Sunday, March 20, 2016

  • Sunday, March 20, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon


From The Columbia Spectator:
Over 200 faculty members have signed a petition expressing their commitment to Columbia’s ties with Israel and opposing divestment from companies that conduct business in the country.

This petition, released Sunday afternoon, follows the launch of Columbia University Apartheid Divest, which is calling on the University to “divest from corporations that supply, perpetuate, and profit from a system that has subjugated the Palestinian people.”

Addressed to the Board of Trustees, the petition—the fourth in a series of petitions both in support and in condemnation of boycott, divestment and sanctions at Columbia—argues that the “shared values and interests” between the University and Israel are worth preserving through formal ties, though not every Israeli government policy is worth supporting.Over 200 faculty members have signed a petition expressing their commitment to Columbia’s ties with Israel and opposing divestment from companies that conduct business in the country.

“It would not be just or principled to respond to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by disengaging from Israel or from companies that do business with Israel,” the petition said. “It would be unjust to blame only one side for this conflict, and unprincipled to single out Israel for this sanction, while maintaining ties with other nations that – unlike Israel – are undemocratic, repressive, and much less restrained in their use of force.”

The list of signatories includes prominent members of the University’s faculty and administrators, including Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Business School, Dorothy Denburg, former dean of Barnard College, Nicholas Lemann, former dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, and University Professor Eric Kandel, the co-director of the Mind Brain Behavior Institute.

Former New York City mayor David Dinkins, who serves as a professor at the School of International & Public Affairs, also signed the petition in support of Columbia’s ties with Israel, which emphasizes that Columbia benefits from its links to Israeli academia, research, and technology.

“Israel is a thriving democracy. It has democratic elections, a free press, rule of law, and strong protections for the individual rights of all citizens, including Arabs as well as Jews,” the petition said. “Israel also is the home of great universities, a vibrant culture, and an innovative high-tech sector.”
Of the 69 Columbia professors who signed a pro-BDS petition. 15 of them work in the anthropology department, six in philosophy, 13 in Middle East studies, two in Gender & Sexuality Studies, four in art history, six in history and eight in English, and only one in law.

The pro-Israel petition, on the other hand, has 26 signatures from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 75 from the Columbia Medical Center, 27 from the Law School, and many others in the engineering and other medical fields.

In other words, the professors who support Israel are overwhelmingly specialists in fields where the truth often means the difference between life and death, and the ones who are anti-Israel largely do their work in fields where truth is a quaint and elastic concept.

This explains a lot.

(h/t Diana)


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