WATCH: Former Obama Press Secretary's Wife HORRIFIED By Surge Of Anti-Semitism At President's Alma Mater

By Maria Angelino | Friday, 19 April 2024 12:00 PM
Views 1.9K
Image Credit : Photo by John Smith for USA Today

Claire Shipman, co-chair of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees, expressed her dismay at the "shocking" rise of anti-Semitism on the university's Manhattan campus during a congressional panel on Wednesday.

Shipman, whose husband Jay Carney served as press secretary under former president Barack Obama, a Columbia alumnus, addressed the issue during a House Education Committee hearing.

The hearing, which also featured testimony from Columbia president Minouche Shafik and other school leaders, saw Shipman respond to a lawmaker's query about the "pro-terrorist expressions on campus on a significant scale."

"It's shocking," Shipman said. "I think it says that we have lost our way in terms of what we expect from each other in a learning community and in our society. I think we have to … commit to speech that isn't laced with hate and isn't just meant to provoke."

 WATCH: TRUMP TRENDING FOR TOP HISPANIC VOTESbell_image

Carney, having accepted a position in the Obama administration in 2008, is likely well-acquainted with the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric that has been a persistent issue on the Columbia campus. During Obama's 2008 campaign, his friendship with one of Columbia’s most prominent anti-Semitic professors became a central topic of discussion.

 WATCH: ANA NAVARRO ATTACHED LATINO'S THAT SUPPORT TRUMPbell_image

Despite Obama's professed support for Israel, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2008 that he was a "friend and frequent dinner companion" of Rashid Khalidi, an anti-Israel scholar who has been part of Columbia's history department since 2003. Obama praised Khalidi at a farewell party before the professor joined Columbia, acknowledging that Khalidi provided "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases."

 BIDEN ADMIN PLEADS: DON’T ANGER IRAN UNTIL AFTER NOVEMBER ELECTIONSbell_image

In response to the Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel by Hamas, Khalidi argued that the attack needed "context," blaming Israel's "settler colonialism" and "apartheid" regime on Democracy Now!.

 GLOBAL OUTRAGE: PIERS MORGAN JOINS CHORUS AGAINST BENJAMIN NETANYAHUbell_image

"The context is not just occupation," he said. "The context is settler colonialism and apartheid. You cannot commit daily violence against Palestinians—one Palestinian has died every day this year, in fact, slightly more—in the occupied West Bank. You cannot expect that not to lead to a reaction. The reaction will be violent."

 WTF IS REALLY GOING ON HERE? QATAR AIRWAYS FLIGHT LANDS WITH 12 INJURED AFTER CRAZY TURBULENCEbell_image

Khalidi, who in the 1970s frequently represented the Palestine Liberation Organization, a U.S.-designated terror group, to the press, has faced criticism for anti-Semitic statements during his tenure at Columbia. In 2017, he suggested that supporters of the Jewish state would "infest" the Trump administration, using language reminiscent of anti-Semitic propaganda that depicted Jews as "vermin."

 THIS DISNEY LEGEND DOESN'T MINCE WORDS, REVEALING THE REAL REASON BEHIND DISNEY'S RECENT BOX OFFICE FLOPSbell_image

"These people infest the Trump transition team," he said. "These people infest—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 in Israeli political life, who think that whatever they think can be imposed on reality."

 WATCH JAMES CARVILLE'S EXPLOSIVE VIDEO: THE DEMOCRATS MESSAGING ARE "FULL OF S#*T"bell_image

Obama's ties to Khalidi were not his only connection to controversial figures at Columbia. In 1998, Obama attended a speech by the late Columbia professor Edward Said, who called for a campaign "against Israeli apartheid." Two years later, Said was photographed throwing a stone towards Israel Defense Force soldiers outside a guardhouse. Columbia responded by issuing a letter defending the professor.

X