In case you deleted the mass e-mails

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Besides Chipotle and cute guys, other Things of Consequence have occured in the world of the Heights over the last few days. Here’s a bit of context.  

ddsfPrezBo issued a statement condemning members of a British teachers union who decided to boycott their Israeli counterparts because of their “complicity” in the Jewish state’s oppression of Palestine. Courageous stand or no, PrezBo’s getting a lot of props with the Jewish community, both at home and abroad. Hail Sir Bollinger, defender of the righteous.

Meanwhile, the Manhattanville project steams ahead–the city just certified Columbia’s rezoning plan for the area, giving the community 60 days to comment and vote on the propozed changes. Bollinger says the new campus will be “fundamentally diff erent” from the Morningside fortress, but that hasn’t satisfied neighborhood agitators, who  contend that no amount shiny, expensive retail (or cool environmental architecture, which we’re sure had nothing to do with us complaining about how it originally didn’t exist) will make up for the lack of affordable housing. SCEG wants you to protest, and Renzo
couldn’t give a damn. Surprises on all sides.

UPDATE, 2:17 PM EST: More info from the Times‘ city blog, and for a significantly longer read, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement itself (which Spec has already ably covered). 


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  1. wirc

    Pff... Renzo Piano has done nothing with the project, since he doodled a spiral on a map in 2002.

  2. I can't be

    the only one who really dislikes the steel and glass architecture, right? I wish Columbia would just extend the McKim Mead and White theme. It's timeless.

    • well  

      even though the glass and steel really sucks, i think it's more environmentally friendly...

    • wirc

      No, the campus is really dated to a turn-of-the-century fad for building monumental semi-neoclassical skyscrapers. Beautiful it is, timeless it is not. It only seems timeless because it looks like things that are already old. Who says glass won't be?

      Just because it doesn't suit your tastes doesn't mean it's crap. I like glass. Let's do glass.

  3. well

    what i want to know is why prezbo got involved in the british teachers' conflict (there's probably a logical reason).f

    • it's not

      too uncommon of him to denounce boycotts amongst professors regarding Israel-Palestine. I'm pretty sure he also criticized some profs calling Israel an "apartheid" state. He's done this kind of thing before.

  4. zionist

    Finkelstein's denied tenure and Bollinger shows some teeth, both in the same week. Still doesn't balance out terrorists taking over Gaza, but the little victories are important...

    • Why

      Why would a zionist care if there's an antagonistic Palestinian state in Gaza if there's one with no teeth on the West Bank? It seems like one more nation that hates the Jews wouldn't make that much of a difference, but the potential for a semi-Jordan as a buffer state on the West Bank would be very nice. But I suppose you'd have to cede the West Bank. I guess that answers the question.

      Ah, the lions of Zion.

  5. Julia

    The Russell Group, a consortium of research universities in the UK (including Oxford, Cambridge, the LSE, Edinburgh, Manchester, etc.) issued a statement against the boycott. Their main complaint is that it limits academic freedom, goes against the philosophy of free scholarship, and unfairly discriminates against an entire nationality. Bollinger's big on academic freedom and freedom of speech, so of course he's against the boycott.

    • but  

      "Their main complaint is that it limits academic freedom, goes against the philosophy of free scholarship, and unfairly discriminates against an entire nationality. Bollinger's big on academic freedom and freedom of speech, so of course he's against the boycott."

      This also happens to be the main complaint of those organizing the boycott: the role of the Israeli government and to some degree Israeli universities in ignoring, abusing, and restricting Palestinian universities and academics. Any argument that could be used to criticize the boycott on the grounds that it limits academic freedom is an argument that went into the need for it.

  6. wendy the ho

    "Hail Sir Bollinger, defender of the righteous"

    Umm no you dumb bitch - fuck Israel and all those damn jews trying to destroy Palestine. There needs to be a coexisting Jewish/Arab state not some fucked up country walling up all its Arab citizens. Bollinger is a pussy to condemn the British professors, right on England!!

    By the way one can see PrezBo's true form in that he supports both Israel and Columbia's terroristic ambitions to wipe out a vibrantly diverse working-class area of New York simply for his greedy goal of expansion.

    • HEY!

      Step back. Regardless of whether or not I agree with your politics, LBD is a fantastic person, and even if she weren't, she should still be treated with respect.

      (Incidentally, it was also her birthday yesterday--congrats, etc.)

      It's amazing to me that our generation wonders why it can't get respect.

  7. palestinian

    academics? I don't seem to recall any major scientific breakthroughs out of that dump...do you? It's not for lack of intelligence, either. After all, they know their chemistry well enough to build bombs. See, I think if they held those double-period Jew Killing Labs only once a week, instead of every day, those kids could really learn something, and you know, maybe generate an academic or two a couple decades from now.

    • i bet that made

      you feel really clever, snarky, and masculine.

      whatever floats your boat.

    • ha!

