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January 03, 2008

Washington Post Editor Dubs Harassed Jewish Students "Radical"

In his most recent column in the Jewish Advocate (Jan. 4, "Cover up at the Post"), David Project president Charles Jacobs notes that an editor at the Washington Post decided to brand as "radicals" the Jewish students who felt compelled to speak out about harassment and intimidation by Columbia University professors:

[Joseph] Massad ... is famous for being accused in the David Project's film, "Columbia Unbecoming," as a harasser of pro-Israel students inside his classroom. One student testified that he told her, "If you deny Israeli atrocities, get out of my class." Columbia's own investigation reprimanded him for that.

... [The Washington Post] discredited the students by reporting that "the school was rocked by accusations from a group of radical Jewish students of intimidation by Middle East language professors." But these students were anything but "radical." The only thing "radical" about them was that they decided they had had enough of Massad's bullying.

I wrote a letter to the editor explaining that "as anyone who viewed the film would know, the students were .. soft-spoken, articulate centrists and progressives who wanted to protect their own free speech in classrooms where only Arabist viewpoints were taught, valued or permitted."

(It turned out that a Post editor inserted the word "radical" in the story -- without telling the writer.")

The Post didn't run Jacobs's letter, but it did decide to run the following correction:

"A Dec. 16 A-section article on divisions at Columbia University incorrectly characterized as radical a group of Jewish students who had alleged intimidation by Middle East language professors."

Posted by at January 3, 2008 04:55 PM


It is always frustrating to read stories like this, because we would expect truth in reporting. Great blog here! Keep up the good fight!

Posted by: Yehudi at January 6, 2008 08:01 PM

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