Connect with us

RSS

Columbia University Jewish Community Remains Resolute With Israel Support as Student Groups Expand New BDS Coalition

Anti-Israel students protest at Columbia University in New York City. Photo: Reuters/Jeenah Moon

The Jewish community at Columbia University in New York has remained resolute in supporting Israel amid strong hostility from much of the faculty and student body, with hundreds of people gathering this week to raise money for Israeli emergency services during the Jewish state’s war with the Hamas terror group.

Over 350 alumni, faculty, parents, and students on Monday night gathered at the Moise Safra Center in Manhattan for a fundraiser organized by Chabad at Columbia University and the school’s Jewish Alumni Association to raise money for a new ambulance for Israel’s emergency response service Magen David Adom.

“Recognizing the difficulties students are facing at Columbia University, a group of dedicated Columbia alumni of the Columbia Jewish Alumni Association wanted to do something to help,” Naomi Drizin, the wife of Chabad Rabbi Yuda Drizin, told The Algemeiner. “The primary objective was to come together in celebration of Jewish life while actively contributing to a positive cause — raising funds for a Magen David Adom ambulance.”

The vehicle, Drizin added, will be named the Columbia Jewish Community Ambulance for Magen David Adom and serve as “a symbol of hope and light.”

One student who spoke to The Algemeiner said the event was important to the school’s Jewish community, which is still mourning the lives lost on Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and killed over 1,200 people, mostly civilians, in the deadliest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

Organized in just three weeks, the student described the event as a triumph.

The fundraiser came days after the Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) coalition issued a Nov. 14 statement in the campus newspaper demanding the school “immediately divest all economic and academic stakes in Israel” in order to fight “Israeli apartheid” against Palestinians. The coalition falsely accused Israel of “actively committing genocide and ethnic cleansing” and called on Columbia to cancel the opening of its Tel Aviv Global Center and end a dual degree-program the school offers in partnership with Tel Aviv University.

The statement, which was was signed by dozens of campus organizations, argued that Israel’s defensive war in Gaza in response to the Oct. 7 massacre, in which Hamas terrorists also kidnapped hundreds of people from Israel as hostages, was part of an effort to “annex and ethnically cleanse” Palestinian land.

“The Zionist project is reaching its apex as Israel continues to violate international law by indiscriminately bombing civilians and cutting off their access to food, water, medicine, and fuel,” the statement read. “These attacks are explicitly connected to Israel’s attempt to annex and ethnically cleanse more Palestinian land of its indigenous population. As such, it is imperative that we act now. If we wait, there may not be a Gaza left to defend.”

The statement did not mention the Hamas atrocities or that Israel withdraw all its soldiers and civilian settlers from Gaza in 2005.

CUAD 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.

Columbia’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) tweeted on Tuesday that the coalition has grown.

“Excited to announce we have officially hit 80 student organizations in our coalition in just one week!” the group wrote. “Columbia students, please mobilize your organizations to join our coalition! We are showing Columbia that the students refuse to be complicit in apartheid and genocide.”

Columbia announced earlier this month that it had suspended SJP and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), another anti-Israel group, as official student organizations 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 that 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 hostages still being held in Gaza.

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’ onslaught across southern Israel last month.

“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.

The suspension has not deterred anti-Israel groups at Columbia from holding protests in solidarity with SJP, which appears to be still organizing events with other campus organizations despite its suspension.

In its Nov. 14 statement, CUAD said it was “moved to action by the ostensibly politically motivated suspension” of SJP and JVP, demanding Columbia reinstate both groups and “issue an official apology for their unjust suspension in violation of university procedure.” SJP and JVP were the first two signatories of the statement.

Columbia has come under intense scrutiny for its response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 pogrom and the resultant war between Israel and the Palestinian terror group. Several students and professors have released multiple letters seemingly blaming Israel for the current conflict and rationalizing the Hamas atrocities.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Columbia University Jewish Community Remains Resolute With Israel Support as Student Groups Expand New BDS Coalition first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

RSS

Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis

Drones are seen at a site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on April 20, 2023. Photo: Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

i24 NewsA senior Israeli security official spoke to i24NEWS on Saturday on condition of the retaliatory strike carried out by the Israel Air Force against the Houthi jihadists in Yemen.

“This is an important operation which signals that there’s room for further escalation, and sends a very strong message to the entire Shiite axis.”

“We understood there is a high probability of counter attacks, but if we do not respond, the meaning is even worse. Israel has updated the US prior to the operation.”

The strike on Hodeida came after long-range Iranian-made drone hit a building in central Tel Aviv, killing one man and wounded several others.

