The dean of Columbia Law School,David Schizer, has posted a statement on the university’s disgrace that includes these sentences:
Mr. Ahmadinejad is a reprehensible and dangerous figure who presides over a repressive regime, is responsible for the death of American soldiers, denies the Holocaust, and calls for the destruction of Israel. It would be deeply regrettable if some misread this invitation as lending prestige or legitimacy to his views.
While the dean’s candor on what Ahmadinejad represents is welcome, the idea that “prestige or legitimacy” is not inherent in the invitation is just absurd. It is the “World Leaders Forum” at one of the world’s great universities –of course Columbia is not merely “lending” the fanatic “prestige” and “legitimacy,” it is wholesaling both to him and all he represents.
For as long as we recall that Iran has been killing American soldiers and Marines, we will also recall that when Ahmadinejad came to the United States, it was Columbia that welcomed him and gave him a stage, a microphone, a vast audience and all the “prestige” and “legitimacy” Columbia can confer.