US/World News

Columbia U prof: Israel is almost identical to ISIS

(JTA) – A Columbia University professor wrote on Facebook that the only difference between Israel and the Islamic State, is that Zionist columnists defend the Jewish state’s “terrorist cause.” Hamid Dabashi, a professor in the university’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, wrote this two weeks ago, triggering an outcry by pro-Israel students. The “murderous thugs” of the jihadist group “conquered parts of Syria and declared a ‘caliphate,’” Dabashi wrote. “Their ISRAELI counterparts meanwhile conquered parts of Syria and declared it part of their Zionist settler colony.” He added: “The only difference: ISIS does not have a platoon of clean shaven and well coiffured [sic] columnists at the New York Times propagating the cause of the terrorist outfit as the Zionists columnists do on a regular basis.”

The university chapter of Students Supporting Israel wrote in a statement April 3: “This kind of utterly despicable and repugnant statement is not to be expected from a tenured faculty holder in an Ivy League institution.” The university did not immediately reply to queries on Dabashi.

Separately, in the United Kingdom, Zeid Truscott, a University of Bath student running for the National Union of Students’ executive committee, shared an article  alleging that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Isis, was trained by the Mossad. The Union of Jewish Students said it is “deeply troubled” by Truscott’s antisemitic social media posts.

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