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Columbia Threatens to Suspend Anti-Israel Protesters After Talks Fail

Solidarity encampment at Columbia University, located in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Photo:

Columbia University’s president said on Monday that talks with anti-Israel protesters over the dismantling of an encampment on the Ivy League campus had failed and urged them to voluntarily disperse or face suspension from school.

President Nemat Minouche Shafik said days of talks between student organizers and academic leaders had failed to break a stalemate over the tent encampment set up to protest Israel’s war in Gaza.

Shafik in a statement said Columbia would not divest assets that support Israel’s military, a key demand of the protesters, but offered to invest in health and education in Gaza, and make Columbia’s direct investment holdings more transparent.

Protesters have vowed to keep their encampment on the Manhattan campus until Columbia meets three demands: divestment, transparency in Columbia’s finances and amnesty for students and faculty disciplined for their part in the protests.

The university sent protesters a letter on Monday morning, warning that students who did not vacate the encampment by 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT) and sign a form acknowledging their participation would face suspension and become ineligible to complete the semester in good standing.

Even students who signed the form and left the area on Monday would still go on “disciplinary probation” until June 2025 or their graduation, whichever came first, according to the letter, which a Columbia spokesperson confirmed was authentic.

“These repulsive scare tactics mean nothing compared to the deaths of over 34,000 Palestinians. We will not move until Columbia meets our demands or we are moved by force,” the Columbia Student Apartheid Divest coalition said in a joint statement on Monday.

A university spokesperson said administrators would have no further comment.

Shafik faced an outcry from many students, faculty and outside observers for summoning New York City police two weeks ago to dismantle the encampment, resulting in more than 100 arrests.

Efforts to remove the encampment, which students set up again within days of the April 18 police action, have triggered dozens of similar protests at schools from California to Boston.

Last week, Columbia took no action when two deadlines it had imposed on protesters to reach an agreement slipped by without a deal. It had cited progress in the talks.

DEMONSTRATIONS AT FRANCE’S SORBONNE, CANADA’S MCGILL

Protests at Columbia and other U.S. universities continued at full force over the weekend, with more arrests around the country and skirmishes between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators at UCLA on Sunday.

Civil rights groups have criticized police violence at campuses such as Atlanta’s Emory University and the University of Texas at Austin, where police in riot gear and on horseback moved against the protesters last week, taking dozens into custody before charges against them were dropped for lacking probable cause.

Dozens of people at Virginia Tech were arrested overnight on Sunday at a student-led encampment, according to local media reports. A video posted on social media showed protesters chanting, “Shame on you,” as some were detained.

A spokesman for university did not immediately respond to a request for comment or give details on those detained.

The school in a post on its website said officials had told the protesters to leave, but they refused to comply. “The university recognized that the situation had the increasing potential to become unsafe,” the statement said, adding that those who refused to leave were charged with trespassing.

Similar demonstrations have sprung up at universities in other countries. Students at McGill University in Montreal set up about 20 anti-Israel protest camps on Saturday demanding the university divest from companies with links to Israel.

By Monday, the number of encampments on the downtown campus had tripled, but many were not set up by members of the McGill community, according to a statement by the university.

McGill also said it was investigating what it said was video evidence of some people using “unequivocally antisemitic language and intimidating behavior.” Students denied the allegation.

In Paris, days after protests at the elite Sciences Po school, police evacuated dozens of protesters who had set up tents in the yard of the Sorbonne University on Monday to mark their anger with the war in Gaza, one of the students told Reuters.

The post Columbia Threatens to Suspend Anti-Israel Protesters After Talks Fail first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction

Toronto Police have arrested and charged a man for assault over an incident May 9 near the protest encampment at the University of Toronto’s King’s College Circle on its downtown campus.  Toronto Police Services (TPS) say they responded at 3:45 p.m. that day to a call for assault in the area of the road around […]

The post Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

Terrorists in Gaza have been using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets they were preparing to shoot at Israelis, new video circulating on social media reveals, underscoring the challenges of delivering aid to Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-ruled enclave without it being stolen.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — which is the armed wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasused bags from Turkey and UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for the Palestinians — to prop up the rockets, according to the video.

At least three of the bags say they contain “wheat flour,” and the bag from Turkey specifically says it is supposed to go “to the Palestinian people.” It is unclear whether the bags had previously been opened to extract the food and then refilled with sand, for example, or if it still contained the food that was intended to feed Palestinian civilians.

“Any chance the media would cover this, yet another violation of international humanitarian law?” pro-Israel commentator Hen Mazzig wrote on X/Twitter while sharing the video.

Rafah, Gaza: Hamas is using UN humanitarian aid bags as rocket launchers today.

Any chance the media would cover this, yet another, violation of International Humanitarian Law? pic.twitter.com/eNIy2SU0Ep

— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) May 29, 2024

Almost every day for the past seven months, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have been shooting rockets into Israel from civilian areas, which is a war crime. Tens of thousands of Israelis are internally displaced and unable to return to their homes as a result.

There is mounting evidence that Hamas has also operated in civilian clothing and in civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. However, these violations of international law are rarely noted by much of the media.

The latest video of terrorists using humanitarian aid for military purposes underscores the issue of making sure such aid gets to Palestinian civilians. 

The US built a pier to deliver 2,000,000 meals daily to Palestinian civilians, but after a few weeks of operation, the Pentagon said none of the aid unloaded from the pier had made it to those who needed it. On one occasion, about 70 percent of the aid has been stolen while en route to a UN warehouse. In other cases, it just never showed up.

Israeli estimates suggest approximately 60 percent of the aid that has gone into Gaza has been stolen — either by Hamas or other groups and individuals. Oftentimes, that aid is then sold to the population at high prices, making it difficult to impossible for most Gazans to gain access to it. 

According to Ehud Yaari, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has made more than $500 million in profit from selling humanitarian aid since Oct. 7.

The terror group began the war last October by massacring 1,200 people in Israel and taking more than 250 people hostage, about half of whom have still not been released.

The post ‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas

Demonstrators take part in an anti-Israel demonstration at the Columbia University campus, in New York City, US, Feb. 2, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has endorsed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace antisemitic violence.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

.@Columbia and @BarnardCollege, @ColumbiaSJP is actively promoting terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric on their social media channels. They are sounding more and more like Hamas spokespeople every day. When is the university going to permanently ban this “student group”? pic.twitter.com/FE0VbgmFLA

— Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus (@CampusJewHate) May 26, 2024

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has reformed under multiple organizations since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, has been central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The group’s behavior after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the StandWithUs Center for League Justice (SCLJ).

The complaint alleges that after bullying Jewish students and rubbing their noses in the carnage Hamas wrought on their people, the pro-Hamas students were still unsatisfied and resulted to violence. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library, according to the lawsuit. Another attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen.

Following the incidents, pleas for help allegedly went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations. The school’s apparent powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

The explosion of end-of-year protests held by the group forced Columbia officials to shutter the campus in April and institute virtual learning. Later, the group occupied Hamilton Hall, forcing President Minouche Shafik to call on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for help, a decision she hesitated to make. According to The Columbia Spectator, over 108 arrests were made.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Amid the chaos, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety. Ultimately, the university cancelled its main commencement ceremony.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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