A Columbia University campus rabbi is urging Jewish students to return to their homes and not to return for their safety.


Rabbi Elie Buechler sent a text to more than 290 students Sunday morning via WhatsApp, urging them to leave “as soon as possible” and to stay home for now.

“The events of the last 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,” the rabbi wrote in the text.

“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,” he wrote.

The warning followed nights of vicious — possibly even deadly — anti-Israel protests on the New York City campus by agitators dressed like Hamas terrorists, with kefiyyahs masking their faces and hair and yelling for the murder of Jews.

One protester held up a sign pointing at students waving Israeli and American flags, and saying “Al Qasam’s next targets.”

More than 100 of the antisemitic protesters were arrested by NYPD after days of “solidarity with Gaza” protests led to a two day-long pro-Palestine sit-in that began last Wednesday and included tents for the protesters to continue their encampment around the clock.

On that Wednesday, Columbia University President Nemat Minouche Shafik was not present on campus: she was testifying before a Congressional committee hearing on the rampant antisemitism ravaging her school.

Shafik authorized the arrests after all attempts to reason with the haters had failed.

“I regret that all of these attempts to resolve the situation were rejected by the students involved. As a result, NYPD officers are now on campus and the process of clearing the encampment is underway,” she said.

Among the protesters who were also suspended from Columbia and Barnard College in response to their hateful threats was Isra Hirsi, the daughter of antisemitic US Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

“It is not our job as Jews to ensure our own safety on campus,” the rabbi wrote in his sad message to the Yavne group.

“No one should have to endure this level of hatred, let alone at school.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.