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Here’s What Happened in Gaza and Israel From November 7-13

An Israeli soldier keeps guard next to an entrance to what the Israeli military say is a cross-border attack tunnel dug from Gaza to Israel, on the Israeli side of the Gaza Strip border near Kissufim, Jan. 18, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Jack Guez/Pool

Here’s a round-up of the latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war.


Over the past six days, Israeli forces have gradually entered deeper into Gaza City, mostly in the direction of known strong-points of Hamas but also combing general areas. The focus, from the news reports, seems to be first the neighborhoods closest to the beach, cutting the city off from the sea, and approaching the areas traditionally reported as locations of the higher headquarters of Hamas inside the city. During previous operations, it was determined that the supreme leadership of Hamas is located in fortified underground offices under Shifa Hospital.

All hospitals, neighborhood clinics, and mosques in Gaza have had underground offices and storage sites built underneath them that are connected to the tunnel systems that crisscross the city underground. In previous confrontations, the IDF generally did not seek to go after hospitals, clinics, or mosques. Furthermore, except in exceptional circumstances, it did not enter them with ground troops. In 2014, one neighborhood clinic that was entered exploded on the IDF unit. The building had had bombs hidden permanently in the walls and floors, even as it was being used to treat patients in peacetime.

The movement of the IDF in Gaza is extremely slow because every building has to be checked before entry for explosive booby-traps. Most have been rigged. This includes residential buildings, public service buildings, etc.

Hamas forces are continuing to conduct raids on IDF units beyond the city perimeter by exiting from hidden tunnel openings. The IDF units are searching for these openings and destroying them.

The IDF has not published an estimate of Hamas casualties except to claim that the majority of the Palestinian fatalities are combatants and not civilians. In other words, the combatants number in the thousands. Hamas disguises its combatants as civilians by having most of them dress in civilian clothes. That way, when they are killed or wounded, they look like civilians in photos and videos taken by Hamas.

Below is a screenshot from a Hamas video of the fighting. Note the civilian clothes: jeans, T-shirts, and jackets.

As the fighting continues, there has been a slow but steady increase in IDF casualties too. By midday on November 12, 47 IDF personnel had been killed since the beginning of the ground operation in Gaza. The total number of IDF wounded has not been updated, but from occasional references in daily news reports it appears to be about ten times the number.

Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel, though the daily average has lessened. The total to date is approximately 9,500 (of which 3,000 were fired in the first four hours). Of these, approximately 1,150 have fallen inside Gaza (including one on Shifa Hospital). For the first time, the report also explicitly mentions the launch of “tens” of explosive drones fired from Gaza.

The rate of fire has been drastically reduced over the past few days — probably for two reasons:

The advance of the IDF has brought its troops to many of the traditional launch sites, and many launchers have been destroyed.
Hamas wishes to conserve ammunition for a longer war as the stores are being used up. Hamas had considerably fewer rockets than Hezbollah.

The number of civilians leaving Gaza has grown considerably. Over the past week, nearly 200,000 have walked past the Israeli checkpoint on the eastern road leading south. However, that still leaves a couple of hundred thousand in north Gaza. All told, since the beginning of the war, the IDF has dropped approximately 1.5 million flyers urging the population to move away from probable objectives, sent six million voice messages, four million text messages, and an unpublished number of phone calls warning of impending strikes on specific buildings to the people living within the danger zone of each strike.

A topic Hamas has been harping on for almost two weeks is that the hospitals are running out of fuel and are losing the electric power critical to providing care.

However, every photograph and video taken inside the hospitals shows the electricity still working. The IDF published a conversation that proves that there are hundreds of thousands of liters of petrol in Hamas storage, including in underground stores beneath the hospitals. Furthermore, donations of medical supplies are reaching the hospitals inside Gaza City, as they are being allowed through by the IDF. Thus, on November 8, trucks carrying medical supplies arrived and unloaded in Shifa Hospital. Donations from other Arab countries have also been let in, including a second paradrop of medical supplies flown by the Jordanian air force through Israel.

