WJC President Ronald S. Lauder calls to cease donations to Columbia University over invitation to antisemitic Malaysian PM

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WJC President Ronald S. Lauder calls to cease donations to Columbia University over invitation to antisemitic Malaysian PM

NEW YORK - World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder sent a letter to Columbia University President Lee Bollinger on Tuesday to express his severe consternation over the university’s decision to host the unabashedly antisemitic prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, to deliver an address on campus this week. 
 
In his letter to Bollinger, Amb. Lauder wrote that in light of this event and against the backdrop of rising vitriol targeting Jewish students on campus, he would be encouraging his friends to immediately cease their contributions to the university “until such a time when antisemitic despots are no longer welcome on your campus.”
 
The full text of the letter can be viewed here
 
Amb. Lauder has already spoken out against the invitation, releasing a statement on Monday in which he recalled the same university’s hosting of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2007, and said: “Columbia University should be ashamed of themselves. It is no surprise that incidents of anti-Semitism are on the rise in New York City when it is being preached from the stages of one of its premier universities.”
 
In his letter to Bollinger on Tuesday, Amb. Lauder underscored that the invitation to an outspoken antisemite to speak on campus “is consistent with the double standard against Jewish people, which would never be tolerated with someone who spoke similarly against people of color, gay people or other minorities.”
 
“I am not a Columbia alum. I went to Penn and my family and I have been among its largest benefactors. I will honestly tell you that if Amy Gutmann at Penn was as consistent in allowing antisemitic speakers on her campus as you are at Columbia, I would seriously consider stopping my funding. Accordingly, I will be encouraging all of my friends to immediately cease any of their contributions to your institution until such a time antisemitic despot are no longer welcome on your campus,” Lauder wrote.

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