At Columbia, the Antisemitic Plot Thickens

At Columbia, the antisemitic plot thickens.

“Three Columbia Deans Placed on Leave Pending Investigation,” by Eliana Johnson, Washington Free Beacon, June 20, 2024:

Three of the Columbia University deans caught exchanging dismissive text messages during a May 31 panel on anti-Semitism have been placed on leave as the university investigates the incident, a spokesman for the school said Thursday.

As part of the college’s alumni reunion week, Columbia College administrators, knowing of the alarm expressed by many alumni at the stories of antisemitic harassment of Jewish students by anti-Israel and pro-Hamas demonstrators on the campus, and the claims by Jews that they received no support from the administration, decided to put on a show. Jewish students would be allowed to publicly air their complaints, as participants in a panel discussion on May 31, in the presence of several Columbia College deans, faculty members, and members of the alumni reunion classes, who would be able to observe this airing of grievances, as a way to allay fears that the college administrators were not doing enough to address the Jewish students’ claims of harassment and violence.

“The Dean of Columbia College informed his team today that three administrators have been placed on leave pending a university investigation of the incident that occurred at the College alumni reunion several weeks ago,” the spokesman said.

That dean, Josef Sorett, who also took part in the text exchanges, “reiterated his commitment to learning from this situation and other incidents over the last year to build a community of respect and healthy dialogue.”

The three deans placed on leave, Susan Chang-Kim, Matthew Patashnick, and Cristen Kromm, were captured—along with Sorett—exchanging derisive and anti-Semitic text messages. The texts included Kromm’s use of vomit emojis to refer to a Columbia University rabbi’s op-ed sounding the alarm about the eruption of anti-Semitism on campus and Patashnick’s accusation that one of the panelists, Columbia Hillel director Brian Cohen, was taking “full advantage of this moment” for its “fundraising potential.”

A Columbia spokesman said the school had no comment regarding why Sorett, who took part in the text exchanges, was not placed on leave or on the propriety of Sorett making the announcement that his colleagues are under investigation. Likewise, the spokesman declined to say who would conduct the investigation, to whom the results would be reported, and whether the results would be made public….

We still don’t know what Dean Sorett himself expressed when he took part in the exchanges among the three deputy deans. Did he join in the unseemly, unsympathetic, and downright antisemitic mocking of the Jewish students who testified? Or did he denounce the deputy deans in his own emails, and tell them to stop? His own emails will now be subject to investigation by— one assumes — an outside committee.

When the investigation — perhaps by an outside law firm — is complete, one hopes that the three deputy deans, following their display of antisemitic amusement at the Jewish witnesses testifying as to how they have been mistreated on campus, without any support forthcoming from the administration, will be discharged. As for Dean Sorett himself, much will depend on whether his emails show him scolding the deputy deans, or remaining silent, or joining in the general hilarity. If it is the latter, then he, too, must go.



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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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