update deskSchools & Higher Education

Columbia put ‘most extreme’ people on Jew-hatred task force, professor appears to say

“We have an antisemitism talk task force, because everybody on the other side has howled their head off if somebody so much has looked sideways at them,” the professor seems to say as recorded on a hidden camera.

NYPD officers next to sign requiring ID in front of Columbia University's main gate on Nov. 15, 2023 during a protest after the suspension of anti-Israel student groups. Credit: Here Now/Shutterstock.
NYPD officers next to sign requiring ID in front of Columbia University's main gate on Nov. 15, 2023 during a protest after the suspension of anti-Israel student groups. Credit: Here Now/Shutterstock.

Columbia University staffed its antisemitism task force with the “most extreme political people” that they could find, and the body countering Jew-hatred only exists because “the other side” howls whenever someone looks at them the wrong way, an Arab studies professor at the university appears to say during an apparently-surreptitious interview.

“We have an antisemitism talk task force because everybody on the other side has howled their head off if somebody so much has looked sideways at them,” Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia, appears to say on a video recorded by the pro-Israel social media platform Visegrád 24.

“People who are being treated much worse have been hesitant to go to these people because they know they’re biased,” the man in the video adds, referring to the university’s antisemitism task force.

The man in the video added that the university created a lower-level Islamophobia task force than the antisemitism one, uses “human spies” and reads faculty members’ emails.

“Antisemitism is a sacred topic, and if you cover your partisanship for Israel under the cloak of antisemitism, you can get away with a lot,” the man added.

He thinks that there is a shift underway in views about Israel.

“People who go to Jewish day schools. People who are religiously observant and go regularly to synagogue and have, you know, they have classes on Saturdays, or whatever, they’re indoctrinated,” he said.

“It will change as these people get older. They will replace the old folks for whom the Holocaust and Israel’s founding are these events that are central to their identity,” he said.

“You got to have some patience. It’s tough,” he said. “I’ve been at this for a very long time. It looks very good to me, in the sense that I’ve seen a shift that I never expected.”

Khalidi is on leave during the spring semester, and an automatic response to an email sent to him noted his inability to respond “in a timely fashion.” JNS also sought comment from Columbia University.

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