A Columbia University professor made some very disturbing comments on Facebook when he said that the only difference between Israel and the Islamic State is that there are pro-Israel supporters who will always defend at all costs the Jewish state’s “terrorist cause.”
Hamid Dabashi, a professor in the university’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, wrote this post that was upsetting enough to cause an uproar on the campus, according to Vos Iz Neais News.
The “murderous thugs” of the jihadist group “conquered parts of Syria and declared a ‘caliphate,’” Dabashi said through his Facebook account. “Their ISRAELI counterparts meanwhile conquered parts of Syria and declared it part of their Zionist settler colony,” the post continued.
He also went on to say: “The only difference: ISIS does not have a platoon of clean shaven and well coiffured [sic] columnists at the New York Times propagating the cause of the terrorist outfit as the Zionists columnists do on a regular basis.”
Students Supporting Israel’s Columbia chapter spoke out against the comparison by saying in a statement “This kind of utterly despicable and repugnant statement is not to be expected from a tenured faculty holder in an Ivy League institution.”
Across the pond in the United Kingdom, there is also a problem of anti-Semitism, especially after the revelation that the candidate running for the National Union of Students’ executive committee also made the same false equivocation.
Columbia has had its fair share of problems for Jewish students and faculty recently. A Jewish professor was the target of anti-Semitic vandalism a few months ago. She walked into her office to discover two red swastikas and the slur “Yid” spray painted on the walls.
Elizabeth Midlarsky, 77, has taught and researched the Holocaust at the Columbia Teachers College for nearly three decades.
She told CNN that she “almost passed out” when she discovered the graffiti and “was so shaky, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.” Her shock and fear were so great that fellow staff members had to escort her home.
Midlarsky was similarly targeted in 2007, when she began publishing Holocaust research and took part in protests against an invitation to give a speech by Columbia to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following his calls for Israel’s total destruction.
She reported that her office door was painted with a swastika that year, and that she received hate mail.
CNN reported that at the time, then Teachers College President Susan Fuhrman joined Midlarsky at a student-organized protest, saying, “We stand with our students, who have said ‘enough’ to hate crimes, and in this particular case, to a vicious swastika.”
The school also received criticism when a student felt threatened and bothered by students belonging to Students for Justice in Palestine. She also faulted the school for not doing its job to keep her safe. Ofir Dayan, the student facing this problem, is from Israel and was even an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, The New York Post reported. She told the newspaper that even all of her experience back home and with the IDF wasn’t adequate in getting her ready for what she would experience up in Manhattan at Columbia.