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Columbia Law Review Board joins student editors in publishing controversial article

The Columbia Law Review’s board of directors clung to a group of student editors on Thursday and reinstated it Legal review’s website and publishing a controversial article without so much as a note from the editor indicating that it did not go through the journal’s standard editorial process.

The measure comes after the board ‘temporarily suspended’ the site on Monday after a group of about thirty student editors published the article – titled ‘On the way to Nakba as a legal concept’ that day around 2 a.m., despite a request from the board to postpone publication. due to errors in the machining process, potential pieces are usually available for the Judgement’s approximately 100 members to be reviewed prior to publication; in this case, most editors were not aware of the existence of the “Nakba” piece until Saturday, just two days before its surprise publication, the Free beacon reported.

As a result, a Tuesday letter to student editors obtained by the Washington free beaconthe Judgement’The board’s board demanded that an editor’s note be added to the piece detailing deficiencies in the “usual processes of review and editing.” A day later, a group of 25 student editors voted against adding the editor’s note. The board reinstated the case on Thursday afternoon Judgement’No note has been added to the piece. Instead, linked at the bottom of the site’s home page is a statement from the board that “remembers” the board’s “concerns about the process.”

A Columbia faculty member expressed disappointment in the board’s decision to forego the editor’s note. “There are major governance issues at Columbia that need to be resolved for the long-term health of the institution,” the professor told the newspaper Free beacon.

When asked about the decision to reinstate the website, Columbia Law School referred to the Free beacon to the board’s statement, which differs from the originally proposed statement, indicating that some sort of agreement has been reached with the student editors.

“Rather than further delay publication of the May issue, the Board is temporarily rethinking its concerns about the process and its long-term goal of protecting the integrity of the Review,” the statement said. “The Board of Directors looks forward to further discussions with the Board of Directors on this matter.”

Sohum Pal, one of the Judgement Editors who rejected the board’s deal told it Intercept that “this past semester was about students recognizing their power and stepping into their power,” adding that he was “very happy that the law school students are doing the same.” Pal is also a PhD student in the Department of History.

The ordeal comes as Columbia University leaders continue to grapple with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic demonstrations.

Student protesters at the Ivy League school promised a “summer of disruption” after the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter set up a third unauthorized encampment this weekend, coinciding with the school’s alumni reunions. Those attending the festivities were greeted by a sign that read: “I want your hands on the neck of Israel.”

The “Nakba” piece, written by Harvard University doctoral student Rabea Eghbariah, contains a series of inflammatory rhetoric against Jews.

In a footnote, he wrote that Israel “has exploited the Holocaust to create a powerful narrative that monopolizes victimhood to the state.” In another passage, he argued that the Holocaust created an “ethnonationalist Jewish identity” that turned a “victim group” into “victims.”

“The rise of Nazism to power and its culmination in the Holocaust contributed to the creation of an exclusivist and ethnonationalist Jewish identity among European Jewry, ultimately popularizing the political project of Zionism,” Eghbariah wrote.

“If Apartheid taught us about the dangers of racism and the possibility of reconciliation, and the Holocaust taught us about the banality of evil and warned ‘Never again,’ the Nakba can complicate our understanding of these lessons by reminding us that group victimization is not a fixed category, and that a group of victims can easily become victims.”

The 2024-2025 board is chaired by Columbia Law Professor Gillian Metzger and includes Columbia Law School Dean Gillian Lester. Neither responded to requests for comment.

The Law Review’s editor-in-chief is Alexandria Iraheta Sousa, a rising third-year law student who has worked for numerous progressive nonprofits, including a dark money group, Demand Justice, which is advocating for the Supreme Court. Other student leaders from the Judgement include executive articles editor Juan Ramon Riojas, executive essays editor Mohamed Camara, executive forum editor TJ (Tyrone) Braxton, executive editor Susie Emerson, and executive notes editor Tashayla Borden. They did not respond to requests for comment.

Eghbariah, the author of the piece ‘Nakba’, is no stranger to inflammatory rhetoric towards Jews. Last month, he spoke at an alternative graduation ceremony at Harvard, which was intended to honor students who were unable to graduate because of their participation in an unauthorized encampment. Eghbariah urged those present to fight for “liberation.”

“The student movement will neither stop nor rest,” he said. “You understood that liberation is never granted but taken; that freedom is a daily practice and struggle; that it is valuable to express your opinion here and now.”

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