Columbia U. Decides Not To Re-Hire Poet Who Urged Murder Of U.S. Jewish Residents Of Judea-Samaria
January 14, 2003

Just Weeks After ZOA and
Others Criticized Columbia

NEW YORK – Columbia University has decided not to re-hire for its faculty an Irish poet who called for the murder of American Jewish residents of Judea-Samaria. Columbia’s decision comes just weeks after the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) called on Columbia not to re-hire him, and urged parents to reconsider sending their children to Columbia and urged donors to reconsider their contributions, if he were re-hired.

The poet, Tom Paulin, told the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram Online that American Jews who reside in Judea-Samaria “should be shot dead. I think they are Nazis, racists, I feel nothing but hatred for them.” Paulin also said he “never believed that Israel had the right to exist at all,” and “I can understand how suicide bombers feels. I think, though, it is better to resort to conventional guerrilla warfare. I think attacks on civilians in fact boost morale.” In addition, in one of his poems, Paulin referred to what he called “the Zionist SS.” (Jerusalem Post, Nov.14, 2002; Forward, Nov.22, 2002)

After learning that Paulin had been hired to teach at Columbia for the Fall 2002 semester, and invited to give a guest lecture at Harvard, the ZOA publicly suggested that parents reconsider whether or not to send their children to Harvard and Columbia, and called on donors to Harvard and Columbia to reconsider whether it is appropriate to send funds to such universities that provide a platform for those who promote the murder of Jews.

The ZOA leadership, including a number of Columbia and Harvard graduates, sent letters to Harvard president Lawrence Summers and Columbia president Lee Bollinger, in which they stated: “It is outrageous that you are providing a platform for someone who advocates murder. Tom Paulin’s statements provide encouragement to Arab terrorists to murder Jews. The claim of free speech is a cruel fig leaf; you would never give a platform to some Ku Klux Klan spokesman who advocates the murder of African-Americans.”

The letter to Summers added: “Your recent statement condemning anti-Semitism on American college campuses rings hollow in the face of your support for giving a platform to the worst kind of anti-Semite—the one who actively promotes the murder of Jews. We are outraged at your statement that inviting Paulin will ‘strengthen the university’; universities are strengthened fighting against hatred and murder, not giving hatred and murder a prominent and respectable platform.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “This is not a so-called ‘controversial issue’. There are not two sides to this issue. No decent person supports Paulin’s call for murder. This helps to create an atmosphere that could legitimize the murder of some American Jews. Paulin is apparently overjoyed at the murders of 13 year-old Koby Mandell, a boy from Maryland who was tortured and murdered by Arab terrorists near Tekoah … 14 year-old Keren Shatsky of Brooklyn and 16 year-old Rachel Thaler of Baltimore, who were blown up by a suicide bomber while eating pizza in Karnei Shomron … 16 year-old David Boim, gunned down by a drive-by shooter near Beit El … 11 year-old Chava Wechsberg, who was murdered by Arab rock-throwers near Gush Etzion —all of them American citizens whose families resided in Judea and Samaria.”

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