(Campus Reform) A Columbia University professor notorious for promoting anti-Israel boycotts was forced to walk back comments warning that Israel supporters will “infest” the United States government after Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“There are a group of people, a lot of them in Israel and some of them in the United States, who live in a world of their own,” Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia University, declared in an interview with Chicago radio station WBEZ last week. “And unfortunately, these people infest the Trump transition team, these people are going to infest our government as of January 20. And they are hand in glove with a similar group of people in the Israeli government and Israeli political life who think that whatever they think can be imposed on reality.”
Khalidi asserted that the individuals to whom he was referring “think that whatever they want, and whatever cockamamie schemes they can cook up, can be substituted for reality,” elaborating that “they have a vision whereby the occupied territories aren’t occupied; they have a vision whereby there is no such thing as the Palestinians; they have a vision whereby international law doesn’t exist; they have a vision whereby the United States can unilaterally cancel a decision in the United Nations.”
Khalidi quickly walked back his comments after facing accusations of being anti-Semitic, claiming that he was merely referring to individuals of any religious persuasion who support the Israeli government.
“I recognize that it was infelicitous phrasing,” he told The Forward. “I was of course referring to those figures in and around the new administration and the Netanyahu government, irrespective of their religion, who promote a pro-occupation and pro-settlement political agenda.”…