The racists who put up a noose threatening an innocent Black academic should be expelled from Columbia immediately! But one thing is for sure. Bollinger the forked tongue President of Columbia University opened the door to allowing KKK style activity by opening the door the week before to the Hitler of Iran, while bellowing that the university should allow all speech, even hate speech, to be heard. The KKK racist types took his invitation serious. This strengthens our demands that Bollinger must go. Columbia campus must not be a breeding ground for anti-Semitic or racist rhetoric.

You Can Sure Learn A lot From Columbia

Today a group of Jews angry about the long list of violent attacks by a neo-nazi gang on a number of Jewish professors at Teachers College. JDO was there both to make sure that everything went well as well as to tell who the real culprit of these neo-nazis attacks is. First make no mistake the neo-nazis have a full blown chapter there in Columbia run by a professor from Columbia. But who is the real culprit? Provost at Columbia Teachers College Bill Baldwin who several months ago when the first treatening neo-nazi flyer appeared around the school and in its library said that it was " free speech" for the local neo-nazis to do this. Also that it was being given out by a professor's wife active in neo-nazi groups. The weak appeaser Baldwin opened the door to more nazi & KKK style attacks on various people. BILL BALDWIN AND BOLLINGER MUST GO!


The New York based Jewish Defense Organization today blasted Columbia University for inviting vicious Jew-Hater Holocaust Denier “Hitler of Iran” Iranian President to speak on its campus. JDO especially blasted university President Bollinger for allowing the most vicious collections of Jew-Haters to speak in the campus including members of hate groups in the past. The JDO hotline (212-252-3383) gives out Bollingers phone number and urges angry Jews to flood him with calls. To be sure Bollinger would never allow any speech by a KKK representative as he knows exactly what would happen in the streets outside if he tried it. Bollinger does not mind stabing Jews in the back by inviting someone whose mission in life is threatening Jews in Israel and worldwide with (Heaven Forbid) a Holocaust !

Now Columbia under Bollinger has opened the door to the "Hitler of Iran” and JDO is giving out President Bollinger’s phone # and calling upon outraged Jews to call his offices and demand that Columbia stop inviting vicious Jew-Haters like this from ever speaking at Columbia. JDO is also contacting Columbia alumni to cut off money because of this latest outrage. “ The only way to bring Columbia to its knees and to really punish Bollinger for allowing this is to get to huge numbers of alumni with a message of stop giving to what has become a platform for vicious enemies of Jews-Israel & America.” said JDO National Director Mordechai Levy. There will be a huge deomonstration MONDAY SEP 24 at UN 47 st & 2 Ave 12 noon Be There if You Care! (rally is put together by various Jewish groups) because the UN invited Hitler of Iran to speak!

Comment by Mordechai Levy, National Director, Jewish Defense Organization


The militant Jewish Defense Organization blasted Ahmadinejad during an angry street protest outside Columbia University’'s gates attended by a huge crowd of young Jews angry over President Bolllinger for having invited vicious Jew-Hater Holocaust Denier "Hitler of Iran" Iranian President Ahhamdinejad to speak on its campus. JDO especially blasted Columbia University President Bollinger for allowing the most vicious collections of Jew-Haters to speak in the campus including heads of assorted hate groups in the past. The JDO hotline (212-252-3383) gives out Bollingers phone number and urges angry Jews to flood him with calls. To be sure Bollinger would never allow any speech by a KKK representative as he knows exactly what would happen in the streets outside if he tried it. Bollinger does not mind stabing Jews in the back by inviting someone whose mission in life is threatening Jews in Israel and worldwide with (Heaven Forbid) a Holocaust!

Now,Columbia under Bollinger has opened the door to the" Hitler of Iran" and JDO is giving out President Bollinger's phone # and calling upon outraged Jews to call his offices and demand that Columbia stop inviting vicious Jew-Haters like this from ever speaking at Columbia. During the huge street demonstration attended by thousands. JDO gave out Bollingers home address as a place for future demonstrations. Loud chants of " Ahmadinejad is the Iranian Hitler, and Bollinger Must Be Fired!" There were a number of Columbia alumni some Jewish and some not who openly spoke at the angry protest demanding Bollinger must be fired.

Meantime, JDO is also contacting Columbia alumni to cut off money because of this latest outrage." The only way to bring Columbia to its knees and to really punish Bollinger for allowing this is to get to huge numbers of alumni with a message of stop giving to what has become a platform for vicious enemies of Jews - Israel & America." said JDO National Director Mordechai Levy.

