Jewish Leaders Welcome Columbia University President’s Statement Ahead of BDS Vote

New York, NY

. . . Arthur Stark, Chairman, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

“We welcome the March 6 statement by Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, stating his unequivocal condemnation of antisemitism at Columbia and his opposition to the proposal for the University to divest from Israel. As we wrote to President Bollinger:

‘As you stated, proposals to divest from Israel are inflammatory especially in an environment where Columbia’s Jewish community is already pained by virulent antisemitism. As we have previously expressed, we continue to be outraged by the acts of antisemitism at Columbia, but are encouraged by your important denunciation of this abhorrent prejudice.’

President Bollinger is right to speak out against the outrageous proposal before the student government that the University divest from Israel, which will come to a vote in April. We join him in calling on Columbia’s student body to reject divestment and the incitement that would come with it. It is unjustified and discriminatory to single out one country, Israel, a democratic state. Others truly guilty of violating human and civil rights are not even mentioned. In an atmosphere where Jewish students have already been targeted and acts of Jew hatred have sharply increased, such a step would only fan the existing flames of hatred and antisemitism.”

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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