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5 April 2005


In late 2004, claims of intimidation in the department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC) of Columbia University hit newspapers around the world after an unreleased documentary Columbia Unbecoming, which purported to reveal incidences of intimidation and anti-Semitism in the classroom. The primary target of the organized campaign was Professor Joseph Massad.

On 31 March 2005, Columbia University publicly released the report of a faculty Ad Hoc Grievance Committee charged with examining student complaints of intimidation in the classroom by faculty in the department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC). The report can be read via links in either of the two articles below.

The Ad Hoc Grievance Committee, which was composed of five University faculty members and advised by First Amendment scholar and Columbia Visiting Professor Floyd Abrams, was formed in December 2004 to identify the facts underlying student concerns of intimidation in the classroom.

* Joseph Massad’s statement to Columbia

University’s Ad Hoc Grievance Committee

* Joseph Massad’s response to the Ad Hoc

Grievance Committee Report

EI in the Press ACTIVIST SPEAKS ON DIFFICULTY OF MID-EAST PEACE Nessie Sloan, The Cornell Daily Sun, 5 April 2005

Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian activist and co-founder of Electronic Intifada, a website that explores the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through a Palestinian perspective, spoke at Cornell yesterday evening and shed light on the fundamental debate: “Is Peace in Palestine a doomed fantasy?” Abunimah was brought to Cornell by a new Cornell club, Student Advocates of Palestine. “Our goal is to educate people in Cornell about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from the Palestinian perspective,” president Chris Tozzi ‘08 said.

— ABOUT US: The Electronic Intifada (EI) is a not-for-profit, independent publication committed to comprehensive public education on the question of Palestine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the economic, political, legal, and human dimensions of Israel’s 37-year occupation of Palestinian territories.

EI, found at provides a needed supplement to mainstream commercial media representations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More information about our work can be found at

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