Columbia University professor says Israel almost identical to Islamic State

Hamid Dabashi claims only difference between the two is that the Jewish state has columnists at NY Times to defend its ‘terrorist cause’

Cnaan Liphshiz is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

Hamid Dabashi (Screen capture: YouTube)
Hamid Dabashi (Screen capture: YouTube)

JTA — A Columbia University professor wrote on Facebook that the only difference between Israel and the Islamic State jihadist group, is that Zionist columnists defend the Jewish state’s “terrorist cause.”

Hamid Dabashi, a professor in the university’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, made the claims last week, triggering an outcry by pro-Israel students.

The “murderous thugs” of the jihadist group “conquered parts of Syria and declared a ‘caliphate,’” Dabashi wrote. “Their ISRAELI counterparts meanwhile conquered parts of Syria and declared it part of their Zionist settler colony.”

He added: “The only difference: ISIS does not have a platoon of clean shaven and well coiffured [sic] columnists at the New York Times propagating the cause of the terrorist outfit as the Zionists columnists do on a regular basis.”

The university chapter of Students Supporting Israel wrote in a statement Thursday: “This kind of utterly despicable and repugnant statement is not to be expected from a tenured faculty holder in an Ivy League institution.” Fox News and other media reported that the university did not immediately reply to queries on Dabashi.

Butler Library at New York City’s Columbia University. (Wikimedia Commons)

Separately, in the United Kingdom a candidate running for the National Union of Students’ executive committee also equated Israel to the Islamic State.

Zeid Truscott, a University of Bath student, shared an article five years ago alleging that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, was trained by the Mossad.

The Union of Jewish Students said it is “deeply troubled” by what is called anti-Semitic social media posts by Truscott.

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