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Columbia Moves to Virtual Classes After Days of Raging Antisemitism, Threats to Jewish Students

04-22-2024
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Columbia University president Nemat "Minouche" Shafik said classes would be held virtually Monday and the school is planning to increase security on campus adding 35 security guards and more than 100 other safety-related personnel.

The move comes after days of campus unrest as pro-Palestinian protestors using violent and threatening language create a threat to Jewish students.

In some cases, students are identifying with the terror group that attacked Israel, chanting "We are Hamas." In other cases, Jewish students are being told to "go back to Poland" and "stop killing children." 

According to a shocking poll by Summit.org, 47 percent of Gen Zers believe that Israel's military campaign against Hamas unjust.

"It is mindboggling to watch students and professors on campus openly calling for violence and terrorism against Jews and Americans, including chants of 'Death to Israel' and 'Death to America,'" Duvi Honig, founder and chief executive officer of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, wrote for Israel National News

"These groups are promoting messages of hate and violence, threatening the safety of Jewish and American students not only on campus but also around the globe. The language being used is not only deeply offensive but also calling for violence and a repeat of October 7th incites fear of harm, especially in the Jewish community," he added. 

Shafik said school leaders plan to come together Monday–the first day of Passover–to discuss a way to end "this crisis."

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"The decibel of our disagreements has only increased in recent days. These tensions have been exploited and amplified by individuals who are not affiliated with Columbia who have come to campus to pursue their own agendas," she said. "We need a reset."

One rabbi affiliated with the school is urging Jewish students to leave campus, saying the school and the city can't guarantee their safety.    

New York City Mayor Eric Adams says he's 'horrified' by all the hate speech but can't take action unless the school requests it.

Representative Virginia Foxx, who chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee, is demanding that Columbia University restore order and safety for Jewish students.

The congresswoman sent school officials a letter threatening to hold them accountable if the dangerous situation on campus wasn't rectified immediately, warning that the university's federal financial assistance program could be in jeopardy.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement Sunday that protesters in and around Columbia cross the line if they say violence should befall Jewish students. "While every American has the right to peaceful protest, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous — they have absolutely no place on any college campus, or anywhere in the United States of America," he said. 

Police arrested more than 100 people near the Columbia campus last week as ongoing outbursts of antisemitism spread across America's college campuses, including Yale where a Jewish student was barred from entry in this video below:

Riot police had to be deployed as demonstrators blocked traffic around Yale's campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Local police say 45 protestors were arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing. Demonstrators there are demanding that the university divest its investments in military companies that manufacture weapons for Israel.

Meanwhile, at New York University, students there have formed a pro-Palestinian encampment outside one of the main buildings on campus. 

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