Morningside Heights to be Visited by Modern-Day Haman

Mahmoud AhmadinejadThis Monday, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, will deliver the keynote address at Columbia University‘s World Leaders Forum. The event is co-sponsored by the School of International and Public Affairs and will be moderated by John H. Coatsworth, Acting Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs.

The “generous” hatemonger has kindly obliged to take part in a question and answer forum at the conclusion of his anti-semitic talk. The Columbia website announces: “If you were unable to register for the event but would still like to submit a question, please email your question to worldleaders@columbia.edu with the subject line, ‘Question for the President of Iran.’ Due to the large volume of questions, we cannot guarantee that yours will be read at the event. Thank you.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Lee BollingerOf course, like every other citizen of democracy in their right mind, I find this public, academic forum given to a demonic despot to be utterly unacceptable. I have tremendous respect for President Lee Bollinger (pictured at right) and his strong stance on the freedom of speech issue, however, he should have used his authority to keep this travesty from ever taking place. Here is the Zionist Organization of America’s statement on this event.

Perhaps the most shameful part about this event is that it will take place in Alfred Lerner Hall on the Columbia University campus. Alfred Lerner Hall is named for the late Jewish, billionairre philantropist Al Lerner, who was the former owner of the Cleveland Browns NFL football team. Mr. Lerner was successful in real estate and banking, and was chairman and chief executive of the MBNA Corporation. According to his NY Times obituary from 2002, he was born in Brooklyn, the only child of Jewish immigrants from Russia. The family lived in three rooms behind their candy store and sandwich shop. The family only closed the store three days a year, on Jewish holidays.

Al Lerner is certainly rolling in his grave knowing that this “Modern Day Haman” is speaking in a building named for him. What a shame.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | http://blog.rabbijason.com | Twitter: @RabbiJason | facebook.com/rabbijasonmiller