Columbia Suspends, Arrests Anti-Israel Student Protesters

‘Squad’ member Ilhan Omar’s daughter suspended by university


Columbia University on Thursday arrested and suspended anti-Israel students, one of them the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), in connection to a protest encampment on the university’s lawn.

New York City police on Thursday morning arrested five student protesters demonstrating as part of the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment,” according to videos posted on X. The encampment started at around 5 a.m. Wednesday, with hundreds of Columbia students demanding the university divest from Israel. The protesters set up tents on a campus lawn and shouted anti-Israel slogans such as “Israel bombs, Columbia pays,” “free, free Palestine,” and “death to the Zionist state.” Video taken Thursday afternoon showed police arresting more demonstrators on the campus lawn.

Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, a group that organized the encampment, said Thursday in a video post on Instagram that “a Columbia SJP organizer has been suspended and evicted alongside 2 other Barnard students for the Gaza Solidarity Encampment.” Barnard College is a sister school and an official college of Columbia.  

Columbia president Minouche Shafik issued a statement Thursday saying she “authorized the New York Police Department to begin clearing the encampment.”

“The individuals who established the encampment violated a long list of rules and policies,” Shafik said. “We updated our protest policy to allow demonstrations on very short notice and in prime locations in the middle of campus while still allowing students to get to class, and labs and libraries to operate. The current encampment violates all of the new policies, severely disrupts campus life, and creates a harassing and intimidating environment for many of our students.”

Rep. Omar’s daughter, Barnard student Isra Hirsi, said on Thursday she had been suspended over her involvement in anti-Israel protests on campus. “I just received notice that I am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide,” Hirsi wrote on X. Omar is a member of the progressive group of House Democrats known as the “Squad,” and she has faced censure from her colleagues for anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments.

Thursday’s wave of arrests and suspensions came after Columbia earlier this month suspended four students for participating in an unsanctioned campus event featuring Khaled Barakat, a Palestinian activist who referred to Hamas terrorists as “friends and brothers” and is allegedly a member of the terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. 

Original News Source – Washington Free Beacon

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