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Columbia University Suspends Anti-Zionist Students Who Brought Terrorist to Campus

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

Columbia University has suspended and evicted from campus housing four members of an anti-Zionist student group that held an unauthorized event which featured a member of a Palestinian terrorist organization.

The members of Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) helped to plan and organize “Resistance 101,” which took place on March 24 and had as its keynote speaker Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member Khaled Barakat, according to The Columbia Spectator. Per the suspension, the students are barred from living on campus and attending class. Access to other campus facilities, including dining halls, is also in abeyance pending the final outcome of the disciplinary process.

Founded in 1967, the PFLP is an international terrorist group that has carried out attacks against Israeli civilians and opposed negotiating with the Jewish state to establish peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The group’s acts of terror included hijacking civilian airplanes and mass shootings. It was officially designated as a terrorist organization by the US Department of State in 1997.

On Friday, Columbia University president Minouche Shafik said that permission to hold the event and host a terrorist had been twice denied.

“I want to state for the record that this event is an abhorrent breach of our values,” Shafik explained in a statement published on the university’s website. “I did not become a university president to punish students. At the same time, actions like this on our campus must have consequences. That I would ever have to declare the following is in itself surprising, but I want to make clear that it is absolutely unacceptable for any member of this community to promote the use of terror or violence.”

Another unauthorized event that took place on Thursday, in which members of a local workers union joined students in shouting extreme anti-Zionist slogans, is currently under investigation, she added.

The Columbia University Apartheid Divest Coalition is a proxy group created by members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is currently serving a suspension for numerous violations of school rules. On Thursday, The Spectator reported that members of the coalition who have been suspended said their punishments are needlessly severe.

“Columbia is making us homeless, taking away our campus jobs, our sole source of income, taking away our scholarships,” one of the students promulgated during Thursday’s protest. Another said, “I received 24-hour notice that I, a full-scholarship, federal-work-study-receiving student with disabilities and housing accommodation, will be evicted from my university housing. This was all done with no hearing and no semblance of due process shame on Columbia.”

In Friday’s statement, Shafik defended the punishments, explaining that “rules and policies matter” and that “the university will only thrive if we can build a strong foundation of respect — both for each other and for our rules.”

The suspensions followed numerous allegations that, since Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, the university has refused to address antisemitic rhetoric and violence on campus and allegedly coddled students engaging in antisemitic behavior.

In February, a student group, Students Against Antisemitism (SAA), claimed in a lawsuit filed with the help of the StandWithUs Legal Center for Justice that pro-Hamas students beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library and that another attacked a Jewish student with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger.

Following the incidents, pleas for help went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations, according to the lawsuit. The school’s powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel, a recognized pro-Israel 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.

Columbia is also accused of retaliating against a professor, Shai Davidai, who condemned rising antisemitism on campus by launching an investigation into him, an affair which will burden the academic with hours of hearings, paperwork, and the possibility of losing his job.

“I am being persecuted by Columbia, which is retaliating against me based on groundless complaints,” Davidai said in a lengthy statement posted on X/Twitter last month. “I spoke up against the university. And now the university is weaponizing an internal investigation to silence me. In so doing, Columbia reveals the depths of its hostility toward its Jewish community: ‘How dare a Jewish professor speak up on behalf of Jewish students who are under siege!’”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

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