Anti-Israel groups at Columbia University in New York City have announced that they are holding a protest “in solidarity with” Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) on Tuesday, just four days after both were suspended as official student groups on campus.
“This protest is not co-sponsored by SJP/JVP, but we stand together in solidarity,” Columbia’s SJP chapter tweeted on Sunday night, noting that the gathering on campus has been be organized by Dar, the Palestinian Students Union at Columbia, on behalf of the Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) coalition.
CUAD, a non-campus affiliated group, supports the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to isolate Israel from the international community as a step toward the Jewish state’s eventual elimination. Dar is not listed on Columbia’s list of student organizations.
Columbia’s SJP also tweeted a flier for the event that calls on attendees to bring their kuffiyeh, a traditional Middle Eastern scarf that has come to be a symbol for Palestinian nationalism and resistance against Israel.
“Columbia, Columbia, hear us loud! In solidarity with SJP/JVP we stand,” the flier reads. “A protest in support of Palestine and in solidarity with SJP and JVP. We will not be silenced.
TUESDAY 4:30PM @ the Sundial! Organized by Dar, on behalf of the Columbia University Apartheid Divest coalition (CUAD).
This protest is not co-sponsored by SJP/JVP, but we stand together in solidarity SEE YOU THERE! pic.twitter.com/ZPdSahIQ18
— Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (@ColumbiaSJP) November 13, 2023
The announcement came after Columbia announced on Friday that it had suspended SJP and JVP as official student groups on campus through the end of the fall semester.
“This decision was made after the two groups repeatedly violated university policies related to holding campus events, culminating in an unauthorized event Thursday afternoon that proceeded despite warnings and included threatening rhetoric and intimidation,” said Gerald Rosberg, senior executive vice president of the university who also chairs Columbia’s Special Committee on Campus Safety.
Hundreds of students walked out of class at Columbia on Thursday, demanding an immediate ceasefire to the fighting in Gaza, for school officials to falsely call Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians a “genocide,” and for the university to boycott and divest from Israeli institutions. The protesters did not mention Hamas or demand the release of the more than 240 hostages still being held in Gaza who the Palestinian terrorist group kidnapped during its Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli communities.
The prior day, dozens of students from Columbia’s School of Social Work staged an over nine-hour sit-in, claiming they were expressing solidarity with local and national Palestinian resistance movements — a stunt that school officials said violated rules in the university’s code of conduct.
Both SJP and JVP have been instrumental in organizing anti-Israel protests on Columbia’s campus since Hamas invaded Israel last month and killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians.
“Lifting the suspension will be contingent on the two groups demonstrating a commitment to compliance with university policies and engaging in consultations at a group leadership level with university officials,” said Rosberg, who added that the suspension means the two groups will not be eligible to hold events on campus or receive university funding.
Columbia University professor Shai Davidai expressed outrage after hearing of the protest planned for Tuesday, arguing that SJP and JVP “celebrate the massacre, rape, and kidnapping of civilians” — a reference to their reactions after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre.
“It’s time to PERMANENTLY [sic] remove these organizations from Columbia University,” he tweeted.
Last month, Davidai went viral on social media for calling the school’s president a “coward” for refusing to condemn Hamas apologists and anti-Israel demonstrations on campus.
Weeks later, Henry Swiec, a Jewish billionaire and philanthropist, resigned from the Board of Columbia Business School, claiming the Ivy League university has shown a “moral cowardice” that has left Jews feeling unsafe on campus.
Columbia has come under intense scrutiny for its response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 pogrom and the resultant war between Israel and the terror group. Several students and professors have released multiple letters seemingly blaming Israel for the current conflict and rationalizing the Hamas atrocities.
Columbia’s decision to suspend SJP and JVP came just days after Brandeis University in Massachusetts revoked recognition of its chapter of SJP over its support for Hamas.
“This decision was not made lightly, as Brandeis is dedicated to upholding free speech principles, which have been codified in Brandeis’ Principles of Free Speech and Free Expression,” the university reportedly wrote in a letter to SJP informing the group of its ruling. However, the “National SJP has called on its chapters to engage in conduct that supports Hamas in its call for the violent elimination of Israel and the Jewish people. These tactics are not protected by the University’s Principles.”
Last month, Florida’s state university system, in consultation with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, directed colleges to “deactivate” SJP chapters for defending Hamas following the terrorist group’s invasion of Israel and massacre of civilians.
Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.
Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta
i24 News – A protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.
A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.
JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.
The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.
The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a… pic.twitter.com/B8nUQAj2nU
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023
“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”
“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”
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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed
Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.
Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.
“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”
Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.
A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.
Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.
More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.
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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.
According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.
During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.
ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.
הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו. pic.twitter.com/mEaJs58hpE
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023
The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.
It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.
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