Meanwhile the JDO website and hotline are gearing up for even more demonstrations against Bollinger. "We are going to list all the Columbia's Board and Trustees home addresses so they too can be told in no incertain terms that Bollinger must be fired for the outrage in giving a platform to a modern day Hitler imitator who hates with his whole being Jews, Israel, and America." said JDO representatives at the rally. In fact it is fair to say many proud Jews that day stood up for their fellow Jews, Israel, and America that day. There was only one group backing Ahamadinejad (besides the neo-nazis pigs who were run out by good Jews)

Who were these evil Ahamadinejad backers ? None other than the Marxist Communist led "Anti War Coalition" who will "lie, cheat, steal and rally" in support of the Hitler of Iran.

Seems that at Columbia their is a new coaliton against the Jew, that is Marxists, Neo-Nazis, and a collage of assorted America-Haters all working in tandem against the Jews, and Israel, under the assorted banner of wanting to see the Iranian Hitler try and make another Holocaust (Heaven Forbid) against every Jew in t he world. Those three huge ralles against him yesterday proved that many Jews can be mobilized to stand up and wIth the help of

G-D to the assorted enemies of the Jewish People and Israel. It proves to the young Jews on the campuses who marched with us yesterday, that the Anti-War Coaltion is nothing less than a coalition against the Jews, in support of a nuclear seeking Jew-Hating Hitler imitaing dictator,and the sooner we shut down the "Ahamdinejad cheering section" be it at Columbia or anywhere else. Thank G-D the "cheering section" was uotnumbered and truly intimidated by angry Jewish Militants and angry Jewish youth, and students taking "good serious actions" like these traitors have never seen before,but will see again if JDO gets the real support and backing it needs! So let's really get Bollinger fired, and make an example of him!!! He, Coaltsworth, along with some sick Israel-Hating professor named Gary (the) Sick are the 3 top Columbia people that made this campus the bastion of anti-semitism that it is. Let's run them out before they have David Duke Wat to be Htielr or Farrakhan, the Black Hitler next.

BOLLINGER LIVES AT 60 MORNINGSIDE DRIVE MANHATTAN (corner 116 St),0,4002450.story?coll=ny_entertainment_arts_util

Columbia plans to go ahead with Ahmadinejad

5:19 PM EDT, September 20, 2007


The head of the City Council called Thursday for Columbia University to withdraw its invitation for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at the Ivy League school, saying they were providing a forum for his "hate speech."

"The idea of Ahmadinejad as an honored guest anywhere in our city is offensive to all New Yorkers," Council speaker Christine Quinn wrote. "Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier, here for one reason _ to spread his hate-mongering vitriol on the world stage."

The Iranian president was scheduled to appear Monday at a question and answer session with university faculty and students as part of the school's World Leaders Forum. Columbia spokesman Robert Hornsby said Thursday that there was no plan to cancel the appearance.

Last year, the university dropped plans for a speech by Ahmadinejad due to security and logistical problems. The decision came after a Jewish activist group blasted the university over its invitation to the Iranian president, who has called the Holocaust a "myth" and said Israel should be destroyed.

The Jewish Defense Organization issued a call Thursday for cancellation of this year's speaking date, describing Ahmadinejad as "the Hitler of Iran."

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, in announcing the appearance, said Ahmadinejad has agreed to answer questions on Israel and the Holocaust. He described the event as part of "Columbia's long-standing tradition of serving as a major forum for robust debate, especially on global issues."

That was not enough to satisfy Quinn.

"He can say whatever he wants on any street corner, but should not be given center stage at one of New York's most prestigious centers of high education," she said.

Iran Case Shows Ground Zero Access Tight

NEW YORK (AP) — Almost everyone agrees Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn't belong at ground zero. So who gets access these days to the 16-acre pit where the World Trade Center once anchored the Manhattan skyline, a slice of the city that many regard as hallowed ground?

Construction workers. The families of victims. The occasional journalist. And not too many others, in stark contrast to the days immediately after Sept. 11 when the smoldering site was overrun with celebrities, politicians and even Playboy playmates.

Amid the chaos after the twin towers fell, rescue workers and cleanup crews mingled with a parade of well known visitors: Muhammad Ali, Robert De Niro, cast members from "The Sopranos," Martha Stewart.

