CJAA's response to Wall Street Journal article: "Some Columbia Professors Accused of Pro-Palestinian Indoctrination"

March 8, 2024-

The Columbia Jewish Alumni Association (CJAA) is deeply concerned, though not surprised, about today's WSJ article detailing anti-Israel and anti-Jewish indoctrination in certain classrooms at Columbia University.  For months, the CJAA has heard reports of Jewish students who are too afraid to attend their classes.

The WSJ asks an important question: “At what point does a college class become a course in political indoctrination?”  The answer is clear: the University crossed that threshold decades ago.  It is clear the line between education and indoctrination has been crossed when professors refer to Israel as an apartheid settler colonial state, when professors feature call-and-response protest chants during lectures, and when professors dismiss as “fabrication” the New York Times investigation and the United Nation’s own report documenting sexual torture committed by Hamas against innocent Israeli civilians.

It is impossible to educate today’s students about the Middle East without teaching history and giving context to a conflict that is thousands of years old.  These course lectures constitute a blatant violation of the University's honor code, and the professors responsible demonstrate a shocking disregard for basic academic integrity.  Students opposed to antisemitism are not a “handful of privileged, white students,” as one professor characterized them.

The administration must conduct a swift review of the curricula across the schools to ensure students can learn without harassment.  The administration must also investigate classes that are known to be hotbeds of antisemitism, and the professors who teach them, as well as whether or not these professors are deviating from the curriculum or espousing their own personal views.

Together, we must return the University to a place of unquestioned education instead of indoctrination.