The Ford Foundation, which came under congressional scrutiny in 2003 for supporting groups committed to destroying Israel, is again drawing censure from elected officials and watchdog groups, this time for funding a panel at Columbia University highlighting a professor who blames Israel and its American supporters for the Iraq War and for Al Qaeda terrorism against America.
Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, co-author of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" with Stephen Walt, a professor at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, is scheduled to speak at Columbia's Heyman Center for the Humanities next month on the issue of free speech in academia. The October 30 panel, titled "Freedom and the University," is funded with a $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation for research and speaking events related to academic freedom.
Messrs. Mearsheimer and Walt's thesis is that a vast "Israel lobby," which includes the editors of the New York Times, "neoconservative gentiles," and even students at Columbia University, steer American foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction. They have argued that the lobby manipulates the American government to act in ways opposed to its national interest. And they have also argued that pressure, amounting to informal censorship, is put on those who are critical of Israel. (MORE)