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Arrests and Tensions: Protests Escalate at Columbia University

Protesters have converged on Columbia University’s campus amid mounting frustration over the school’s response to antisemitism.

The demonstrations follow Columbia University President Dr. Nemat (Minouche) Shafik’s testimony before a House committee focused on assessing antisemitism at the Ivy League institution.

As night fell on Wednesday, pro-Palestine students gathered for a rally, chanting slogans and vowing to remain until Columbia divests from Israel-related businesses. They set up tents on the south lawn of the university’s quad, prompting the school’s request for them to remove the tents.

During the protests, four individuals, including a 14-year-old who was later released to their parents, were arrested.

In contrast, dozens of students and faculty members supporting Israel also convened at the school, expressing disappointment in Shafik’s leadership.

Meanwhile, in Washington, lawmakers scrutinized Columbia University’s approach to addressing antisemitism on campus.

During questioning by Republican lawmakers, Shafik faced inquiries about what critics view as a pervasive antisemitic bias within the university’s culture, including among faculty members. Shafik maintained that the school does not tolerate hate directed at Jewish students, but acknowledged that instances of antisemitism have been observed among professors.

Responding to a question about evidence of antisemitism among faculty, Shafik noted, “We have seen some cases.”

Tomorrow, the co-chairs of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees will accompany Dr. Nemat (Minouche) Shafik at the hearing.

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