Ahmadinejad's Speech at Columbia 'A Charade'
New York, NY, September 24, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia University "a charade of half-answers and obfuscation" and anything but the much-touted scholarly free exchange of ideas promised by the university.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
Columbia University did not serve its students, city, or reputation in providing a platform to the charade of half-answers and obfuscation delivered by President Ahmadinejad. President Ahmadinejad's statements added nothing to what we already know about the Iranian regime.
Asked directly if Iran seeks to destroy Israel, he did not answer the question. Asked how he could ignore the decades of scholarship on the Holocaust and instead embrace the shoddy manipulations of Holocaust deniers, he spoke of Palestinians, academic freedom – anything but answering the question. He misrepresented public information on Iran's nuclear program and its development of nuclear weapons. He ignored questions about Iran's human rights outrages.
Indeed, the fact that Columbia President Lee Bollinger himself felt it necessary to slam the Iranian leader in his opening remarks underscored the fact that Columbia should never have invited this 'petty and cruel dictator' in the first place.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.