Many of the hospitals in northern Gaza are being evacuated of patients and of people who came there looking for a safe haven in the knowledge that Israel does not attack hospitals. However, as the fighting has neared these hospitals, the IDF has requested that they evacuate their patients and staff because the underground floors were being used by Hamas for weapons storage, command posts, and tunnel entrances. At Rantisi Hospital, the local Hamas company commander held approximately 1,000 Gazan civilians hostage to prevent the IDF from attacking the hospital. When IDF units closed in on the hospital, he and a group of his men moved to the nearby Al-Buraq school, which had already been evacuated, where they were located and killed. Inside the school grounds the IDF found weapons stores and a manufacturing site as well as a tunnel entrance.

Currently the same process is being repeated at Shifa, the most famous hospital in Gaza, which houses the largest Hamas underground area. That is where the Hamas high command was located in all previous wars, though this time it is likely that they have all fled to southern Gaza. The IDF has delayed approaching the hospital to allow its evacuation and has even offered to help move non-ambulatory patients and provide fuel for the hospital electricity generators. The offer was refused. As with a previous event, a failed rocket launch struck the hospital grounds, and Hamas tried to claim it was an Israeli bomb.

Hamas also claims Israeli has attacked ambulances. The IDF responded that the only ambulances attacked were those being used to drive Hamas combat personnel on their missions (i.e., NOT wounded). Given that Hamas combat personnel are often wearing civilian clothes, they are discovered through intensive intelligence work. Furthermore, it has been revealed that Hamas has a unit of many fake ambulances for transporting its personnel (not injured or sick) and equipment. Hamas established this unit to take advantage of Israel’s known reluctance to shoot at ambulances.


On the Lebanese border there has been a gradual escalation in Hezbollah attacks, both in the number of rockets fired and in the size of the models used (they are now much bigger, with 300-500 kilogram warheads). Hezbollah is also using exploding drones. On November 12, 22 Israelis were wounded in a Hezbollah attack, including a group of civilians working on repairing electricity infrastructure not far from the border. One was critically injured, and five more suffered less critical injuries. So far, 10 Israelis have been killed in the fighting on this front since 7 October.

Israel has responded with increased attacks of its own. Hezbollah fatalities have accumulated to least 72 (seven in Syria). The number of wounded is not known.

The group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has again spoken publicly and not said much. However, one of his deputies promised to escalate to all-out war if they think Hamas is on the verge of being totally defeated.

Other Lebanese and Lebanese-based Palestinian organizations have also participated in the exchange of fire and at least 10 members of these groups have been killed. There are reports of tens of thousands of Lebanese moving north, away from the border with Israel. Unlike Hamas, Hezbollah has tended to use the population as camouflage but not as human shields — so when fighting escalates, they do not attempt to compel them to stay, but let them leave.


On the Syrian border there have been only a few incidents so far, including rocket launches, etc. These have been responded to with various means including tank fire, artillery and air strikes.

An Iraqi Shiite organization located in Syria launched drones at Eilat. One hit a school and one was shot down. School was in session at the time it was hit, but because of the location of the hit, nobody was hurt. Israel responded with air strikes on targets in Syria and stated to the Assad regime that it would be held responsible for any more attacks originating in Syria.

Judea and Samaria:

In Judea and Samaria too, Palestinian attacks on Israelis have increased somewhat. However, despite calls from the Hamas leadership to escalate, they have not surged. Israeli security forces have responded with police raids to arrest terrorists.

Over the past few days, the IDF has conducted a series of raids into Jenin. The roads entering the city had bombs planted underneath them by the terrorist organizations and were then covered over with asphalt. Apparently the IDF had intelligence on this, so its raiding force advanced behind armored bulldozers that tore up the asphalt and revealed the bombs. They were then detonated safely.

So far, approximately 1,600 terrorists (approximately 930 of them from Hamas) have been arrested and approximately 183 killed in Judea and Samaria, mostly in IDF raids. Some were arrested or killed while attempting to conduct attacks on Israeli civilians or soldiers.

There has also been an increase in the number of violent altercations between Palestinian civilians and Israeli civilians over agricultural property rights (field boundaries, grazing rights).


