Photo Credit: UK's Department for International Development
Nemat Minouche Shafik, 2009

Columbia University in New York City has moved its classes to remote online learning after pro-Hamas anarchists seized control over much of the campus, presenting a clear and immediate danger to Jewish students at the school.

University president Nemat Minouche Shafik announced the move early Monday. “Our preference is that students who do not live on campus will not come to campus,” she said, adding that the step was taken to “de-escalate the rancor and give us all a chance to consider next steps.”


Last week Shafik was forced to call in the NYPD to contend with the anarchists, whose escalating rhetoric included declarations that Columbia’s Jewish students would be the “next target” of the Al Qassam military wing of Hamas. “We are Hamas!” some of the anarchists were heard yelling. City police officers arrested more than 100 demonstrators.

Students at Columbia’s New York City campus will learn in remote classes for the rest of the semester to ensure their safety from increasingly vicious – and in some cases, violent – demonstrations by pro-terror anarchists calling on Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization to murder the Jewish students next.

Columbia Campus Rabbi Urges Jewish Students to Leave for Their Own Safety

Last week the Orthodox rabbi on campus urged Jewish students to return home “as soon as possible” and not to come back, due to the danger.

“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,” he wrote in a WhatsApp message.

“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. It is not our job as Jews to ensure our own safety on campus. No one should have to endure this level of hatred, let alone at school.”

NY Governor Condemns Antisemitic Acts at Columbia University

On Monday, hours before the start of the Passover holiday, Shafik pledged to “try to bring this crisis to a resolution” but declined to allow NYPD to enter the campus to help ensure the safety of Jewish students.

“I know that there is much debate about whether or not we should use the police on campus, and I am happy to engage in those discussions,” she said.

“But I do know that better adherence to our rules and effective enforcement mechanisms would obviate the need for relying on anyone else to keep our community safe. We should be able to do this ourselves.

“Over the past days, there have been too many examples of intimidating and harassing behavior on our campus,” she acknowledged.

“Antisemitic language, like any other language that is used to hurt and frighten people, is unacceptable and appropriate action will be taken,” she added.

The previous day, the White House also condemned the calls for intimidation and violence against Jewish students, which has not been limited to Columbia University and which appears to be spreading like wildfire across the country.

“While every American has the right to peaceful protest, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous — they have absolutely no place on any college campus, or anywhere in the United States of America,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul also condemned as antisemitism threats against Jewish students or glorifying the atrocities of Oct. 7, writing in an X post overnight Sunday that “the First Amendment protects the right to protest but students also have a right to learn in an environment free from harassment or violence.”

But she declined to send in the National Guard, as some suggested, or to force the university to accept the assistance of NYPD in securing the safety and civil rights of the school’s Jewish community.


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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.