The post Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi addresses followers via a video link at the al-Shaab Mosque, formerly al-Saleh Mosque, in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

i24 NewsThe Israeli military on Saturday confirmed striking a port in Yemen controlled by the Houthi jihadists, a day after the Iranian proxy group perpetrated a deadly drone attack on Tel Aviv.

“A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the area of the Al Hudaydah Port in Yemen in response to the hundreds of attacks carried out against the State of Israel in recent months.”

After Houthi drone attack on Tel Aviv, reports and footage out of Yemen of air strikes hitting Hodeida

— Video used in accordance with clause 27A of Israeli copyright law pic.twitter.com/d2uE16ZzQ1

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, issued a statement saying “The fire that is currently burning in Hodeidah, is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear. The Houthis attacked us over 200 times. The first time that they harmed an Israeli citizen, we struck them. And we will do this in any place where it may be required.”

“The blood of Israeli citizens has a price,” Gallant added. “This has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen, and in other places – if they will dare to attack us, the result will be identical.”

Gallant: ‘The fire currently burning in Hodeida is seen across the region and the significance is clear… The blood of Israeli citizens has a price, as has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen and in other places – if they dare attack us, the result will be identical.’ pic.twitter.com/DmHjwfHtPV

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

The post IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan leaves after attending a military parade to mark the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus in response to a short-lived Greek-inspired coup, in the Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, in the divided city of Nicosia, Cyprus July 20, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Greek Cypriots mourned and Turkish Cypriots rejoiced on Saturday, the 50th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of part of the island after a brief Greek inspired coup, with the chances of reconciliation as elusive as ever.

The ethnically split island is a persistent source of tension between Greece and Turkey, which are both partners in NATO but are at odds over numerous issues.

Their differences were laid bare on Saturday, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attending a celebratory military parade in north Nicosia to mark the day in 1974 when Turkish forces launched an offensive that they call a “peace operation.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due later on Saturday to attend an event in the south of the Nicosia to commemorate what Greeks commonly refer to as the “barbaric Turkish invasion.” Air raid sirens sounded across the area at dawn.

Mitsotakis posted an image of a blood-stained map of Cyprus on his LinkedIn page with the words “Half a century since the national tragedy of Cyprus.”

There was jubilation in the north.

“The Cyprus Peace Operation saved Turkish Cypriots from cruelty and brought them to freedom,” Erdogan told crowds who gathered to watch the parade despite stifling midday heat, criticizing the south for having a “spoiled mentality” and seeing itself as the sole ruler of Cyprus.

Peace talks are stalled at two seemingly irreconcilable concepts – Greek Cypriots want reunification as a federation. Turkish Cypriots want a two-state settlement.

Erdogan left open a window to dialogue although he said a federal solution, advocated by Greek Cypriots and backed by most in the international community, was “not possible.”

“We are ready for negotiations, to meet, and to establish long-term peace and resolution in Cyprus,” he said.

Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, but a shared administration between Greek and Turkish Cypriots quickly fell apart in violence that saw Turkish Cypriots withdraw into enclaves and led to the dispatch of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

The crisis left Greek Cypriots running the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union since 2004 with the potential to derail Turkey’s own decades-long aspirations of joining the bloc.

It also complicates any attempts to unlock energy potential in the eastern Mediterranean because of overlapping claims. The region has seen major discoveries of hydrocarbons in recent years.

REMEMBERING THE DEAD

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, whose office represents the Greek Cypriot community in the reunification dialogue, said the anniversary was a somber occasion for reflection and for remembering the dead.

“Our mission is liberation, reunification and solving the Cyprus problem,” he said. “If we really want to send a message on this tragic anniversary … it is to do anything possible to reunite Cyprus.”

Turkey, he said, continued to be responsible for violating human rights and international law over Cyprus.

Across the south, church services were held to remember the more than 3,000 people who died in the Turkish invasion.

“It was a betrayal of Cyprus and so many kids were lost. It wasn’t just my son, it was many,” said Loukas Alexandrou, 90, as he tended the grave of his son at a military cemetery.

In Turkey, state television focused on violence against Turkish Cypriots prior to the invasion, particularly on bloodshed in 1963-64 and in 1967.

Turkey’s invasion took more than a third of the island and expelled more than 160,000 Greek Cypriots to the south.

Reunification talks collapsed in 2017 and have been at a stalemate since. Northern Cyprus is a breakaway state recognized only by Turkey, and its Turkish Cypriot leadership wants international recognition.

The post One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News