(JTA) – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will suspend a handful of students from “non-academic” activities after they participated in a recent pro-Palestinian “die-in.”
The decision was announced in a Nov. 9 letter from MIT President Sally Kornbluth, who did not specify how many students will be suspended. The protest, which occurred that day, was put on by a campus group known as the Coalition Against Apartheid. The action was taken because “a line had been crossed” in the protesters’ occupation of a university building, Kornbluth wrote.
“Today’s protest – which became disruptive, loud and sustained through the morning hours – was organized and conducted in defiance” of guidelines the university had issued to the students ahead of time, wote Kornbluth, who was appointed president of MIT last year, on Thursday.
The episode is the latest example of a university taking concrete action against anti-Israel activism on its campus. It comes after Columbia University and Brandeis University announced suspensions of pro-Palestinian student groups surrounding their opposition to Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Columbia suspended the groups, including Jewish anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace, for violating school policy. Brandeis said it suspended Students for Justice in Palestine because the group “‘openly supports Hamas,” which the United State designates as a terror group.
The war has enflamed tensions on campuses nationwide and led to increased fears of antisemitism. The Florida state university system has also been ordered to ban all SJP chapters at its schools, and major donors and politicians have applied additional pressure to schools to take more determined action against anti-Israel activity.
The Coalition Against Apartheid had held the “die-in” in MIT’s main entrance to protest Israel’s actions in Gaza; pro-Israel counterprotesters also showed up. Administrators had warned the students that they could not use the entrance or disrupt research as part of their protest. Many students left after the school said they could be “subject to suspension,” but some did not, Kornbluth wrote.
The school is prohibiting the students from attending “non-academic campus activities” while keeping them enrolled at the school. Administrators stopped short of suspending students outright because of “serious concerns about collateral consequences for the students, such as visa issues,” Kornbluth wrote.
The president added that MIT’s investigation into the protest, including individual actions taken by both protesters and counter-protesters, would continue. Kornbluth said that members of a counterprotest may also have violated MIT policies and did not specify the viewpoints of the suspended students. Photos of the protest taken by the student newspaper, The Tech, show students setting up displays in the building with both Israeli and Palestinian flags.
MIT Hillel’s director did not immediately respond to a Jewish Telegraphic Agency request for comment.
In an open letter shared on the social network X, formerly known as Twitter, by Israeli MIT professor Retsef Levi, a group calling itself the MIT Israel Alliance criticized administration for not outright suspending the offending students. The group claimed that Jewish and Israeli students had been physically prevented from attending classes and that members of the pro-Palestinian group had harassed Jewish MIT staff in their offices.
“They have shown that actions against Jews at MIT do not have consequences,” the letter states.
The post MIT partially suspends students who occupied building for pro-Palestinian ‘die-in’ appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
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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