The Columbia Palestine Forum, a group of Columbians supporting “the rights of Palestinians to education and self-determination,” launched today. The Forum is joining the ranks of similar organizations at University of Rochester, NYU (we know all about that one), Hampshire and various universities across the United Kingdom in demanding, among other things, that Columbia release a statement defending the “academic freedoms of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.”
In its mission of intent, the Forum also demands that the University disclose its budget, have an open forum for dealing with its corporations and investments, partner with a Palestinian university in order to provide academic aid, grant a certain number of scholarships to allow Palestinian students to attend Columbia, and explicitly support the right for the self-determination and education of Palestinians. If these sound similar to the Take Back NYU! demands, that’s because they are.
The forum is holding a teach-in on Wednesday evening at 7 in Hamilton 516, featuring some of your favorite outspoken professors: Bruce Robbins, Mahmood Mamdani, Gil Anidjar, Brinkley Messick, speaking about the University’s responsibility in terms of Palestinian support and academic freedom.