Of Hamantaschen and Controversy

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Bnai Haman is going to have the most quasi-topical Purim ever. But first, some background: Bnai Haman is an activist group formed as a response to Bollinger, Bulliet, and Coatworth’s invitation of Iranian President Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia—an invitation which in their opinion never should have been extended. Purim is the Jewish holiday celebrating the Jews’ escape from Haman’s plot (yes, as in “Bnai Haman”) to slaughter all Jews living in the Persian Empire.

Which brings us to Bnai Haman’s Purim celebration, which will be Ahmadinejad-themed this year. Says a Bnai Haman spokeswoman: “And just as Haman found those in ancient Persia who would listen to his incitements, so too did Columbia University provide a platform for Ahmadinejad to espouse Israel’s destruction to a global media audience.”

Party-goers will dress as Bollinger, Bulliet, Ahmadinejad and Coatsworth. Perhaps the role of Esther can be re-interpreted as a certain nasally female translator?



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  1. Sadia  

    What is that photo of?

  2. ...

    Wasn't it Cyrus, King of Persia, who freed the Jews from Babylon and allowed them to return to Israel?

    Why does everything at this school have to focus on the bad side of Iran?

    • Anonymous  

      Better yet, why does one group who are only a group because of shared crazy-ass mythological stories get to have an effect on what should be a secular institution?

      I guess I'm just mad because Krishna really disapproves of those who eat meat. You're all a bunch of sinners.

    • Cyrus

      You're so ridiculous you make me laugh... Incidentally, do you know that the Iranian government is seeking to destroy King Cyrus' tomb, because they wish to erase their "anti-Islamic" past?

      • ...

        Incidentally, I know that. I wasn't trying to defend this government. I was just defending the people's culture and history which is a completely different thing.

        I was just trying to point out a positive moment in Iranian history. But I'm sorry for pointing that out since it's easier to dehumanize a people when you don't consider both sides.

        • Incidentally...

          Over the years, I have known many Iranians personally, both Muslim and Jewish. So I (in addition to most of those who despise the Iranian regime) know that Iranians have a history and a culture. In light of their history, the current state of affairs is all the more ironic.

  3. Woohoo  

    "And just as Haman found those in ancient Persia who would listen to his incitements, so too did Columbia University provide a platform for Ahmadinejad to espouse Israel's destruction to a global media audience."

    And proud of it.

  4. why  

    why is a mexican making that hamantaschen

  5. Armin Rosen  

    Actually, Bnei Haman means "sons of Haman," as in the 12 sons of Haman who are hung at the end of Esther as a reprisal for their father's plot against the Jews.

    It's an odd reference, since the sons are basically blameless people, and the celebratory bloodbath in the last chapter of Esther is among the least politically correct passages in the entire Tanakh. It's a pretty sinister name for a group, as it refers to a prototypical moment of Jews going off the deep-end...although maybe they were going for irony?

  6. Armin Rosen  

    And by they I mean Bnei Haman. Not the Jews of ancient Persia.

  7. i miss  

    catholic grade school.

  8. k. friedman  

    one thing's for sure, they aren't making jews like jesus anymore.

  9. Shira

    I'm confused--is Bnai Haman actually doing this at Columbia? Is this campus news, or just wingnut news peripherally related to Columbia issues? I agree with what Armin wrote about the sinister nature of the group's name, but from what I've read on their website it doesn't seem like they're going for irony at all. This post would benefit from an update explaining whether anyone currently on campus (that is, other than "Columbia University alumni and other concerned citizens") is actually involved, because as it is, the whole thing seems pretty dodgy. Say what you will about Ahmedenijad's speech, but Bnai Haman spouts a lot of vitriol and I'm sure that Columbia groups also holding Purim celebrations would rather create their own agendas (if a holiday party really needs to have an agenda...). Just saying, a little clarification would go a long way.

  10. The Jewish community  

    at this school has just become unpleasant. I feel very alienated by this high-octane, venom-spewing, intolerant sort of atmosphere. It's really a shame.

    • Shira

      While I don't consider myself to be a part of it, I don't think Columbia's Jewish community should have to take the blame for this organization. This post REALLY needs a disclaimer. Couldn't you tell that that wasn't a real press release? It's too hateful to be funny. Come on, Bwog!

  11. Fed up

    That's it. I've had enough of Bwog. So long.

  12. bible police  

    Sorry Armin, but Haman had only 10 sons. This...is very important...

  13. Observer

    There are people on this campus that still have their panties in bunches over the Ahmadinejad speech?

    If you're that intolerant, I hope you do us all a favor and transfer.

  14. Observer

    Just to follow up --

    I'm Jewish, and (much like what #13 said) I think what this small vocal minority of ill-informed and mostly afraid small-minded Jews on our campus makes us all look really, really bad.

    • EAL  

      Yes, just like that tiny minority of hunger strikers, Ruddites, and other assorted people who will protest anything makes this University look bad.

    • A-Jad/Bollinger

      As a member of Bnai Haman, "this small vocal minority of ill-informed and mostly afraid small-minded Jews on our campus makes us all look really, really bad" let me assure you of two things.

      1. Not all of our members are Jewish.
      2. You look plenty bad all on your own. You don't need us to help.

  15. Jimmy Donuts

    I'm Jewish as well, and much like #13 and #20 said, it is a bloody tragedy that a small bunch of apikorsim and mamzerim such as those of Bnai Haman actually walk around Columbia.

    These people are an embarrassment to the community, are guilty of the grave sin of chilul hashem, and are the reason I steer clear of the Hillel on this campus.

    Mamzerim, that's what they all are.

  16. ummm

    just pointing out that it doesn't seem like they're at columbia at all...

  17. A-Jad/Bollinger

    Hey, send us your photo and we'll wear your mask as well. You can see a Bollinger mask at www.leebollinger-bnaihaman.com. Even Haman had his Jewish supporters. So why not you?

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