Miss America Katie Harman signed body ID tags for grateful workers. Boxing promoter Don King toured the site, as did U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other world leaders. Almost half of the Senate arrived en masse.

The vast majority came to offer support and condolences, although critics suggested others viewed a trip to the devastation as a photo op.

"It was like you had celebrity status only if you got in at ground zero," recalled Brian Jordan, a Franciscan priest who spent long hours in lower Manhattan in the weeks after two hijacked planes struck the towers.

Within a month, the city was turning down hundreds of requests to visit the site and began asking celebrities to avoid the area as the treacherous search for remains continued.

Six years later, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said a proposed ground zero visit by Ahmadinejad during next week's U.N. General Assembly had no chance. Police cited ongoing construction and security concerns, and the Iranian president, who is under Secret Service protection while in the U.S., was told to steer clear.

"We have communicated our concerns to the Iranian Mission," Kelly said. "I am sure they will abide by our statement ... Our position is that he will not be permitted to go."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would provide protection for all guests of the United Nations without requiring that they pass a "litmus test for views." He said of Ahmadinejad: "I personally find what this guy has said abhorrent, and I think it would be inappropriate to have him visit."

Some objected to Ahmedinejad's visit on political grounds.

"To have the leader of the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world visit the site of the most heinous terrorist attack on America would be an affront to the victims and families of 9/11 and to all who lived through that day," said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

The sentiment was echoed by the State Department, where deputy spokesman Tom Casey called the idea of an Ahmedinejad visit "rather appalling and the height of hypocrisy." New York-based presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani also expressed their opposition to the suggested visit.

Giuliani, the mayor at the time of the attacks, was caught in a dust-up when he took a Saudi prince on a tour of the site in October 2001. Giuliani then rejected the prince's $10 million relief check after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East were partly to blame for the carnage.

The Iranian president, in an interview to air Sunday on "60 Minutes," indicated he would not press the issue. "I won't insist," Ahmadinejad said, although he expressed disbelief that the visit would offend Americans.

When reminded by interviewer Katie Couric that the United States considers Iran an exporter of terrorism, he said: "We are very much against any terrorist action and any killing. ... Usually you go to these sites to pay your respects, and also to, perhaps, air your views about the root causes of such incidents."

The reaction to Ahmadinejad's request to lay a memorial wreath was the latest reminder of the still-raw feelings about the site.

Before last week's anniversary of the attacks, family members battled with city officials to gain access to the area where the 110-story buildings once soared. The official ceremony was held in a nearby park, but the mourners were permitted to walk down into the site during the service, perhaps for the last time.

Some family members stayed home rather than participate in the first yearly memorial not held on the site itself.

Hard hats and construction equipment are a daily presence at ground zero. The stream of tourists who visit the site every day must stand on a sidewalk and peer through a fence.

Though Ahmadinejad may not be welcome at ground zero, he is at Columbia University, where he is scheduled to appear Monday at a question-and-answer session with faculty members and students as part of the school's World Leaders Forum.

City Council speaker Christine Quinn, though, is not happy and has called for Columbia to withdraw the invitation, saying it was providing a forum for the leader's "hate speech."

"The idea of Ahmadinejad as an honored guest anywhere in our city is offensive to all New Yorkers," council speaker Christine Quinn wrote. "Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier, here for one reason — to spread his hate-mongering vitriol on the world stage."

Columbia president Lee Bollinger has described the event as part of "Columbia's long-standing tradition of serving as a major forum for robust debate, especially on global issues."

Last year, the university scrapped plans for a speech by Ahmadinejad after the Jewish Defense Organization expressed outrage. The university cited security and logistical problems when it made the announcement.


Columbia Won't Cancel Ahmadinejad Speech

Friday September 21, 2007 5:31 PM

NEW YORK (AP) - Columbia University said it does not plan to call off a speech by Iran's president despite pressure from critics including the City Council speaker, who said the Ivy League school was providing a forum for ``hate-mongering vitriol.''

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is traveling to New York to address the United Nations' General Assembly. He was to appear Monday at a question-and-answer session with Columbia faculty and students as part of the school's World Leaders Forum.

The State Department calls Iran a state sponsor of terror, and Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust ``a myth'' and urged for Israel to be destroyed.

City Council speaker Christine Quinn called Thursday for the university to rescind the invitation, saying ``the idea of Ahmadinejad as an honored guest anywhere in our city is offensive to all New Yorkers.''