The Houthis have continued to launch missiles and long-range explosive drones towards Israel. The rate of fire has gone down from the first few days, and over the past few days, many launches were verbal only (they were declared, but no launches actually took place). An exo-atmospheric ballistic missile was shot down by an Israeli Arrow-3 defensive missile.

Iraq and Syria — US forces:

Pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite militias continued to attack American bases in Iraq and Syria with rockets and exploding drones. The number of American casualties is one killed (apparently from cardiac arrest caused by an attack), and at least 45 wounded. The US military has responded with air strikes on suspected militia locations.

Israeli Casualties:

There are still a number of people unaccounted for, but it seems that all or virtually all the bodies of Israelis killed in the initial attack inside Israel have been found. Currently there are still body parts that have not been definitely identified because they are so badly damaged (in some cases rendering DNA tests inconclusive). Some of these body parts might belong to previously identified mutilated bodies that are missing parts.

Also, some of the missing have been confirmed to be among the kidnapped Israelis in Gaza.

So far, of the Israelis and non-Israelis killed and missing from the initial Hamas attack, approximately 880 civilians and approximately 370 soldiers, policemen and firefighters have been identified. In addition, 19 civilians have been killed in the rocket attacks. The total number of wounded is approximately 7,260.

The number of Israelis who have been forced to leave their homes in 64 villages and towns along the borders with Gaza and Lebanon has reached approximately 250,000.

Palestinian Casualties:

The Gaza Health Ministry, which is controlled by Hamas in its role as the government of Gaza, claims that so far approximately 11,100 Gazans have been killed and approximately 28,000 wounded. They do not differentiate between personnel of Hamas and other terrorist organizations and civilians. They also claim that this number includes more than 4,000 children. Apart from the fact that all the numbers are propaganda-based and neither verifiable nor credible, “children” includes anyone up to the age of 18 — and since Hamas actively employs teens as combatants, this includes quite a number of terrorists. This is also true of the women and elderly who often serve in Hamas as scouts or suicide-bombers. There is a history of supposedly innocent people of all ages approaching IDF soldiers to ask for help and actually carrying suicide bomb-vests under their clothes or trying to lead the soldiers into explosive booby-traps or ambushes. The IDF spokesperson claims that the majority of the casualties are Hamas personnel or personnel of other armed groups, but has not elaborated.


Hezbollah did indeed change its mind, re-escalating after a few days of reduced attacks. It seems that the new level is very likely to become the norm unless the IDF finds a way to hit back strongly. So we will have to wait and see if Hezbollah maintains the new level of fighting and whether the IDF counter-escalates.

The IDF is still waiting for civilians to leave Gaza City, and the civilians seem to be leaving in ever-growing numbers, so the IDF will probably continue to maintain pressure but not escalate its advance into the depths of the city. The final objective has not changed: to gradually comb the city itself, street by street, house by house, and tunnel-entrance by tunnel-entrance in order to find, kill, or capture Hamas personnel. So far, Hamas seems to be willing to keep on fighting despite heavy casualties. The number of those surrendering has been very small. If so, this will be a long, arduous process and casualties on both sides will increase greatly.

Hamas seems to still be hoping to incite a major escalation in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), but so far this does not seem to be working. This is due to Israel’s escalated counter-actions and the general shock of the populace at the unfolding events — but also to the fact that the ruling Palestinian faction in Judea and Samaria, Fatah, sees Hamas as an enemy and is quite happy to see it decimated. (Of the almost 1,800 people arrested or killed by the IDF in its counter-terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria, more than 60% are Hamas personnel.)

The majority of the Arab states are making public declarations in favor of the Palestinians but in fact are doing little to nothing (depending on the state) to help them. Even humanitarian aid from the Arab states is minimal, and public demonstrations in favor of the Palestinians in the Arab states are generally fewer and smaller than those in Europe and America. Saudi Arabia has stated that the normalization process with Israeli will continue. This is while the Arab states go through the motions of caring for the Palestinians as described above in the paragraph on the emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to discuss a regional response to the war.

Hamas spokesmen have voiced their frustration and disappointment in the responses of Hezbollah, Iran and its proxies in particular, but of the Muslim world in general. In both of Nasrallah’s speeches he spent considerable time making excuses for not joining the war — at least for now.

