Home » Ivy League anti-Israel agitators’ protests spiral into ‘actual terror organization,’ professor warns

Ivy League anti-Israel agitators’ protests spiral into ‘actual terror organization,’ professor warns

by John Jefferson
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Anti-Israel agitators on Columbia University’s campus have “crossed the line” and become a terrorist organization amid ongoing protests at the Ivy League school, a professor told Fox News Digital. 

“Yesterday, what we saw is that the pro-terrorist student organizations have crossed the line to being an actual terror organization,” business professor Shai Davidai told Fox Digital.

Davidai cited video footage from Saturday as a breaking point for when protesters “crossed the line.” One demonstrator was seen holding a sign reading, “Al-Qasam’s next targets,” while pointing at a group of Jewish students who were singing and waving Israel’s flag. Al-Qassam is the military wing of the terrorist organization Hamas.

Hundreds of protesters were seen on Columbia’s campus again Saturday, with social media videos showing them releasing red smoke while chanting in front of the Columbia East Gate. 

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“Up, up with liberation. Down, down with occupation,” they yelled through the locked campus gate. 

The protesters also shouted and chanted: “Al-Qassam you make us proud, kill another soldier now,” “We say justice, you say how. Burn Tel Aviv to the ground!” and “Hamas we love you. We support your rockets too!”

The protests, which follow war breaking out in Israel on Oct. 7, focus on demands from students and protesters that Columbia completely divest from Israel.

Anti-Israel protestors demonstrate outside of Columbia University’s campus in New York City

“We demand that Columbia sever academic ties with Israeli universities and we demand that Columbia stop censoring and intimidating students who are standing up and advocating for Palestinian liberation,” one protester yelled last week, the New York Post reported. 

Davidai pinned blame for the antisemitism on campus to the administration and faculty who, he says, encouraged the protesters after they failed to take any action on campus antisemitism since war broke out in Israel. 

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“All the faculty that were named in the congressional hearing, and more, are not just egging them on, not just cheering them on, but they have been repeatedly showing up in the illegal encampment of terrorists and telling them to keep going. And encouraging them to fight until the end, no matter what. And finally, they are being encouraged by the administration, who did a big show on Thursday of bringing in the NYPD, arrested 108 students for trespassing, and like a turnstile, brought them back on campus,” he said. 

Columbia Gaza encampment

Davidai compared the protests and antisemitism to a fire, arguing that “student mobs that are being brainwashed are the burning material,” while the “administration that has done absolutely nothing for six freaking months” serves as the oxygen that feeds the fire, and the “the pro-Hamas professors are the arsonists.”

At least three people were arrested Saturday, according to the New York Post, including for disorderly conduct. Another person was seen being carried out on a stretcher by EMS and treated for an unknown issue. 

“We want justice, you say how? Stop arming Israel now!” the protesters chanted Saturday. 

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The protest Saturday comes after more than 100 protesters were arrested on Thursday, when police raided a tent encampment they set up, dubbed the “Gaza Solidarity encampment” and “liberated zone.” Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s daughter was among those arrested on Thursday, after she said earlier that day she was suspended from Barnard College for “standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide,” Fox Digital previously reported. 

Anti-Israel demonstrators outside Columbia

Davidai also took issue with New York politicians who have remained silent on the protests, pointing specifically to Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand as “shameful.” 

“And Chuck Schumer, who’s the senator of New York, has said absolutely nothing. And Gillibrand has said absolutely nothing. And these people are shameful. They are shameful. And I hope to see them go, not because I don’t believe in their liberal values, but I don’t believe in their morals. You cannot just say things and let the Jewish students fend for themselves. And last night, and this morning, and for the past four days, and for the past six months, we have seen the Jewish students fending for themselves,” Davidai said. 

“And it’s time not just for the NYPD, but for the National Guard. Gov. Hochul has to come in and say something,” he added. 

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New York native and Jewish influencer Lizzy Savetsky told Fox that the protests are “deeply troubling” considering New York City is home to the world’s largest Jewish community outside of Israel, and echoed Davidai that more local leaders need to step up and take action on the protests. 

NYPD officers patrol as pro-Palestine protestors demonstrate outside of Columbia University’s campus

“Columbia’s violent protests contrast sharply with our city’s values of diversity and mutual respect. As a Jewish activist in NYC, I stand with students facing threats and discrimination on campus. Columbia must prioritize the safety of all students and ensure that access to education is protected. With the alarming rise in antisemitic attacks across our city, state and local officials must urgently step up to protect the Jewish community at Columbia and combat these terrorist supporters in our streets,” she said.  

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Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who has been publicly condemning U.S. campus antisemitism for months, called for Columbia President Minouche Shafik to “immediately resign” last week and for the school to appoint an individual “who will protect Jewish students and enforce school policies.”

Barnard College, Columbia University student Yola Ashkenazie told Fox News Digital on Sunday that the environment on campus is “scary, dangerous, and untenable” and that protesters have crossed a line and become “violent.” 

“On Saturday night, student protesters proudly chanted for the death of Jewish and Israeli students. They did so by chanting in support of Hamas’ military wing and called on them to strike Israeli cities and pro-Israel students at Columbia. As a university that prides itself on critical thinking, I’ve seen a complete loss of it this week,” she said. 

“Jewish students are unable to be on campus right now. Prohibiting us from receiving the education that we work so hard to be able to obtain is unacceptable, and university administration must do everything they can to ensure that we can resume our studies as soon as possible,” Ashkenazi said. 

Columbia alum Sheila Nazarian, a plastic surgeon originally from Iran, told Fox Digital that she’s stopped donating to the school over campus antisemitism, and said it’s time for the National Guard to respond to campus, while the administration must expel students who take part in the protests. 

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“Having studied in the classrooms of Columbia University, I’ve always valued the institution’s dedication to intellectual diversity and open discourse. However, the recent events unfolding on campus, with anti-Israel protests and inflammatory rhetoric, are deeply troubling. As an alumna, I believe it’s crucial for Columbia to uphold its principles of inclusivity while safeguarding the rights of all students, including those of Jewish descent. Columbia has stopped receiving donations from many alumni, including me, since they failed to stop the student body from passing a BDS resolution. They will continue to not receive a penny from me in donations until this antisemitism problem is cleaned up,” she said. 

Protester with Palestinian flag

“It’s imperative for the university administration to start taking definitive steps to address and condemn any form of discrimination or hostility targeting Jewish students. Call in the National Guard. Stop taking money from foreign bad actors. Fire terrorist sympathizers on staff. Expel terrorist students. These are all adults. And they must be held accountable,” she added. 

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Fox News Digital reached out to the school for comment on the reactions to the protests, but did not immediately receive replies.

Anti-Israel students demonstrate on Columbia University’s campus

This weekend, the Orthodox rabbi at Columbia University and Barnard College told students in a message to leave campus “as soon as possible” until the situation improves, noting that “what we are witnessing in and around campus is terrible and tragic.”

“The events of the last few days, especially last night, have made it clear that Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety in the face of extreme antisemitism and anarchy,” Rabbi Elie Buechler wrote. “It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved.” 

Fox News Digital’s Danielle Wallace contributed to this report. 

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