Columbia blasted for Ahmadinejad speech

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Columbia University’s decision to invite the president of Iran to speak has brought outrage from U.S. officials and Jewish groups.

The critics include Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and other presidential candidates and the Anti-Defamation League, the New York Daily News reported.


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is coming to New York next week for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly session. Columbia President Lee Bollinger plans to introduce him when he speaks Monday night at the School of International and Public Affairs.

Critics say any speech from Ahmadinejad will be hate speech. He has questioned whether the Holocaust happened and said Israel should be “wiped off the map.”

"There's no requirement, no moral imperative, to give him a platform that he will not give in Tehran," Abe Foxman of the ADL said.

McCain said instead of inviting Ahmadinejad to the campus, Columbia should lift the ban on military recruiters that has been in place since 1969.

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