My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Committee Finds No Anti-Semitism at Columbia

Not surprisingly, the Committee at Columbia to investigate anti-semitism has found no evidence of anti-semitic statements by professors.

Earlier this month, I posted a statement by Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia, in which it appeared he had already judged the issue before the release of the report.

Well, there are two main objections to the investigation. First, some of the members of the committee may have been biased. For example, one of the members was Lisa Anderson, dean of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. She was involved in a campaign that raised $4 million to endow the Edward Said Chair of Arab Studies and defended the university's initial refusal to make the names of the 20 contributors public. But second, why on earth didn't Columbia set up a totally independent panel? Here is an excerpt from an article written by Nat Hentoff in which he looked at the probability of this panel successfully investigating the charges.
Yet the beleaguered Columbia president, Lee Bollinger, in a December 8 letter to the Columbia community about yet another faculty investigation he's set up, declared the committee "will not review departments [as a whole] or curricula." Why not an outside independent committee so that colleagues will not be reviewing colleagues?

In the same pledge, Bollinger declares "the committee will not investigate anyone's political or scholarly beliefs." That's understandable in the name of the professors' academic freedom, but Bollinger has set himself a dilemma.

How can he assure present and future students in his Middle East studies department that they will actually learn the full dimensions of those studies if the present curricula remain? The curricula reflect the views and interpretations of the professors, and the evident biases of some of them.
More on this to come.