      Maybe if you gave them a chance to build a fucking school without shitting a settlement out on them everyday, stealing their land, & bombing their homes & children, BOTH of you might do something useful. And though I agree with PrezBo's condemnation on principle, why the has he stayed mum on a non-partisan genocide? This smacks of Alum dick-sucking/Ahmedinajad-gate.
      So, LBD, you're right - Hail Prezbo! defender of the righteous Jews, who stifle all speech critical of Israel & (allegedly) donate to our school

    • Alum

      Edward Said was Palestinian, and he was renowned the world over. You probably knew that, of course, and asked specifically about scientists in order to duck this inconvenient example of a major Palestinian academic.

      Regardless of where the blame lies, the fact is that Palestinians live in deplorable conditions. No societies in such circumstances are likely to produce major scientific breakthroughs.

      • now

        let's name someone who wasn't born to Christian parents and didn't get an education in the US. I'm not your TA, I don't give credit on BS answers. And those apartheid-Israel comparisons, they just never get old, huh? Instead of making comparisons, why don't you go over there and try living with those animals. I'll even pitch in for a wooden box for your return voyage.

        • Precisely,

          they're "animals." That's why they're in refugee camps right? Or does causality move in the other direction?

          And of course, research in the sciences and humanities doesn't require massive amounts of funding and institutional support. I mean, that's why we're paying over $40,000 a year to come to Columbia, right?

          By the way, how does the Christian facet of Said's amorphous identity play a part in this? If you've done any Middle East studies, you would know that many Christian Arabs have supported not only the Palestinian resistance but also other nationalist regimes (Umm...Michel Alfaq? Founder of Ba'athism?) Of course, a Christian constituency doesn't support a state's use of violence, but it certainly questions your concern for Said's "Christian parents."

          And "didn't get an education in the US?" Where are you getting these qualifiers? Plenty of intellectuals from post-colonial states got their education in American or European universities. So unless you want to go ahead and invalidate the majority of the post-colonial intelligentsia, good job singling Said out.

        • Assclown police

          So if you're Christian you're not counted as Palestinian? What the hell are you talking about you moron? Conflating arabs and muslims like a good little ignorant bigot, are you?

          That's some special shit right there. Your posts are brimming with racism and ignorance and you think that's enough to make a point, so fuck you. I will never understand why Zionist racism is the okay brand of racism, enough that you'd be comfortable making these comments on here. You're the animal , clearly because 40,000+ a year dropped at an Ivy League university couldn't teach the benighted racism out of you.

          And that "Hail Sir Bollinger, defender of the righteous" was pretty fucking stupid and slanted too.

  8. Bad Timing  

    Columbia released the EIS right as Community Board 9 is going into summer recess and students aren't around. Given that CB9 only has 60 days to prepare a response for the City, which includes holding public hearings and draftings statements, while relocating to a new office, I think this shows that Columbia is not really trying to get the community input they claim they are.

  9. hmm

    "Hail Sir Bollinger, defender of the righteous."

    I'm sure this was partly in jest. Lydia knows better than to blithely mouth off like that on a forum for Columbia students, of all places.

    as for Manhattanville's architecture - anything that remotely resembled the current campus would be used as neighborhood group propaganda, evidence that columbia was intent on walling itself off from them. why it's such a great thing that access to campus is easier for people who have nothing to do with it, who knows. but bollinger can point and shout that this campus is different and "transparent" etc. note that it hasn't appeased anyone anyway: one local preacher still compares it to "12th century christ college oxford".

  10. Chris

    While this was written 5 years ago and the specific boycott calls are different, the historical background -- especially the comparison of the boycott of South Africa to Israel-- is instructive.


    "I am not sure whether your objections to the moratorium on research funds to the Israeli academia, which we called for, is because you object to any divestment or boycott moves, or whether you think the academia should be exempt. Many Israeli academics hold the latter view, so I suppose it is also yours. You say in your letter that the reason you "acted immediately and actively against this boycott" is "because I saw this as a blatant violation of academic freedom, which is the essence of academic research and teaching." This is a very peculiar use of the concept of academic freedom. What is under consideration here is your freedom to access international research funds. You seem to view this type of freedom as an inalienable right, untouchable by any considerations of the international community regarding the context in which its funds are used. But it is not. The traditional spirit of the academia, no matter how much of it is preserved in daily practice, is that intellectual responsibility includes the safeguarding of moral principles. The international academic community has the full right to decide that it does not support institutions of societies which divert blatantly from such principles. You had no problem accepting this when South Africa was concerned."

  11. moph  

    i had manhattanville project staff talking to me on and off the record about environmental impact and the project back in 2004-2005. they wouldn't commit to LEED, at the time. (Possibly because this deal wasn't resolved?)

  12. DHI

    Glass doesn't look timeless because it looks like things that break really easily.

  13. reader

    i thought "hail sir bollinger, defender of the righteous" was meant ironically or at least ambiguously.

  14. especially

    because the photo accompanying that epithet is of israeli soldiers pointing massive guns at your face.

  15. concerned reader

    are all these comments from columbia students? is there a way to regulate them a little more? i'm not one for unabashed censorship, but there's some pretty virulent language coming from crazies on both sides of the israel-palestine issue. (racial slurs laced with profanity are probably not so helpful in making your cases, geniuses.) if these people are columbia students, i'm ashamed. if they're not, why are they commenting here?

  16. To be fair,  

    the Jews started it. Just like in real life.

  17. God

    Actually, I started it. Sorry.

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