Monday, September 24, 2007

Yom Kippur At Columbia University

From the New York Sun:

Jewish students at Columbia who went to their computers after breaking the fast for Yom Kippur were met Saturday evening with a link on the Drudge Report to an interview with the dean of the School of International and Public Affairs saying that he'd have been happy to welcome Hitler to the campus. The interview, aired on Fox News, was with John Coatsworth. He is seen in the Day of Atonement broadcast chuckling like a veritable Mearsheimer or Walt. Could he be oblivious to the impact his words were going to have in a Jewish community already on notice that its sensibilities were of little rank to either the president or the faculty of the university? Columbia, it seems, is bound and determined to honor the president of Iran and provide him with a platform to agitate against our country, and Israel, in midst of a war in which our GIs are facing Iranian backed forces on the field of battle.

Dean Coatsworth seems to be laboring under the illusion that had Columbia actually hosted Hitler in the late 1930s, World War II and the war against the Jews might have been prevented. The dean appears to be ignorant of history. The archives of the New York Times disclose that in December 1933, Columbia's president, Nicholas Butler, extended an invitation to Hitler's ambassador, Hans Luther. A protest was made by the Social Problems Club, which, according to the report in the Times, said: "Inviting the Nazi envoy to lecture on the foreign policy of his government and giving him an official reception means not only failing in our duty to oppose the Nazi onslaught on culture and in our duty to defend our German colleague but signifies, if not an open endorsement of the Nazi actions, at least placing their principles on the same level with other viewpoints."

In response, President Butler harrumphed something about how Columbia "does not ask what a man's opinions may be but only whether he is intelligent, honest, and well-mannered in their presentation and discussion.

Well yes, of course. Certainly, we know that Hitler was well-mannered. Uh, except for that little tangent where he exterminated six million Jews.