There has been some discussion abroad and in the Israeli media about “the day after” — that is, what will be done with Gaza to prevent a recurrence. The US has suggested a plan that includes handing Gaza back to the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority. Initially, when asked if Fatah would be willing to return to rule Gaza after the war, a high-ranking Fatah official said it would not, as it would be deemed to have “ridden to power on the tanks and aircraft of the IDF.” However, over the past week they seem to have changed their mind. Palestinian Authority President Mahoud Abbas has declared his willingness to re-accept authority over Gaza, but demands Israeli concessions in Judea and Samaria in return. Meanwhile, the IDF seems to have concentrated most of its efforts in the past week in and around the town of Jenin. After achieving a satisfactory conclusion there it is likely to focus on other locations of escalation.

Israel’s initial official response to this option was to say that because Fatah refused to condemn the Hamas attack, it is not a viable partner; and in any case, it is too early to make decisions or plan seriously for the day after. First we have to win the war.

Dr. Eado Hecht, a senior research fellow at the BESA Center, is a military analyst focusing mainly on the relationship between military theory, military doctrine, and military practice. He teaches courses on military theory and military history at Bar-Ilan University, Haifa University, and Reichman University and in a variety of courses in the Israel Defense Forces. A version of this article was originally published by The BESA Center.

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Alleged Neo-Nazi Indicted for Plot to Carry Out New Year’s Eve Mass Casualty Attack Against Jews, Other Minorities

An American flag waves outside the US Department of Justice Building in Washington, US, Dec. 2, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Tom Brenner

US federal authorities have charged, and a grand jury has indicted, a foreign national with planning a mass casualty attack against Jews and other minorities in New York on New Year’s Eve.

The United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York reported that a grand jury indicted Georgian national Michail Chkhikvishvili with soliciting hate crimes and acts of mass violence.

Chkhikvishvili is reportedly the leader of a group called the “Maniac Murder Cult,” a white supremacist, neo-Nazi group.

Specifically, he was recruiting people to carry out arson and bombing attacks — as well as attacks aimed at Jewish and other minority children, according to US officials.

The US Attorney’s Office explained that the “planned New Year’s Eve attack involved Santa Claus handing out poisoned candy to racial minorities as well as distributing poisoned candy to Jewish children in Brooklyn.”

There were more than 450,000 Jews who lived in Brooklyn as of May 2024. Many neighborhoods are known to be predominantly Hasidic.

Authorities found out about the plot when Chkhikvishvili solicited an undercover law enforcement official to be involved in the attack.

He “sought to recruit others to commit violent attacks and killings in furtherance of his Neo-Nazi ideologies,” US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said in a statement. “We will not hesitate to find and prosecute those who threaten the safety and freedoms of all members of our community, including members of minority communities, no matter where in the world these criminals might be hiding.”

FBI New York Acting Assistant Director Christie Curtis lauded law enforcement for stopping the attack before it could ever take place.

“The swift disruption of this individual, accused of allegedly plotting violent attacks in New York, sends a clear message: we will use every resource in our power to ensure the safety of the American people,” she said. “The men and women who work on this task force day in and day out exemplify true service to our community, demonstrating unwavering commitment in thwarting those who seek to harm our citizens and our way of life.”

The plot comes amid a wave of antisemitic attacks that ramped up in America and around the world after Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, amid the ensuing war in Gaza.

Earlier this month, an observant Jew was sucker punched and beaten in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, DC. The alleged attacker subsequently expressed his motive, saying “They’re [the Jews] the cause of all our wars,” and “We know who you are! We know the lies that you’ve told, that you have stolen the place of the true children of Israel.”

He was charged with assault and a hate crime.

In December, the FBI said there had been a 60 percent spike in antisemitic hate crime investigations since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war. Then, in April, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the probes into antisemitic crimes tripled in the months following Oct. 7.

“Between Oct. 7 and Jan. 30 of this year, we opened over three times more anti-Jewish hate crime investigations than in the four months before Oct. 7,” he explained.

Last year, the FBI found that 63 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes in the US were directed against Jews.

