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September 25, 2007
'Columbia's Choice - And Ours'
Caroline Glick, deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, has written the column of the day on the Ahmadinejad visit to Columbia:
Columbia University disgraced itself this week beyond repair. Defending his decision to invite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to his campus, Columbia's President Lee Bollinger said he would confront the Iranian leader with a series of "sharp challenges" to his "alleged" support for terrorism, genocide, Holocaust denial, involvement in killing American servicemen and women in Iraq and human rights abuses during his speech on Monday. Glick goes on to point out several instances of hypocrisy at Columbia while also highlighting the fact that Columbia's attitude toward Ahmadinejad and their version of "free speech" is common in most American universities.
John Coatsworth, the Dean of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, expanded on Bollinger's theme of the school's limitless devotion to debate saying, "If Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform from which to speak, he would have plenty of platforms from which to speak in the United States. If he were willing to engage in a debate and a discussion, to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him." With these blithe little embraces of public debate, Columbia's leaders have destroyed their once august institution of higher learning.
Then Glick points her finger at the moral transgressions of the Columbia administration:
THE PROBLEM with Columbia's action, the reason that there can be no moral justification for the university's decision, is because by inviting Ahmadinejad to campus, Columbia has made the pros and cons of genocide a legitimate subject for debate. By asking Ahmadinejad challenging questions, Bollinger has reduced the right of the Jewish people to live to a question of preferences. No doubt, Bollinger prefers to see the Jewish people remain alive. But this is beside the point. The point is that by debating the issue with Ahmadinejad, Bollinger just put the right of the Jewish people to exist on the table.Read the rest of Glick's powerful essay.