Quinn, a Democrat, said Ahmadinejad was coming to the city ``for one reason - to spread his hate-mongering vitriol on the world stage.''

His planned appearance at Columbia also was condemned by Jewish groups including the Jewish Defense Organization, which described Ahmadinejad as ``the Hitler of Iran.''

Columbia spokesman Robert Hornsby said Thursday there was no plan to cancel the appearance, though the university dropped plans for an Ahmadinejad speech last year because of security and logistical problems. The decision came after a Jewish activist group expressed outrage over the invitation.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday that the university was free to invite Ahmadinejad to speak, but ``personally, I wouldn't go to listen to him - I don't care about what he says.''

White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said Friday that the Bush administration had no involvement with Columbia's decision.

``This is a country where people can come and speak their minds,'' he said, adding, ``It would be wonderful if some of the countries that take advantage of that here allowed it for their own citizens there.''

Columbia President Lee Bollinger, in announcing Ahmadinejad's upcoming appearance, described the event as part of ``Columbia's long-standing tradition of serving as a major forum for robust debate.'' He said the Iranian president had agreed to answer questions on Israel and the Holocaust.

Ahmadinejad's trip to New York also ignited a debate this week over his rejected request to lay a wreath at ground zero. Politicians and families of Sept. 11 victims were outraged that Iran's president might visit the site.

Police rejected Ahmadinejad's request, citing construction and security concerns. In an interview scheduled to air Sunday on CBS' ``60 Minutes,'' Ahmadinejad indicated he would not press the issue but expressed disbelief that the visit would offend Americans.


Ahmadinejad: No Gays, No Oppression of Women in Iran

Controversial Visit From Iranian President Stirs a Range of Reactions From Columbia Students


Sept. 24, 2007 —

When not dodging direct questions, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was defiant in his answers at a forum Monday at Columbia University, maintaining that his country seeks nuclear power only for peaceful purposes, that continued research is necessary to determine the facts of the Holocaust, that Iran is not supporting insurgents in Iraq and that women in his country are treated equally.

Despite fears from some that the controversial leader would go unchallenged in his comments, Columbia President Lee Bollinger quickly took the Iranian president to task in his opening statements, calling him "a petty and cruel dictator" and pointing to a number of well-documented instances in which the Iranian regime has executed children, oppressed women and imprisoned and tortured homosexuals, academics and journalists.

"I doubt you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions," Bollinger said ahead of the Ahmadinejad's comments. "I do expect you to exhibit a fanatical mind-set."

Bollinger called Ahmadinejad's previous statements questioning the existence of the Holocaust "preposterous and ridiculous comments."

Ahmadinejad parried many of the questions put to him directly, discussing the plight of the Palestinians rather than directly answering a question about his previous calls for the destruction of the state of Israel.

When asked about the death penalty Iran imposed on homosexuals, Ahmadinejad discussed the death sentence for drug smugglers. When pushed by moderator and acting dean of the School of International and Public Affairs John Coatsworth, the Iranian president said: "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who has told you we have that."

Ahmadinejad insisted that Iran was seeking nuclear technology solely for the purpose of creating a peaceful energy program and not in an effort to create weapons.

He called the world powers -- the United States, France, Great Britain, China and Russia -- opposed to Iran's nuclear program "monopolistic, selfish powers."

"Why," he asked, "can you have this right and we cannot? We have a right to peaceful nuclear power."

Ahmadinejad, dressed in a dark gray suit rather than his signature khaki jacket, further denied that Iran had funded or aided insurgents in Iraq responsible for the deaths of U.S. troops.

"If someone comes and explodes bombs around you and threatens your president, administration and Congress, it is clear you would call them a terrorist. The Iranian nation is a victim of terror," he said.

Students Unmoved

Students said their opinions of the Iranian president changed little after hearing him speak, with those opposed to his presence and those in support of his policies each picking selective quotes from his address to buttress already established feelings.

Though in most circles Ahmadinejad is criticized chiefly for his positions on the Holocaust, Israel, nuclear weapons and suspected support of terror, his denial of the existence and mistreatment of gays in Iran was the one that left students students buzzing.

"Despite differences in the use of certain Western terms and potential errors in translation, he clearly knew what was being asked and what was going on," said Crystal Gonzalez, 20, an economics major and spokeswoman for the Columbia Queer Alliance.