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RNC Spotlights Campus Antisemitism as Elise Stefanik Teases ‘Bombshell’ Findings From US Congressional Probe

US Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) speaks during a House Education and The Workforce Committee hearing titled ‘Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, Dec. 5, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ken Cedeno

US lawmakers are preparing to release later this year a trove of new “bombshell” information revealing the extent to which antisemitism has been allowed to flourish on university campuses across the country, according to a high-ranking Republican.

US Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) spoke with political pundit and podcast host Megyn Kelly about the efforts of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to investigate surging antisemitism, including anti-Jewish bias, on college campuses. While reminiscing over last December’s congressional hearing with the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — in which each campus leader proclaimed that calls for a genocide of Jews may not violate school rules depending on “the context” — Stefanik revealed that the committee has obtained new documents shedding light on anti-Jewish hate at elite universities.

“This is pervasive in higher-ed. We have worked on this investigation, and if you think the hearing was bad, Megyn, we’re going to have to talk about all the documents that have been turned over because of our subpoena,” Stefanik said. “We’ll put out a report later this year. That’s even more bombshell material in there. It’s a disgrace what’s happening at these universities.”

Antisemitism has exploded at universities since the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, amid the ensuing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Over the past several months, the committee has rigorously investigated antisemitism at America’s most prestigious universities. The panel recently unearthed and exposed text message exchanges between Columbia University deans which revealed the campus leaders mocking Jewish students as “privileged.” The lawmakers also alleged, based on their investigation, that Harvard University has engaged in a “pattern of inaction” in response to campus antisemitism.

Stefanik spoke to Kelly at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Republicans are gathering this week to nominate their 2024 presidential candidate. The issue of campus antisemitism has been a key issue highlighted at the RNC.

On Wednesday night, Shabbos Kestenbaum, a recent Harvard graduate suing his alma mater over its alleged failure to protect Jewish students, took the RNC main stage and delivered an impassioned speech on campus antisemitism. Kestenbaum said that the surge of unchecked antisemitism on Harvard’s campus in the months following Oct. 7 left him disillusioned with progressives, prompting his move to the political right. 

“After Oct. 7, the world finally saw what I and so many Jewish students across this country experienced almost every day,” he told the RNC crowd. 

“My problem with Harvard is not its liberalism, but its illiberalism. Too often, students at Harvard are taught not how to think, but what to think. I found myself immersed in a culture that is anti-Western, that is anti American, and that is antisemitic,” Kestenbaum said. 

Kestenbaum implored the crowd to support the presidential campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump. 

“Sadly the far-left wing tide of antisemitism is rising,” Kestenbaum said. “But tonight, tonight we fight back. I am proud to support President Trump’s policies to expel foreign students who violate our laws, harass our Jewish classmates, and desecrate our freedoms … let’s elect a president who recognizes that although Harvard and the Ivy Leagues have long abandoned the United States of America, the Jewish people never will.”

Anti-Israel protests have ravaged college campuses across the United States in the months following Oct. 7. Students at prominent universities such as Harvard, Columbia, and MIT have participated in demonstrations chanting slogans such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” and “Burn Tel Aviv to the ground!” Progressive student organizations have also openly banned “Zionists,” forcing Jewish students to choose between supporting Israel and maintaining their social network. Campus demonstrators have also openly cheered Hamas and in some cases threatened or committed violence against Jewish students.

Jewish donors and alumni have condemned university administrators over their unwillingness to shut down demonstrations. As a result, many of them have pulled funding and vowed not to allow their children to enroll at their alma maters.

Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots NFL team, has ceased donating to Columbia University, citing “virulent hate” against Jews on campus.  Ross Stevens, founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management, pulled a $100 million donation from the University of Pennsylvania. The MIT Jewish Alumni Alliance urged Jewish graduates and allies to protest campus antisemitism by lowering their annual donation amount to $1.

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Pro-Israel Group Calls on US Justice Department to Apply ‘KKK Laws’ to Pro-Hamas Demonstrations

Pro-Hamas demonstrators at Columbia University in New York City, US, April 29, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

StandWithUs (SWU), a Jewish civil rights group based in California, is imploring the US Justice Department to crack down on masked protests at Columbia University by enforcing legal statues which are widely referred to as the “KKK Laws,” citing a hostile environment at the school in which pro-Hamas demonstrators who have harassed and assaulted Jewish students continuously evade justice by concealing their identities.

