As a graduate of Columbia University, I took a particular interest in the little Hitler’s appearance there yesterday.
In fact, for the first time, I wrote to the administration to complain. I didn’t write to Lee Bollinger, President of the University though. Two reasons for this. First, I consider him to be a lost cause.
He has allowed the faculty of the University, particularly the department of Middle East Studies to be hijacked by Arabists. The department is funded by Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. Now, there is a similar debate going on at Barnard, the women’s college of the University.
Worse, the fact that Bollinger himself, rather than a member of the faculty of the School of International Affairs who invited him, was to serve as moderator indicated to me that Bollinger would use the opportunity to grandstand.
I was pleased that he took Ahmadinejad to task, if possible making a horrific mistake, just slightly, and I mean just slightly better.
What has simply failed to be mentioned is that by giving a forum to this man, Bollinger, a first amendment scholar, has said that the legitimacy of allowing Jews to remain on the planet, is a worthy topic of debate.
Can you imagine the situation if someone who advocated the wiping out of Native Americans received an invitation to speak? Or Edward Teller, who advocates the genetic inferiority of African Americans?
You can’t imagine it, because it simply would not happen.
Freedom of speech does not mean the unregulated freedom to speak.
Columbia is a private University.
Does Ahmadinejad have the right to stand up in Times Square and try and spout his lies? Sure, and the public would have the right to ignore him.
But inviting him to Columbia, and providing the type of prestigious outlet that he did, is simply unacceptable.
And the fact that the Iranian press is touting his appearance there only indicates that this is the truth.
Columbia has lost it’s moral compass, and this pains me greatly.