"At first I wasn't sure about what I thought about him coming, but I think it was a good thing that he did and could spark a debate. & He is clearly a master of avoiding questions," she said, adding, "we disapprove and condemn much of what he said."

Though some of the university's Iranian student body declared themselves pro-Ahmadinejad, others took a more measured position, reproaching the president's human rights policies while also reserving criticism for the Bush administration.

"There is no doubt that the current government is disrespectful of human rights, but war is not an answer," said David Trilling, 29, speaking on behalf of the Iranian students at the School for International and Public Affairs, which hosted the event. "Nearly all of us," he said, "do not accept the comments of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

Other students saved criticism for Bollinger, who condemned many of the Iranian leader's earlier comments in his opening statement.

"Yes, he skirted some of the issues," said senior statistics and political science major Max Bulinski of the Iranian leader, "but I believe he believed much of what he said."

"I think it was a mistake for Bollinger to attack him before he was given a chance to speak. Ahmadinejad was right to say he should have been given the chance to let people form their own opinions."

Those who opposed the president before he spoke found much in his speech to oppose afterward.

"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hid behind rhetoric and philosophical musings about wisdom and knowledge," said Esther Lifshitz, a sophomore majoring in political science.

"This wasn't a dialogue; it was a forum for him to say whatever he wanted. Our podium didn't need to be tarnished by his presence."

Pointed, Peaceful Protests

Protests at Columbia's Morningside Heights campus were measured but calm Monday in the moments leading up to Ahmadinejad's speech.

Students were peacefully posting signs and banners but not confronting one another ahead of Ahmadinejad's speech. As they gathered around the iconic statue of Alma Mater in the center of the campus to listen to a slate of diverse student speakers, other protesters, outside and barred from entering the campus, began to gather.

Though the tenor outside the campus was more heated and more colorful, protests and debate still remained peaceful as the police presence nearly matched the number of protesters.

Outside, along Broadway, professional protesters squared off.

"Ahmadinejad is the Iranian Hitler and Columbia President [Lee] Bollinger must go," shouted Mordecai Levy, president of the Jewish Defense Organization.

The Iranian president's presence invited comparisons to President Bush by a number of activist organizations, which used the opportunity not to protest against Ahmadinejad's human rights record but against the war in Iraq.

"Ahmadinejad's speech comes at a time the U.S. is proposing war in Iran," said Sunsara Taylor of Revolution Newspaper before a large crowd of reporters. "Bush is using Ahmadinejad's record and the crimes of his regime as an excuse. Bush has propped up plenty of Islamic terror regimes -- look at the Taliban and Saudi Arabia."

The on-campus protests were far more measured in their tone.

Students Honor Right to Speak

Despite the controversial Iranian leader's history of making inflammatory statements and his suspected terrorist ties, many students said he had a right to speak at the Ivy League school. And some support for the president was evident in signs and banners posted around the campus alongside those condemning his visit.

"I'm not protesting his right to speak," said sophomore Sarah Brafman, 19. "I'm protesting him and his administration's policies."

Brafman said she was not speaking on behalf of any organization, but she, like many students protesting Ahmadinejad's visit, wore black T-shirts distributed by a group calling itself the Columbia Coalition.

For each sign placed on the wall of a building or on a sidewalk protesting the speech, another supporting the Iranian president, or attempting to paint his regime in a positive light, cropped up next to it.

Posters that purportedly showed two gay men that had been beaten at the hands of the Iranian police hung next to signs that read "Iran had the second most Jewish citizens in the Middle East next to Israel" and that its parliament had Jewish and Zoroastrian lawmakers.

A Policy Protest

Many of the students protesting Ahmadinejad's visit insisted that despite earlier media reports, the tenor of the protest was less about banning the president from campus and more about protesting his policies.

Those policies include being "anti-free speech, anti-women's rights, anti-gay rights and calling for the annihilation of a U.N. member state," said Lauren Steinberg, 20, a junior and a political science major.

"Now that he's here, it is important we challenge him," she said.

A number of those who make up Columbia's Iranian student body, many of them women in head scarves, were also present at the center of campus.

Zeinab Fard, a 25-year-old graduate student studying economics, estimated there were more than 100 Iranian students at Columbia.

"It's good that Ahmadinejad is speaking here directly and not through the filter of the American media, which sometimes twists his words," she said.

"Iranians have never bothered the United States, and America has many times attacked Iran. It is important that Americans hear what he has to say. He has a right to be here," Fard said.

