Columbia University ‘Nakba Project’ promotes BDS

A Columbia University project promotes anti-Israel bias and myths while providing a platform for BDS, according to Im Tirtzu, a student Zionist group.

A Columbia University-sponsored project promotes extreme anti-Israel rhetoric and provides a platform for propagators of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement, a report released Sunday by the Im Tirtzu Zionist student organization says.

The report focuses on “The Nakba & The Law” project, a joint initiative of Columbia U’s Center for Palestine Studies and Adalah, an anti-Israel NGO.

Launched in 2016, the project features blog-style posts on the topic of the so-called Nakba, the Arabic word for “catastrophe” used by Palestinian Arabs in reference to the establishment of the State of Israel.

According to the report, of the 32 authors listed on the project’s website, 17 openly support the BDS movement, three are affiliated with BDS organizations and six work for the radical anti-Israel NGO Adalah, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes, defends terrorists in court and works in international institutions to isolate Israel.

Of the six authors who have no public affiliation with the BDS movement or Adalah, there is no shortage of extreme anti-Israel rhetoric, including accusations of Israel being an apartheid state, allegations of Israeli massacres of Palestinians and equating the “Nakba” with the Holocaust.

Among the authors is Columbia Professor Katherine Franke, one of the project’s editors, who co-authored a report defending the Black Lives Matter platform that accuses Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinians.

Professor Amahl Bishara, another author, openly defended several terrorists, including Rasmea Odeh, who masterminded the murder of two Israeli students.

Yet another, Randa Wahbe, publicly advocated on behalf of two senior officials of the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) terror group.

According to “The Nakba & The Law” website, one of the project’s sponsors is The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, an organization that is under the purview of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and is heavily funded by the Dutch government.

‘Hypocritical Attempt to Rewrite History’

Matan Peleg, CEO of  Im Tirtzu, dismissed the Nakba myth as “a hypocritical attempt to rewrite history and to undermine the very existence of the State of Israel.”

“This project is not only an insidious attempt to blacken the Jewish State, but is an example of the unholy alliance between anti-Zionist Israeli NGOs, European governments and the BDS movement,” he pointed out.

“It is important to unapologetically call the Nakba what it is: nonsense,” said Peleg, referring to Im Tirtzu’s “Nakba Nonsense” booklet.

Ilan Sinelnikov, president of Students Supporting Israel, an organization active in combating anti-Israel bias on US campuses, said that “this shameful anti-Israel project only emphasizes the dire situation at Columbia University and campuses throughout the US. It is shameful that such a university is sponsoring a project that provides a platform to the BDS movement, which goal is to destroy the Jewish state.”

Sinelnikov called on Columbia administration to act immediately to shut down the project.

A Hotbed of Anti-Semitism

Incidentally, Columbia experienced the highest overall anti-Semitic activity last year among more than 100 US schools. According to the AMCHA Initiative’s second annual report on the subject, Columbia also had the largest increase in such episodes, with 29 more incidents in 2016 than in the previous year.

In total, the campuses surveyed in the report experienced a 40-percent spike in anti-Semitic behavior, with 433 incidents recorded in 2016.

Several US university and college campuses have become a hotbed for anti-Israel and pro-BDS activity. Many have passed resolutions calling for a boycott of Israel, although the attempt at an academic boycott has failed overall.

However, anti-Israel activities on US campuses have significantly inspired an increase in on-campus anti-Semitism.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News