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lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Nov 7 19:23:11 MST 2002
November 7, 2002
Columbia University Statement on Divestment from Israel
The conflict in the Middle East continues to be the subject of intense and
emotional debate around the world and on university campuses. Recently,
some Columbia and Barnard faculty formed a committee and launched a
petition campaign demanding that Columbia University divest from all
companies that produce or sell arms or other military hardware to Israel.
There are procedures established at Columbia for considering proposals of
this sort. Anyone can submit a proposal to the Universitys Advisory
Committee on Socially Responsible Investing for resolution.
As President of Columbia, however, I want to state clearly that I will not
lend any support to this proposal. The petition alleges human rights abuses
and compares Israel to South Africa at the time of apartheid, an analogy I
believe is both grotesque and offensive.
It is equally clear to me that a rigorous and open debate about the issues
in the Middle Eastand, in particular, about the policies of the Israeli
government and the Palestinian leadershipis not only appropriate but also
essential to life in an academic institution. Every member of our community
is free to express his or her opinion or views on all aspects of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or any other issue. Political debate should,
and will, flourish at Columbia.
Lee C. Bollinger
Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org
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