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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Encampments at Columbia University endanger Jewish students

Antisemitism and terror flourish in college protests against Israel
Vincent Scrivens
Illustration of a man holding an Israeli flag in front of Columbia University.

The safety of Jewish students has been compromised ever since Columbia University President Minouche Shafik spoke at an April 17 congressional hearing about antisemitism at campus. Since then, protests at the university, as well as across the nation have flamed up.

Recently at Yale University, Sahar Tarak, the editor-in-chief at The Yale Free Press, was stabbed in the eye by a Palestinian flag, according to the New York Post. Similar to Yale, tensions at Columbia flamed up, led by Columbia’s Students for Justice for Palestine, an organization that “stands in full solidarity” in regard to the attacks on Oct. 7 by Hamas, which is a designated terrorist organization in the United States.

In an Oct. 8, 2023 opinion article on Electronic Intifada, an online Chicago-based publication covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tenured Columbia professor Joseph Massad used words including ”astonishing, astounding, awesome and incredible” to describe the Oct. 7 attacks. Massad described the massacre at Nova, the butchering in the Kibbutzim, the raping of women, the murder of the elderly, the kidnapping of those like Noa Argamani and Shlomo Mansour and the body of Shani Louk as “incredible.”

According to an April 30, 2024 New York Post article, protesters at Columbia University blocked students that weren’t pro-Palestine from entering their dining halls and classes. It draws parallels to when students in Nazi-occupied Vienna blocked entry for Jews into Vienna University.

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With phrases such as “We are Hamas,” “Never forget (Oct. 7). That will happen not once … but 10,000 times” and praise for the Al-Qassam Brigades — the military wing of Hamas — at Columbia, can these protests really be called peaceful? The answer lies within the school’s policy.

Columbia’s school policy says, ”Columbia has an unfaltering commitment to ensuring the safety of our students and other community members at all times, including during protests and demonstrations.”

When Passover, the Jewish holiday commemorating the exodus story of Jews going to the promised land , came around, a campus rabbi told Jewish students to go remote as the university couldn’t guarantee their safety, according to an April 21 NBC article on the topic. This shows that these protests violate Columbia’s own rules and policy about how an opinion may be expressed — the encampments jeopardize the safety of Jewish students at Columbia University.

These actions received many reactions — from condemnations by New York Rep. Elise Stafanik and CEO of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, to condonement by Ayatollah, or Supreme Leader, of Iran Ali Khamenei, praising the students for using the flag of Hezbollah, an organization that has been launching rockets into the north of Israel since Oct 8.

How do the encampments and protests promote peaceful ideologies when they bear the flags of terrorist organizations that murder, kidnap and rape innocent civilians. The encampments are supported by a leader who turned his country backward by murdering women in cold blood for having their hair out and hanging those that want to speak freely off of cranes.

If one wants to protest the war, then that is their right, but not when they bear flags of terrorist organizations, chant slogans that are antisemitic and delegitimize the existence of the only Jewish state in the world.

The encampments don’t help anyone. They only worsen our society and put strain on the ability for us to humanize with one another and sit at the table for discussions.

If you want society to be able to have a dialogue and understand each other, you must denounce these encampments and demand for open communication with authentic speakers from opposing viewpoints and not just token voices.

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About the Contributors
Amit Cohen
Amit Cohen, Freelance Reporter
Vincent Scrivens
Vincent Scrivens, Editor-In-Chief (+ News Editor)
Vincent started pursuing journalism because he found it to be a career that has had a significant impact on the modern world. The power to rattle even the most protected establishments and people is quite enthralling to him, and he hopes to gain knowledge and skills from La Voz that can help him do just that.

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