One member of the Iranian community said Ahmadinejad did not represent the values of a large part of the country, but his presence on an American university campus was an important symbol to the American people.

"Many Iranians know he is a bit crazy," said Atefeh, the 26-year-old Iranian wife of an engineering student who asked that only her first name be used.

"He was supported mostly by the poor and uneducated. It is good that he is here because this is an occasion in which many Americans will get to learn about the beautiful country of Iran for the first time."

Despite reports that the Iranian government has supplied Iraqi insurgents with materials to kill Americans, one student, a military veteran who served in Germany outfitting U.S. jets with bombs, said Ahmadinejad had a right to speak.

"It is really important that he's here and a dialogue has opened up," said Aaron Bliese, 27, a creative writing graduate student.

"Didn't we learn anything from the last four years? Maybe if we had sat down with Saddam in the first place, and listened to what he had to say, the war could have been diverted. It's important to have a forum."

International Relations

Bollinger condemns Iranian president as “a petty and cruel dictator”

By Emily Muhlhausen with Stokely Baksh, Nadja Drost and Rachel J. King


A captivated audience listened largely in silence as the president of Iran responded to students’ questions and a scathing critique from the president of Columbia University during a controversial appearance on the university’s Manhattan campus today. 


Calling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a “petty and cruel dictator,” Lee Bollinger spent the first 15 minutes of the event posing questions to the Iranian president on his country’s support of terrorist groups, pursuit of enriched uranium and record of human rights violations, as well as his denial of the Holocaust.


Citing Columbia’s close ties to Israel and Ahmadinejad’s previous comments condemning the Jewish state, Bollinger asked, “Do you plan on wiping us off the map, too?”


The event, held as part of the School of International and Public Affairs’ World Leaders Forum, filled the university’s 600-seat Roone Arledge Auditorium to capacity. Inside the campus gates at 116th Street and Broadway, the walls of the student center were plastered with posters protesting the event and photos of Iranians being hung to death. Columbia’s main pedestrian thoroughfare was closed off by campus security, but hundreds of demonstrators gathered on Broadway.


The speech was simultaneously broadcast to a lively crowd of thousands gathered outside on Columbia’s South Lawn to watch what many students said was likely to be the most memorable event they would experience during their time at the university. Students squinted in the sunlight and craned their necks trying to see the image of Ahmadinejad projected on a mammoth screen bordered by huge loudspeakers.


In the days leading up to today’s event, Bollinger has faced widespread criticism over the decision to invite the Iranian president. He defended the invitation as a celebration of free speech and academic freedom, as well as an opportunity to pose tough questions.


Vigorous applause greeted Bollinger’s closing remark, when he said, “Today I feel the weight of the modern civilized world yearning to express their revulsion at what you stand for.”


Before addressing questions taken from the audience read by John Coatsworth, acting dean of the School of International and Public Affairs, Ahmadinejad spoke at length about the value of science and academic freedom. He also accused Bollinger of imparting his preconceived notions on to the audience.


Ahmadinejad said he was taken aback by the unfriendly treatment, unfounded accusations, and the "wave of insults" issued to him by the university's president who called Ahmadinejad "either dangerously provocative or brazenly uneducated."


Perhaps the most provocative of Ahmadinejad’s remarks came in response to a question posed by a student about Iran’s public execution of homosexuals. “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” he said. “In Iran we don’t have this phenomenon. I don’t know who told you that we have it.”  


The statement was greeted by gasps, boos, and in some cases, laughter.


Opposition to Ahmadinejad’s visited centered around Iran’s human rights violations and his denial of the Holocaust.


Lyubov Bistreff stood alone outside the gates, holding a sign that read “Second Generation Holocaust Survivor.” She was 11 years old, she said, when she fled the Holocaust with her mother, two siblings, and one suitcase. “How can he deny it?” she asked. “I’m a witness. I remember everything.”


“Death to Ahmadin-jihad, the Hitler of Iran,” shouted Mordechai Levy, founder and head of the Jewish Defense Organization, a militant offshoot of the Jewish Defense League, as he handed out fliers at the 116th Street entrance to the campus. 


At rallies both inside and outside the campus gates, some students cautiously supported Ahmadinejad’s visit.


“I am not against him speaking unless he spews hate speech,” said Sheena Shirakhon, 20, a senior who was colorfully clad in a silver bikini and blue shorts with the words “NO WAR” written on the top and “ON IRAN” on the rear. “The only way we can ensure democracy for our own people is if we extend it to others.”


