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Elite Universities Clear Pro-Hamas Encampments While New Ones Crop Up Elsewhere

A pro-Hamas encampment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, May 6, 2024. Photo: Brian Snyder via Reuters Connect

A pro-Hamas “encampment” at the University of Pennsylvania was cleared by the Philadelphia Police Department on Friday morning, a measure that included the arrest of dozens of protesters who had illegally occupied the College Green section of campus for nearly three weeks and refused to leave unless the school took steps to boycott Israel.

Following the action, interim Penn president Larry Jameson issued a statement explaining that the situation on the College Green was pernicious and that the protesters’ demands, including their insistence on amnesty for anyone charged with violating school rules, were nonviable.

“The protesters refused repeatedly to disband the encampment, to produce identification, to stop threatening, loud, and discriminatory speech and behavior, and to comply with instructions from Penn administrators and Public Safety,” Jameson said. “Instead, they called for others to join them in escalating their disruptions and expanding their encampment, necessitating that we take action to protect the safety and rights of everyone in our community.”

He added, “We could not allow further disruption of our academic mission. We could not allow students to be prevented from accessing study spaces and resources, attending final exams, or participating in commencement ceremonies, which for many did not happen during the pandemic.”

On Wednesday night, a crush of people stormed the College Green to “expand” the Penn encampment to cover more school property after conversations with the administration stalled, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian, a campus newspaper. Local police equipped with riot gear prepared to clear them from the area but ultimately stood down for reasons that remain unclear. Earlier in the week, Jameson suggested that the university’s tolerance for the demonstration was exhausted, noting that the pro-Hamas mob had vandalized a statue of Benjamin Franklin and “The Button,” a sculpture built in the early 1980s.

“This decision is viewpoint neutral and affirmed by our policies,” Jameson concluded in Friday’s statement. “Open expression and peaceful protest are welcome on our campus, but vandalism, trespassing, disruption, and threatening language and actions are not.”

An encampment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was also cleared on Friday morning by local police, their second attempt at doing so after the school issued an ultimatum to the protesters on Monday. According to numerous reports on social media, police moved in during the early hours of the morning while the protesters slept in their tents. MIT had previously promised not to severely discipline students against whom the school has already filed disciplinary charges if they left by 2:30 pm on Monday afternoon. That deadline has long since expired, but it not yet clear whether the school will follow through on punishing what the school itself has described as misconduct.

Harvard University began suspending its protesters on Friday following their rejection of a deal to end the demonstration, according to The Harvard Crimson. Earlier in the week, interim president Alan Garber vowed that any student who continued to occupy the campus would be placed on “involuntary leave,” a measure that effectively disenrolls the students from school and bars them from campus until the university decides whether they are allowed back.

The disciplinary measures came one day after members of Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine (HOOP) created a sign featuring an antisemitic caricature of Garber as Satan, and accused him of duplicity. HOOP said on Friday that the punishment exposes them to “eviction, food insecurity, degree withholding, and deportation.”

In Washington, DC, protesters returned to the campus of George Washington University on Thursday following the removal of an encampment from the school’s University Yard the prior day. At least one student was arrested for assaulting a police officer, according to the GW Hatchet, which later reported that the students left the area early on Friday morning.

Higher education has been convulsed by pro-Hamas demonstrations since the terrorist organization’s massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7. Three presidents of Ivy League schools — Elizabeth Magill of the University of Pennsylvania, Claudine Gay of Harvard University, and Martha Pollack of Cornell University — have resigned from their positions amid the tumult and numerous investigations into campus antisemitism that have been opened by the US House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Over the past three weeks, anti-Zionist college students have escalated their methods, amassing in the hundreds to take over sections of campus from which they refused to leave unless administrators agreed to condemn and boycott Israel. Footage of the protests has shown demonstrators chanting in support of Hamas, calling for the destruction of Israel, and even threatening to harm members of the Jewish community on campus. In many cases, they have also lambasted the US and Western civilization more broadly.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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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?

— 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.

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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”?

— 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.

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