HOWARD KURTZ: Columbia’s turning level? Arrests and anti-Jewish intimidation have closed the campus

Norman Ray
Norman Ray

International Courant

There have been solely distant lessons at Columbia College on Monday as protests, clashes and arrests turned the campus right into a cauldron of rigidity and concern.

A wave of anti-Semitism, assaults and intimidation has made life extraordinarily uncomfortable for Jewish college students at faculties throughout the nation, and Columbia has grow to be floor zero after police arrested greater than 100 protesters there late final week.

It is arduous to think about that the gated Higher Manhattan campus that seemed so acquainted to me from my days pursuing a grasp’s diploma in journalism there felt compelled to maintain college students away when the Biden White Home condemned anti-Jewish hatred on method to the primary night of Passover.

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I imagine we’re at a long-awaited turning level. Simply 4 months in the past, Harvard President Claudine Homosexual and Penn President Liz Magill could not carry themselves to denounce anti-Semitism at a Congressional listening to, in the end costing them their jobs. Now, underneath strain after an identical listening to, Columbia President Minouche Shafik has cracked down on protesters who break the principles.


An individual is arrested throughout a pro-Palestinian protest exterior Columbia College in New York Metropolis on Monday, April 22, 2024. (Peter Gerber)

Anti-Semitic incidents have elevated since Hamas terrorists dedicated unspeakable atrocities in launching the conflict towards Israel on October 7. However no matter your view of the conflict, together with the rising variety of civilian casualties and widespread starvation in Gaza, my sense is {that a} rising variety of Individuals are merely fed up with the out-of-control protests by those that need to wipe Israel off the map.

Elie Buechler, a rabbi who heads the Orthodox Union Studying Middle in Columbia and its sister college Barnard Faculty, despatched a WhatsApp message to just about 300 Jewish college students on Sunday saying police had not assured their security “within the gentle of maximum anti-Semitism and anarchy’. and that they need to keep house “till the truth on and round campus has dramatically improved.”

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“It’s not our job as Jews to make sure our personal security on campus,” the rabbi wrote.

There was some resistance to Buechler, as if he have been advocating give up, however he stated he was pained to must make this suggestion.


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I am all for freedom of speech and the suitable to protest, however when pro-Palestinian demonstrators arrange fifty tents in the midst of campus, the college warned them that they might be mechanically suspended and arrested in the event that they disobeyed police orders to refused to depart.

Preliminary media protection centered on Rep. Ilhan Omar’s daughter, Isra Hirsi, who was amongst these arrested. There isn’t any proof that she was handled in a different way than anybody else. Hirsi, a member of the anti-Israel group Apartheid Divest, advised Teen Vogue that she has nowhere to stay and no method to get meals after being evicted from her $90,000-a-year Barnard dormitory and eating corridor.

The Minnesota congresswoman stated she is “tremendously proud” of her daughter.

Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, stated he’s “shocked and disgusted by the anti-Semitism on and across the Columbia College campus.”


In banning in-person lessons, Shafik denounced “intimidating and harassing habits” on campus. “Anti-Semitic language, like some other language used to harm and frighten individuals, is unacceptable and applicable motion will likely be taken.”

She added that some individuals not affiliated with Columbia have “exploited” these tensions “to pursue their very own agenda.”

Shafik stated she was attempting to “stability college students’ rights to specific political beliefs” and shield different college students “from rhetoric that quantities to harassment and discrimination.”

A number of the college’s 5,000 Jewish college students have been cursed, in accordance with the Columbia chapter of Chabad, with protesters shouting, “All you are doing is colonizing,” “return to Europe,” and “return to Poland.”

In response to a scholar submit, some protesters tried to burn a stolen Israeli flag, whereas some Jewish college students have been splashed with water. Law enforcement officials have been additionally known as the KKK and there have been chants of a free Palestine ‘from the river to the ocean’.

New York Put up columnist and part-time Columbia College scholar Rikki Schlott describes what she noticed throughout anti-Israel protests on campus. (FNTV/Fox Information)

That is past scandalous. A few of these protesters, who as soon as once more tried to arrange tents, will not be solely towards Israel, they clearly despise Jews. That’s on the root of this deep-seated bigotry that has made life insufferable for Jewish college students at Columbia and past.

(There’s a phase of Jewish college students who say they agree with the protesters that the dying toll in Gaza is unacceptable, though I do not perceive how they reconcile that with the decision for Israel’s destruction.)


A scholar, recognized as Katie, advised FOX’s Martha MacCallum: “It is sickening. And actually, it is heartbreaking to assume that I’m going to high school with individuals who have these horrible anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, anti-American beliefs. It is actually fairly disturbing. to assume that these individuals are allowed to be with me and my classmates and see my buddies, individuals I acknowledge in these movies, being shouted at that these individuals are condoning their rape and homicide. And it is simply so disturbing.”

Columbia College scholar Eden Yadegar describes anti-Semitism on campus throughout a information convention on the Capitol hosted by Home Schooling and Workforce Committee management. (Fox Information Digital/Danielle Wallace)

Katie, who describes herself as an Iranian who escaped spiritual persecution within the nation that Israel instantly and unsuccessfully bombed for the primary time, stated Columbia “has employed professors who’ve stated these assaults on October 7 have been nice, have been nice victories for the Palestinians.” martyrs and recognized to be anti-Semitic, and that Professor Joseph Massad teaches on the Israeli-Palestinian battle at Columbia. And also you marvel how these college students grow to be indoctrinated with these beliefs… I feel it is a rejection of American values.”

The girl, who was poised and passionate, added that the continued ordeal prompted her to maneuver off campus.

“It utterly modified my life as a scholar. I labored my entire life to get to Columbia. I labored arduous to go. That is my dream college. I got here to listen to and study from individuals of various faiths . And it has made the entire expertise depressing,” she stated. “Truthfully, I am unable to wait to get out of there and I’ll by no means return.”


There’ll come a time when hundreds of thousands who seemed away or have been silent will rise up and say sufficient. I feel we’re on the point of that second.

There’s something concerning the mixture of Columbia, the New York media market, the arrests, the tent metropolis and the bile directed at Jewish college students that has made the distinction.

Howard Kurtz is the host of FOX Information Channel MediaBuzz (Sunday 11am – 12pm ET). Primarily based in Washington, DC, he joined the community in July 2013 and seems commonly Particular report with Bret Baier and different packages.

HOWARD KURTZ: Columbia’s turning level? Arrests and anti-Jewish intimidation have closed the campus

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