Oh, higher academia. How pestiferous are your halls.
Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies with Columbia University took to the airwaves with a Chicago radio station last week, to warn of an “infestation” of pro-Israel players in a Trump administration.
Nice choice of words, Professor.
To be specific, from Campus Reform:
“There are a group of people, a lot of them in Israel and some of them in the United States, who live in a world of their own,” Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia University, declared in an interview with Chicago radio station WBEZ last week. “And unfortunately, these people infest the Trump transition team, these people are going to infest our government as of January 20. And they are hand in glove with a similar group of people in the Israeli government and Israeli political life who think that whatever they think can be imposed on reality.”
Imagine that. A college professor concerned about reality.
Khalidi asserted that the individuals to whom he was referring “think that whatever they want, and whatever cockamamie schemes they can cook up, can be substituted for reality,” elaborating that “they have a vision whereby the occupied territories aren’t occupied; they have a vision whereby there is no such thing as the Palestinians; they have a vision whereby international law doesn’t exist; they have a vision whereby the United States can unilaterally cancel a decision in the United Nations.”
There are several realities about Professor Khalidi that are rather inconvenient.
One is his history of anti-Semitic actions.
For instance, he organized 40 fellow Columbia professors to join him in a petition to have Columbia cut ties with Israel, as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Then there’s this lovely addition to his professional resume:
Khalidi also served as a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Beirut in the 1970s and 1980s, before the PLO was classified as a terrorist organization in 1987.
Does it appear that Khalidi may have a particular interest in opposing anyone with a more favorable opinion of Israel?
Khalidi quickly walked back his comments after facing accusations of being anti-Semitic, claiming that he was merely referring to individuals of any religious persuasion who support the Israeli government.
“I recognize that it was infelicitous phrasing,” he told The Forward. “I was of course referring to those figures in and around the new administration and the Netanyahu government, irrespective of their religion, who promote a pro-occupation and pro-settlement political agenda.”
Thanks for the clarification, Professor, but it didn’t really make things better, or any less creepily anti-Semitic.
The other side of the coin comes from Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a faculty member with Columbia.
“Khalidi’s comments are classic anti-Semitism cloaked in anti-Israel speech. He is playing on the classic anti-Semitic trope of Jews conspiring to control government, from the anti-Semitic ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’” Rossman-Benjamin said. “Frighteningly, classic anti-Semitism woven into anti-Israel rhetoric is a common occurrence on campus from students and professors.”
Despicable levels of anti-Semitism seem to be a familiar thread within any leftist institution.
Need further proof?
Columbia hired a man like Rashid Khalidi.