Benjamin Shalva, a fifth-year student at The Jewish Theological Seminary, an affiliate of the university, disagreed. “I’m a strong proponent of free speech, but I don’t think this is a free speech issue,” said Shalva. “I feel abandoned by this institution.”


As a band comprised of freshmen gathered in the center of the campus and sang “This Land is Your Land” and “When the Saints go Marching In” accompanied by a trumpet, harmonica, banjo and trash can drums, Alana Sivin, 19, a sophomore, said she was pleasantly surprised at how many students showed up on the university's manicured lawn.


For her, it's a signal that students are engaged and ready to tread on challenging terrain. "If they weren't here,” she said, “what would that say about us?"


Media Pounce on Ahmadinemania


The phones in University President Lee Bollinger's office rang off the hook last week, as media from around the world clamored for a piece of the Ahmadinejad action.

Less than 48 hours after Columbia announced that the Iranian president planned to speak on campus Wednesday evening, at least 50 television reporters and 100 print journalists had requested access to the event, according to a University spokesman. There will be only 35 spots for the press inside Roone Arledge Auditorium on Monday Columbia created a media overflow room but that hasn't stopped a media storm from brewing.

The story landed on the front page of the New York Daily News and New York Post on Thursday and has been non-stop fodder for FOX News all weekend. For the second time in less than a year, Columbia is at the center of one of the nation's most controversial news stories.

Already coverage for the Ahmadinejad story has exceeded that of last year's speech on campus by Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, which ended when students rushed the stage in protest, despite the fact that the Iranian head of state has yet to set foot on campus.

Journalists from a variety of publications and news stations have descended on Morningside Heights. On Saturday, an ABC truck with a satellite tower stretching high into the sky parked at Broadway and 116th Street. And while the cameramen for Good Morning America milled about outside Columbia's gates, Mellen O'Keefe, their producer, ogled the crowds for the perfect interview. When a robe-clad monk strolled by, O'Keefe pounced. “Can we get the Buddhist?” she asked excitedly while hurrying toward him. The man declined to comment.

But many didn't. Natasha Sarraf, BC '08, approached the news team to be interviewed. As a Persian Jew, she said she thought her opinion on Ahmadinejad's visit was especially valid. As she spoke to the camera, gesticulating broadly for emphasis, three bystanders snapped digital photos.

Sarraf told the reporter that she thought Ahmadinejad should be allowed to speak. “Because what our country is based on is the freedom of speech and equality, I don't have a problem with him coming here,she said.

Sarraf's interview didn't make the cut when the segment on Ahmadinejad and Columbia aired Sunday on Good Morning America.

But John Coatsworth, the acting dean of the School for International and Public Affairs, did appear on the show in an interview with anchor Diane Sawyer. Sawyer quizzed him on a statement he had made in a FOX News interview a few days earlier, when he said Columbia would welcome any notable figure visiting the United States even Adolf Hitler”to speak to faculty and students.

Coatsworth isn't the first person affiliated with Columbia to appear in studio for television interviews. At least five students, including Spectator editor in chief John Davisson, have appeared on FOX News shows since Thursday. The interviews, which have been posted on, have provoked a tempest of online comments and sometimes contentious debate.

Bollinger has avoided some of the fray by limiting his personal interviews. On Friday, he spoke on a local radio show. His staff in Low Library, listening to the live stream on their computers, turned the volume on their speakers up. The Jewish Defense Organization had distributed Bollinger's office phone number widely, and the phone had been ringing multiple times per minute since Thursday. As Bollinger took the air, there was moment of calm as his deep, steady voice filled the office and resonated off the light blue walls.

Then the phone rang again.

Between calls, the office assistant listened closely to the radio show. When Bollinger defended his choice of inviting Ahmadinejad, she nodded her head firmly in agreement. When the interviewer noted that Ahmadinejad was a skilled speaker, she stood up from her desk and said, He's not as good as President Bollinger.

In the hallway outside of the Bollinger's office, Columbia Public Safety Security Guard Joey Arroyo stood duty, part of a standing guard that began when the Ahmadinejad hoopla did.

Arroyo said he preferred the calm of the hallway outside of the office to the frenetic mood inside. The atmosphere outside of Low has been equally harried, he said, as security scrambles to keep the pesky, persistent media off campus. But he was clearly bemused by it all. Good thing I shaved today,he said with a grin. I'll look good for my close-up.

