The White House condemns ‘blatantly anti-Semitic’ protests amid ongoing unrest in Columbia

The White House on Sunday condemned calls for “violence and physical intimidation against Jewish students” as protests continue at colleges across the US, including the latest demonstration at Columbia University in New York.

“While every American has the right to peaceful protest, the calls for violence and physical intimidation against Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly anti-Semitic, unconscionable and dangerous – they have absolutely no place on any college campus, or anywhere in the world. the United States of America. America,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement shared with The Hill.

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

The statement came shortly after reports circulated Sunday that a rabbi affiliated with Columbia University had sent a message to 300 Jewish students to leave campus, return home and stay there before the start of Passover, the Jewish holiday that Monday evening begins.

The Campus Hilel refuted this statement: write on X, “We do not believe that Jewish students should leave @Columbia. We believe that the university and the municipality should do more to ensure the safety of our students.”

Protests have been going on at Columbia University since last week, when dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators set up an encampment of dozens of tents on campus. Minouche Shafik, president of Columbia University, later authorized the New York Police Department to help remove the encampment.

More than a hundred protesters were taken into custody, NBC News reported last week.

All university students involved in the demonstration were told they have been suspended, according to school officials.

Among those suspended was Isra Hirsi, the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Hirsi is a student at Barnard College, which is affiliated with Columbia but has some independence.

A series of U.S. colleges have faced an increase in demonstrations and protests in the months following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks that killed about 1,200 people and took about 250 others hostage in southern Israel.

Israel has responded with a bombardment of Gaza, killing more than 34,000 Palestinians in the enclave, according to the Health Ministry.

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