White House condemns ‘despicable antisemitism’ and terrorist rhetoric at Columbia University anti-Israel protests | EUROtoday

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The White House denounced alleged antisemitism at Columbia University forward of Passover as protests in opposition to the conflict in Gaza persist.

Student demonstrators have demanded that the college divest from “companies complicit in genocide” because the nation engages in conflict for the seventh month for the reason that October 7 assaults. The protests have continued right into a fifth day on Sunday, however accounts of antisemitism and violent rhetoric have cropped up.

The White House condemned any hate-filled, focused speech. “While every American has the right to peaceful protect, 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 stated in an announcement.

“And echoing the rhetoric of terrorist organizations, especially in the wake of the worst massacre committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, is despicable. We condemn these statements in the strongest terms,” he added.

The assertion comes hours after a rabbi at Columbia/Barnard Hillel suggested roughly 300 principally Orthodox Jewish Students to remain residence, given the “terrible and tragic” state of affairs on the Ivy League campus.

Rabbi Elie Buechler wrote in a WhatsApp message, shared with CNN’s Jake Tapper, that he “strongly” recommends they “return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved.”

“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 Buechler wrote.

A Jewish scholar instructed CNN: “Columbia students organizing in solidarity with Palestine – including Jewish students – have faced harassment, doxxing, and now arrest by the NYPD. These are the main threats to the safety of Jewish Columbia students.”

“On the other hand, student protesters have led interfaith joint prayers for several days now, and Passover Seder will be held at the Gaza Solidarity Encampment tomorrow,” he continued. “Saying that student protesters are a threat to Jewish students is a dangerous smear.”

The rabbi despatched the message forward of Passover, which begins on Monday.

The college’s president was questioned by Congress this week over antisemitism on school campuses. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar pressed Dr Minouche Shafik in regards to the concentrating on of pro-Palestinian protesters.

Dr Shafik sparked outrage amongst some college students when she steered to the House that a number of the chants typically heard at pro-Palestinian protests have been antisemitic.

One day later, arrests and suspensions on campus started. Dr Shafik despatched a letter to the Columbia neighborhood saying she “had to make a decision that I hoped would never be necessary”.

“Out of an abundance of concern for the safety of Columbia’s campus, I authorized the New York Police Department to begin clearing the encampment from the South Lawn of Morningside campus that had been set up by students in the early hours of Wednesday morning,” the college president added.

“The individuals who established the encampment violated a long list of rules and policies,” she wrote.

On that very same day, Rep Omar’s daughter was certainly one of a wave of scholars suspended from faculty this week for participating within the protest encampment.

The protests are underway as greater than 33,000 folks have been killed in Gaza for the reason that starting of Israel’s counteroffensive to the Hamas 7 October 2023 assaults by which 1,200 folks have been killed in Israel and round 250 taken hostage.

On Saturday, the House handed a large assist bundle to Israel and Gaza. The invoice breaks right down to giving roughly $4bn towards Israel’s defence and about $9bn towards humanitarian help in Gaza. The measure nonetheless has to go the Senate, which it’s anticipated to do subsequent week.