The reporters assigned to cover the Ahmadinejad story are a little less good-humored. They know the story is important, and they want to do a good job covering it. It would be irresponsible not to cover this story, said O'Keefe, after interviewing 10 pedestrians about their views on Ahmadinejad.

O'Keefe said Ahmadinejad had captivated the world's attention and that it's the media's duty to report on him. That's what diplomacy has become, she said. It's a multimedia event.

Ivette Sanchez contributed to this article.
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AFP: Talk of war is 'propaganda': Iranian leader

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives at a forum for world leaders at Columbia University in New York City. Ahmadinejad Monday dismissed talk of war against Iran as "propaganda" and combatively took on US critics who accuse him of denying the Holocaust and backing terrorism.

Talk of war is 'propaganda': Iranian leader

NEW YORK (AFP) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Monday dismissed talk of war against Iran as "propaganda" and combatively took on US critics who accuse him of denying the Holocaust and backing terrorism.

At the start of a deeply controversial visit to attend UN meetings here, the Iranian leader insisted his Islamic republic had every right to pursue a civilian nuclear program and said "we are a peace-loving nation."

In a tense exchange at New York's Columbia University, Ahmadinejad accused the institute's president Lee Bollinger of a "wave of insults and allegations against me" after Bollinger had introduced the Iranian leader.

Inviting Ahmadinejad to speak at one of America's leading centers of learning "is consistent with the idea that one should know thine enemy ... to confront with the mind of evil," Bollinger had said to cheers from students.

Ahmadinejad grew more relaxed as he got into his stride to accuse the United States of trying to block Iran's legitimate desire to achieve scientific progress in its atomic program.

"We do not believe in nuclear weapons. Period. This goes against the whole grain of humanity," he said.

Smiling and occasionally laughing as he explained Iran's culture and outlook on the world, Ahmadinejad drew the biggest jeers from students for stating that his country has no homosexuals.

"In Iran we don't have this phenomenon, I don't know who you told this," he exclaimed, while also insisting that Iran was a "victim" of terrorism and not an instigator.

Ahmadinejad, who has called for the destruction of Israel and downplayed the Holocaust, said he was open to meeting survivors of the devastating Nazi pogrom against the Jews.

"But let us remember then where did the Holocaust happen to begin with? It happened in Europe. And given that, why is it that the Palestinian people should be displaced?" he said earlier via satellite to Washington's National Press Club.

He also said Iran was working with UN nuclear inspectors "and our activities are legal and for peaceful purposes.

"We think that talk of war is a propaganda tool. Why is there a need for a war?"

France has taken an increasingly strong line in the dispute over Iran's uranium enrichment program, which the United States and its allies fear is an effort to build an atomic bomb.

The UN Security Council has adopted three resolutions against Iran. Two include sanctions because of Iran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

Speaking at the UN, which Ahmadinejad was to address Tuesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said France was ready to help any country that wants to have civilian nuclear power.

"It is the best response to those who, in violation of all the treaties, want to arm themselves with nuclear weapons," he said, as the UN Security Council debates new sanctions over Iran's atomic program.

Asked about Iraq, Ahmadinejad again denied Iran was providing advanced weapons to Shiite extremists to use against US troops.

"We think, in fact, the (US) military should seek an answer to its defeat in Iraq elsewhere," he said, insisting Tehran wanted a stable Iraq on its border.

Outside Columbia, 100 protestors gathered to vent their fury that Ahmadinejad had been given a venue to speak out.

"Stop Ahmadinejad, the Hitler of Iran," chanted one protester, Mordechi Levy of the Jewish Defense Organization, calling for alumni to boycott the university.

The New York Post headlined its story of Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia "Madman Guest of Dishonor," after earlier crying "Evil has Landed."

The tabloid press led a public outcry over a request by Ahmadinejad to visit the Ground Zero site of New York's World Trade Center, whose twin towers were felled in the September 11 attacks of 2001.

His desired visit to what many Americans view as hallowed ground was nixed by New York police for security reasons, but in any case it would have been a "travesty," according to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"I think this is somebody who is the president of a country that is probably the greatest sponsor of state-sponsored terrorism, someone who is a Holocaust denier, someone who has talked about wiping other countries off the map," she told the CNBC television network.

But ahead of his UN speech, Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency: "We need to take advantage of such opportunities to present the positions of the Iranian people as they (the Americans) are very keen to hear them."