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Text of Letter to Guest Columnist

The below letter was sent as an e-mail to Gila Fakterman, one of two authors of the Jan. 28, 2009 opinion column “Expecting More from an MIT Professor: How Prof. Chomsky’s Talk Failed the Community.”

The letter was condemned by senior members of the MIT administration who wrote, in an open letter to The Tech, “the subsequent anonymous email sent to the letter’s authors was unmistakably hostile and hurtful. While such expression is legally protected, its content merits our strongest condemnation.” See page 4 for the full administration response.

An Information Services & Technology consultant told Fakterman that it appeared the message originated from Eastern Washington University. The Tech column was widely available on the Internet, and someone could easily have found the column using a service like Google News and responded to the column by e-mail.

“We urge all members of our community to honor MIT’s admirable tradition of using our right to free expression in ways that promote informed, respectful debate,” wrote Chancellor Phillip L. Clay PhD ’75, Vice Chancellor Steven R. Lerman ’72, Dean for Student Life Chris Colombo, and Dean for Undergraduate Education Daniel E. Hastings ’78, in the Monday e-mail.

Public condemnation is a rare action by the MIT administration, which does not generally comment on campus discussions. To provide context for the administrators’ response, The Tech has printed the text of the letter below.

Subject: I agree with Hitler

Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 22:00:01 -0800 (PST)

From: “Kember M.” <kllminh@yahoo.com>

To: gila@MIT.EDU

Hello,

I’m wondering, how long will those stupid jews use Hitler as a crutch to avoid self-criticism?

Israel is a terrorist, apartheid state. They deserve to be compared DIRECTLY TO HITLER, not indirectly, as Professor Chomsky noted in his speech.

You act like a piece of shit, you treat people with the same respect as jews were treated (dark-skinned people, not white. i know it’s hard for you to understand) in daily life, spit in their face at every opportunity, you deserve to be criticized as Hitler’s ilk.

You are an incredibly weak individual, if you think Israel deserve’s to be held above Hitler, or Bush, or any other evil government. I feel sorry for you, but I have to point it out to you directly, I can’t just let your statement against the greatest thinker of our time go unpunished.

Start thinking rationally, it will do you good!!!

good day,