From my employer's website

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
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 University’s 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 East—and, in particular, about the policies of the Israeli
government and the Palestinian leadership—is 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

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