Dating back to the administration of former US President Ulysses S. Grant, the so-called “KKK Laws” empower the federal government to prosecute those who engage in activities which violate the civil rights of protected groups, as the Ku Klux Klan did across the US South during Reconstruction to prevent African Americans from voting and living as free citizens. StandWithUs alleges that five anti-Zionist groups — most notably Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — currently operating on Columbia University’s campus have perpetrated similar abuses in violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which guarantees all students, regardless of race or ethnic background, has the right to a safe learning environment.

The most obvious parallel between their conduct and the KKK’s, StandWithUs noted, is an inveterate shrouding of their members’ faces with masks and keffiyehs, the traditional headscarf worn by Palestinians that has become known as a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian cause and opposition to Israel. Images and footage of the practice have been widely circulated online, and it has rendered identifying the protesters — many of whom have chanted antisemitic slogans, vandalized school property, and threatened to harm Jewish students and faculty during a weeks-long demonstration between April and May — virtually impossible.

Additionally, the groups — which also include Within Our Lifetime (WOL), Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP), Columbia University Apartheid, Columbia School of Social Work 4 Palestine (CSSW4P), and Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine (FJP) — have proclaimed their intention to purge Columbia’s campus of Zionists, a category which includes an overwhelming majority of Jews in the US and around the world. Their rhetoric, StandWithUs added, is unlike any uttered in the US since demonstrations against school integration in the 1950s.

“We hope the Department of Justice (DOJ) will take this opportunity to restore justice on Columbia University’s campuses and hold bad actors responsible for violating federal laws,” Yael Lerman, director of the SWU Saidoff Legal Department, said on Wednesday. “Columbia President Shafik’s concession that Columbia is a hostile environment for Jewish students in violation of Title VI reflects a critical need for the current administration to take decisive action at Columbia.”

Lerman added, “We urge the DOJ to investigate the school’s failure to prevent groups and individuals on its campus from joining forces and depriving Jewish students of their civil rights, a failure that runs afoul of the KKK laws.”

SWU’s letter — sent to US Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department on Wednesday — comes amid an ongoing lawsuit the organization’s Legal Center for Justice (SCLJ) filed against Columbia University in February over its alleged failure to prevent and respond to an explosion of anti-Jewish hate incidents which have occurred on the campus since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, an event the protesters cheered and defended as an act of decolonization inspired by the ideas of far-left political philosophers such as Frantz Fanon.

SWU amended its complaint against Columbia in June, adding 45 students as plaintiffs and over “230 pages of allegations.” Meanwhile, the accusations which surfaced following the group’s first filing have already stained Columbia’s reputation.

“F— the Jews,” “Death to Jews,” “Jews will not defeat us,” and “From water to water, Palestine will be Arab,” Columbia protesters chanted on campus grounds after Oct. 7, violating the school’s code of conduct but never facing consequences for doing so, the complaint alleges. Faculty engaged in similar behavior. On Oct. 8, professor Joseph Massad published in Electronic Intifada an essay cheering Hamas’ atrocities, which included slaughtering children and raping women, as “awesome” and describing men who paraglided into a music festival to kill young people as “the air force of the Palestinian resistance.”

The protesters later reinforced their rhetoric with violence, the complaint adds. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library. Another allegedly 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 went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while Students for Justice in Palestine held its demonstrations.

The school’s 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 purportedly forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

Columbia University president Minouche Shafik, who took office in July 2023, recently attempted to assuage concerns that Columbia has become a sanctuary for antisemites after it was revealed that five high-level administrators participated in a group-chat in which ideas that “disturbingly touched on ancient antisemitic tropes” were exchanged. She fired none of the administrators, however, which has led to calls for her to resign from office.

“We will launch a vigorous program of antisemitism and antidiscrimination [sic] training for faculty and staff this fall, with related training for students under the auspices of university life,” Shafik said in statement. “Columbia’s leadership team recognizes this as an important moment to implement changes that will build a stronger institution as a result. I know that you all share this commitment.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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