Photo Credit: courtesy, Hasbara Fellowship
Likud Knesset Member Dan Illouz speaks with Columbia University students on April 15, 2024

Columbia University was less than welcoming when Likud Knesset Member Dan Illouz came to speak on campus this past week at an event arranged by the Hasbara Fellowship.

Illouz was in New York from April 11-16, the last stop on his US tour, which included talks in Washington and in Miami.


The Israeli lawmaker managed to speak at the scheduled Columbia University event set for April 15, but only after his staff had to leap through multiple hoops and obstacles placed by the university’s administration.

Approval for the talk was finally given on April 12, the Friday morning prior to the talk. Signup began only Sunday (April 14), when most students were unavailable due to the weekend, and registration was only permitted through the Columbia University email system, an Illouz staff member told

Adding fuel to the fire, the university then closed the registration altogether on Monday morning. Entry was barred to all who had not managed to register in time.

“The administration in Columbia did everything possible to stop us from talking on campus, making the bureaucratic process for approval of the event impossible,” Illouz told

“We only got approval one business day in advance, with very limited time for students to sign up for the event,” he noted.

Nevertheless, the university brass did not succeed in discouraging the Israeli lawmaker from connecting with interested students.

“This did not deter us, and thanks to the work of incredibly brave pro-Israeli students who work hard to defend Israel, the talk happened as planned,” Illouz said.

“I will keep standing together with these students who are not afraid to stand up for what is right.”

Columbia President Blasted at Congressional Hearing
Following the October 7 invasion of Israel by Hamas and the massacre of 1,200 people on its territory, that hate was magnified exponentially at the university and for that matter, throughout the world.

Columbia University has been an absolute bastion of antisemitism for years, a fact that was raised by Congressional lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday (April 17) over antisemitism on the university’s campus.

The university’s President Nemat Minouche Shafik testified at the House of Representatives’ Education and Workforce Committee on “Columbia in Crisis: Columbia University’s Response to Anti-Semitism” just two days after Allouz spoke to the small group of students who had managed to register despite the institution’s best efforts to scotch the event.

She appeared together with members of Columbia’s board of trustees and antisemitism task force.

“Antisemitism has no place on our campus, and I am personally committed to doing everything I can to confront it directly,” Shafik said in her opening comments.

However, when pressed on the university’s response to deeply vicious comments by university Professor Joseph Masoud, Shafik replied he had been removed from chairing a committee — but was not removed from the classroom.

US Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI) doubled down on Masoud’s hate.

A tenured professor of modern Arab politics who chairs the School of Arts and Sciences academic Review Committee, Masoud wrote an article praising “the innovative Palestinian resistance” in response to the October 7 massacre, describing it as “awesome, astonishing, astounding, and incredible.”

US Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) asked Shafik about visiting Arab Studies Professor Mohamed Abdou, who was hired after the October 7 massacre and had also expressed support on social media for Hamas on social media and other terror groups.

“On October 11th he posted, ‘Yes I’m with Hamas and Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad,” Stefanik told Shafik. “He also decried ‘false’ reports accusing Arabs and Muslims of decapitating the heads of children and being rapists. We know that there were
decapitations of babies, of innocent Israeli citizens, of seniors, of women; there were rapes and yet Columbia hired this individual as a professor.

“How did that hiring process work? Were you aware of those statements before the
hiring?” Stefanik asked.

In response, Shafik said she shared Stefanik’s “repugnance” over Abdou’s comments and said that he had been terminated.

“He is grading his students’ papers and will never teach at Columbia again,” she said.

Stefanik wasn’t having it.

“Mr. Abdou is not grading papers right now,” she said, noting that Abdou had attended a pro-Palestinian demonstration at Columbia on Wednesday morning.


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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.