- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 3, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) — A special committee found no evidence that professors at Columbia University made anti-Semitic statements to intimidate Jewish students in classes, according to a university report released Thursday.

But the five-member panel did identify one instance in which a professor “exceeded commonly accepted bounds” of behavior when he angrily implied that a student should leave the classroom after the student defended Israel’s conduct toward Palestinians.

Joseph Massad, a professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history, repeatedly has denied the accusations, and the university has taken no action against him.

Columbia’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, ordered the investigation after a group of students made a video accusing Middle Eastern studies professors of harassment. The video was funded by the David Project, a Boston-based pro-Israel group.

In a statement posted on Columbia’s Web site in November, Mr. Massad said the video aimed “to stifle pluralism, academic freedom and the freedom of expression on university campuses in order to ensure that only one opinion is permitted.”

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