Monday, February 16, 2009

Faculty Charged Bollinger with Inconsistency on Israel and Palestine

The Columbia faculty have taken a decisive step in criticizing Bollinger, who led the outcry against a British boycott of Israeli universities, but how has remained starkly silent on how the massacre in Gaza violated every value of academic freedom.

Columbia students and alumni should sign the petition here.

The Letter to Bollinger:

Letter on Academic Freedom in Palestine

Dear President Bollinger,

On a number of occasions since becoming president of Columbia University you have expressed your views in public on questions of academic freedom in the Middle East. Yet you have remained silent on the actions by Israel that deny that freedom to Palestinians.

These actions include Israel's continuing blockade of Gaza, the imposing of barriers, checkpoints, and closures around and within the West Bank that make academic life unworkable, the denial of exit visas to Palestinian scholars offered fellowships abroad or invited to international conferences, including scholars invited to Columbia, and the recent three-week war against Gaza that included not only the bombing of Palestinian schools and colleges, with great loss of life, but the widespread destruction of the material and social fabric on which academic life depends.

We, as Columbia and Barnard faculty, ask you now to make public your opposition to these actions and your support for the academic freedom of Palestinians.

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