The next round of controversy at Columbia will involve remarks of a dean who says that Hitler would have been welcome on Morningside Heights if he would take questions from students.
The dean, John Coatsworth, heads the same institution that will serve as Columbia's host for President Ahmadinejad. The decision of Columbia to honor the Iranian anti-Semite and terror master with a speaking platform has drawn outrage among political leaders in the city, including the speaker of the City Council, Christine Quinn.
"If Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform from which to speak, he would have plenty of platforms to speak in the United States," Mr. Coatsworth said in an interview with Fox News that was linked last evening by the Drudge Report. "If he were willing to engage in debate and a discussion to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him."
A former professor of history at Harvard, Mr. Coatsworth is dean of the university's School of International and Public Affairs, whose graduates, according to a statement Mr. Coatsworth issued last week, "serve as diplomats, intelligence analysts, security experts, business leaders, human rights activists," and leaders of non-governmental organizations.
Columbia acknowledged last week that the visit to the university of Mr. Ahmadinejad was initiated not by the university but by the Iranian envoy to the United Nations through a faculty member, Richard Bulliet. Mr. Bulliet is described in Wikipedia as having been criticized for, among other things, "his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as overly favoring the Palestinian cause" and also for offering "qualified support" for the revolution that brought the mullahs to power in Iran in 1979.