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in Support of President Lee C. Bollinger's Condemnation of Anti-Semitism at Columbia University.

ONLY COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY FACULTY SHOULD SIGN THIS LETTER

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All rights reserved Copyright © Columbia Faculty Against Hate

Columbia University Faculty Open Letter in Support of the Statement Condemning Anti-Semitism Delivered by President Lee C. Bollinger to the Senate Plenary on March 6, 2020

On March 6, 2020 Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger delivered an important and moving statement before the Senate Plenary condemning rising anti-Semitism on our campus. 

We, the undersigned Columbia faculty, appreciate President Bollinger’s forceful and unequivocal declaration against bigotry and prejudice, which are intolerable, as he said, when directed against any group, especially within a university. We applaud our president’s condemnation of anti-Semitism in all its many forms. We also support his principled opposition to the rhetoric and activism of the BDS movement, which singles out and applies a double standard to Israel and often manifests itself as an attack on Jewish identity. 

As faculty across all ranks who research and teach on the Columbia campus, we are committed to fostering a learning community that respects free inquiry, intellectual engagement, and open exchange. We believe that our University thrives on debate and dissent over contentious local, national, and global issues and challenges. We recognize that a critically engaged student body is essential to advancing Columbia’s educational mission. Still, as President Bollinger rightly reminded us on March 6, we must be “careful and vigilant” lest the “vast and ever-present debate about Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, the Middle East” turn into “anger, then to hatred and demonization, and invidious discrimination.” When valid disagreement deteriorates in this way, we must work even harder, as President Bollinger insisted, to “ensure that the debates we have about debatable matters be done in good faith and with a sense of shared humanity, and with respect.” 

Like President Bollinger, we oppose a proposal on the Spring 2020 student elections ballot that the Columbia endowment should divest from companies that do business in Israel. Our president joins many university leaders who in recent months have also denounced pro-BDS campaigns on their own campuses as both divisive and lacking in merit. As President Bollinger correctly noted, the proposal for divestment is unwise, analytically flawed, and violates a sense of fairness and proportionality. 

We hope that President Lee C. Bollinger’s powerful speech against anti-Semitism will become the basis for a remedial action plan for the campus, with concrete and measurable goals. We stand ready to work with President Bollinger and others in the Columbia senior leadership to improve the campus climate for all students, including Jewish students.   

SIGN THE COLUMBIA FACULTY OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT LEE C. BOLLINGER’S CONDEMNATION OF ANTI-SEMITISM AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Initial signatories are members of the Academic Engagement Network:

Ann P. Bartel, Columbia Business School

Steven Cohen, School of International and Public Affairs

William Eimicke, School of International and Public Affairs

Awi Federgruen, Columbia Business School 

Ester R. Fuchs, School of International and Public Affairs 

Trevor Harris, Columbia Business School  

Judith S. Jacobson, Mailman School of Public Health

Ran Kivetz, Columbia Business School 

Nicholas Lemann, Columbia Journalism School

Oded Netzer, Columbia Business School 

David M. Schizer, Columbia Law School 

Clifford S. Stein, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

Newest Columbia faculty member signatories:

Kenneth Altman

Lawrence Amsel

Christoph Anacker

Mark Apfelbaum

Paul Appelbaum

Jeffrey Ascherman

Elias Bareinboim

Mitchell Benson

Saul Berman

Paulette Bernd

Marc Bessler

Deijen Bhattacharjya

Daniel Bienstock

Joan Birman

Brygida Bisikirska

Dusan Boric

Robert Braunstein

Joel Brockner

Charles Calomiris

Myron Cohen

Maria de Miguel

Alex Dranovsky

Pam Factor-Litvak

Stanley Fahn

Seth Feltheimer

Ruth Fischbach

George Fletcher

Jessica Forman

Charles Freilich

Richard Friedman

Joel Friedman

Zvi Galil

Adam Galinsky

Michael D. Gershon

Anne A. Gershon

Henry Ginsberg

Michael Goldberg

Ari Goldman

Zohar Goshen

Linda Green

Eli Grunstein

Deborah Hasin

Irving Herman

Hanina Hibshoosh

Mady Hornig

Glenn Hubbard

Allen Hyman

Ben Jacobs

Jonathan Javitch

Robert Jervis

Irving Kalet

Alan Kaplan

Arthur Karlin

Richard Kay

Richard Kessin

Tom King

Donald Kornfeld

Babi Kruchin

Andrew Kupersmith

Paul Kurlansky

Ira Lamster

Oscar Lebwohl

Martin Leib

Frances Levin

Steve Mackey

Arthur Magun

Elizabeth Midlarsky

Jeffrey Moses

Sara Nash

Gerald Navratil

Alfred Neugut

Eugene Ornstein

Victoria Phillips

Kathleen Pike

Richard Pious

LeRoy Rabbani

Ruth Raphaeli

Alex Raskolnikov

Lloyd Ratner

Michael Rosen

Tove Rosen

Richard Rosenberg

Gorazd Rosoklija

Harold Sackeim

William Schechter

Neil Schluger

Michael Schudson

Jill Shapiro

Robert Shapiro

Michael Shelanski

Saul Silverstein

Jeremy Simon

Ethel Siris

Arthur Smerling

Robert Sommer

Susan Steinberg

Jeanne Stellman

Yaakov Stern

Brent Stockwell

Richard Stone

Ira Tabas

Hadassah Tamir

Robert Taub

Joseph Tenenbaum

Olivier Toubia

Sigal Trattner

Ruth Treiber

Haim Waisman

Matthew Waxman

Judah Weinberger

Michael Weinstein

Donald Weiss

Michael Weiss

Myrna Weissman

Warren Widmann

Assaf Zeevi

Lori Zeltser