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Ohio State warns students against hate speech and protests over the war in Gaza

The Ohio State University warned students protesting the war in Gaza on Saturday that it will not allow demonstrations to escalate into violence on campus.

In a post on under the First Amendment.”

The university’s statement went on to say that “when protected speech becomes incitement or a threat of violence,” Ohio State President Ted Carter and university leaders have made clear that they “will always act quickly to enforce the law and university policy to force.” Ohio State Police and trained personnel are also on site for demonstrations on campus, the university said in the statement about X.

Read more: Locals protest what’s happening in Palestine, say Columbus residents can make a difference

It is unclear what exactly was said during recent protests that prompted the university’s response. But spokesman Ben Johnson confirmed to The Dispatch that the university made the statement following protests on campus over the war in Gaza.

Ohio State’s statement comes just days after more than 100 people were arrested for protesting Israel’s war in Gaza at Columbia University in New York City.

Students were forcibly removed from tents in the center of campus by police and charged with trespassing, USA Today reported. The students were part of student groups protesting the university’s financial investments in “companies that profit from Israeli apartheid, genocide and occupation in Palestine,” the group told USA Today.

This isn’t the first time colleges and universities have been in the spotlight regarding the conflict, as Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned in January after her response to anti-Semitism on campus was criticized and she faced accusations of plagiarism .

Anti-Semitism at an unprecedented level

The protests against Israel’s war in Gaza come as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) warned that anti-Semitic incidents in the United States have reached a new record.

The number of incidents exceeded 8,800 in the US in 2023. According to the ADL, that is an average of one per hour per day.

Last year’s 8,873 recorded incidents were a 140% increase from 2022, with 321% more incidents on college campuses in 2023 than the previous year, the ADL said.

The majority of these incidents, more than 5,200, took place from October 7 to December 31, 2023.

On October 7, the Palestinian militant group Hamas infiltrated southern Israel in a surprise attack during an important Jewish holiday. The attack involved dozens of gunmen and fired thousands of rockets into Israel, killing dozens, wounding hundreds and taking several hostages, USA Today reported.

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@DanaeKing