Dem Senator Compares Columbia Protesters to Charlottesville

( – Democratic Senator John Fetterman has compared anti-Israel protests at Columbia University to the Charlottesville rallies of 2017 that left a 32-year-old woman dead. Fetterman called the Columbia demonstrations “antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous,” adding that it is “Charlottesville for Jewish students.”

The protests began at the New York City University on April 17 when students opposed to Israeli military action in Gaza set up camp throughout the city campus. Columbia University Apartheid Divest, the group behind the demonstrations, wants the university to divest from any companies that “profit from Israeli apartheid, genocide and occupation.”

As protestors established an encampment on the university’s lawns, President Minouche Shafik testified to Congress about antisemitism on American campuses. Shafik told the House Committee on Education and the Workforce that she condemns the antisemitism she described as “pervasive” in US universities since the Hamas attack on the Jewish state last October.

Noting a significant rise in antisemitic incidents at the university, including the discovery of a swastika by NYPD, Ms. Shafik insisted that she has spent “most of her time” tackling the issue since becoming president of the institution. She added that she has suspended 15 students and is committed to doing everything she can to bring the situation under control.

Meanwhile, Isra Hirsi, daughter of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, confirmed on Twitter that she was suspended from Barnard College for participating in the protests that resulted in at least 100 arrests. The 21-year-old tweeted that she is one of the demonstration’s organizers and one of three students suspended for “standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide.”

The lawmaker’s daughter was among dozens of activists taken from the campus in handcuffs by NYPD. The student, who reportedly attended her first demonstration at age five, received a letter from Barnard College dean Leslie Grinage, telling her he had received information from Columbia that she was involved in an “unauthorized encampment” and had not “ceased participation” despite numerous requests to do so.

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