a true Semite.”


The message is clear, and it is disheartening: any student who takes a class at MESAAS at Columbia University is guaranteed to be bombarded with one-sided anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda.

This cuts more deeply for students who happen to be Jewish or support the state of Israel, because they will most likely be attacked, bullied, and harangued into supporting the destruction of the only Jewish state.

As supporters of open debate and rigorous academic inquiry, we must ask if this environment truly encourages debate among those with differing viewpoints. Are we encouraging students to become free thinkers to critically examine the world? Should students be in an environment where a majority of their professors espouse anti-Semitic views? Is this how the next generation should learn about conflicts and about different cultures?

We say NO.

We call Columbia University to condemn anti-Semitism, to remove professors who bluntly promote anti-Israel propaganda, and to hire professors who will provide their students with balanced and objective views of the Middle East and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and will teach them to respect other cultures and religions, such as Judaism.

We also call on Columbia University to publicly disclose the annual amounts the university in general and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), are receiving from foreign foundations, or from American foundations funded by foreign foundations.

We call on all concerned individuals to write directly to University President Lee Bollinger (officeofthepresident@columbia.edu, bollinger@columbia.edu) and Columbia’s Board of Trustees (secretary@columbia.edu), to press the school to act immediately to confront anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias. Please include columbia.university.monitor@gmail.com in the CC or BCC fields in your communication.

Your signatures will be sent to these administration officials and to Columbia’s major donors. If you know of any major donor you want us to include, please email us their name and contact information at action@stopantisemitism.org.

For more information about anti-Semitism at Columbia University, please visit this new website: Columbia University Monitor Project, and CLICK HERE to donate.