Dershowitz: Columbia Faculty Encourages Terrorists
Dershowitz Says Faculty Members Work To Encourage Islamic Terrorism (The New York Sun)
It’s not often that a professor tells a packed crowd at Columbia University that Edward Said was a political extremist and that faculty members in the school’s Middle East studies department encourage Islamic terrorism. The professor who made those statements yesterday isn’t from Columbia but from Harvard. Law professor Alan Dershowitz showed up at the intellectual home of Said, a literature professor who was a fierce critic of Israel, to rebuke Columbia’s faculty and administration for tolerating an atmosphere on campus that he said promotes the hatred of Israel. “This is the most unbalanced university that I have come across when it comes to all sides of the Middle East conflict being presented,” Mr. Dershowitz told hundreds of students and a smattering of Columbia faculty members. “I have never seen a university with as much faculty silence,” he said.
Drawing a few laughs, Mr. Dershowitz said the prospects of “peace in Israel itself are greater than they would be on this campus.” “The kind of hatred that one hears on campuses like Columbia, and let me say especially Columbia, is a barrier to peace,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “They are encouraging the terrorists. They tell the terrorists you will have academic support even if you oppose the peace process.”
Strong words, indeed. Columbia seems to be the chief hotbed of extremist anti-Israel scholarship among serious circles in the U.S. but it is not alone. In my experience, any discipline with “Studies” in its name at any campus is, at best, home to incredibly unserious scholarship. With no exception that I can think of, they all provide havens for those who want to write ideological polemics under the guise of scholarship. Every conference presentation by a co-panelist who did “Middle East Studies” rather than “political science” or “international relations” was a diatribe against Israel or a screed on the indignities suffered by the Palestinians.