Columbia U In Panic As Anti-Israel Protests Turn Ugly

( – Columbia University in New York is just one of many institutes of higher learner across America that has been host to numerous pro-Palestine and anti-Israel demonstrations by students ever since the Palestinian Hamas terror group committed its October 7, 2023, massacre on Israeli soil. Over the last six months as Israel has continued with its military action against Hamas in the Gaza strip, which continues to hold 130 Israeli hostages although it is unclear how many are still alive, tensions have continued to worsen on many campuses, Columbia University included.

The situation at Columbia University is reported to have become so dire that Rabbi Elie Buechler, who is part of the Columbia University Orthodox Union Jewish Learning Initiative, sent a WhatsApp message to around 300 Jewish students strongly advising them to leave campus for their own safety. Buechler claimed that it was clear that the University administration would not protect Jewish students from antisemitic violence and suggested that they would be better off at home until the situation on campus “dramatically improved”.

Another Jewish association associated with the university, the Columbia Barnard Hillel, disagreed that Jewish students should leave, but called upon the university and New York city authorities to do more to guarantee their safety. On Thursday, April 18, university authorities asked NYPD to remove pro-Palestinian protestors who had set up an encampment on campus, which led to the arrests of over 100 protestors, including the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

The protest organizers, Columbia University Apartheid Divest and Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, claimed that their protestors had been peaceful, and that only some protestors not associated with them had behaved poorly. Some students have reported being intimidated and jeered at for being Jewish, and video footage taken on the Saturday two days after the clearing of the encampment shows protestors chanting “F*** Israel” and “Israel is a b****”, while waving a Palestinian flag.

The university’s president, Minouche Shafik, has recently testified before Congress over claims of antisemitic behavior by Columbia students and has faced calls by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R – NY) to resign. Columbia University announced that students can take their classes and even their exams online from Monday, April 22, the start of the Jewish festival of Passover, and has promised to facilitate a police presence around the Columbia and Bernard Kraft Center, a Jewish cultural hub, during Passover.

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