Protests in support of the Israeli and Palestinian people are fueling high tensions on the campus of Columbia University, where an Israeli student was attacked with a stick in front of the school’s main library on Wednesday.
At least 2,300 people have died since Hamas launched thousands of rockets into Israel over the weekend, prompting Israel to declare it was at war with the terror group and issue warnings to Gaza residents ahead of the operations in the territory aimed at eradicating the group.
Hundreds of students gathered on Columbia’s main campus Thursday, many draped or carrying Israeli flags or adorned with Palestinian keffiyeh (headscarves), to show their support for the Reach camp.
The protests remained peaceful, but followed Wednesday’s attack, which occurred around 6:10 p.m. after Maxwell Friedman, 19, who identifies as a woman, argued with a 24-year-old man. years old which bears only the name of AI. on flyers he had posted with names and photos of Israeli hostages.
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Friedman had torn down the posters after initially offering to help the group, telling them she was Jewish. She also allegedly attacked IA with a stick, according to the school newspaper, the Columbia Daily Spectator.
Friedman was arrested and charged with assault.
Joseph Massad, a professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia, wrote an article published in The Electronic Intifada earlier this week that called the Hamas attack “stunning” and called Israel “cruel colonizers.”
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“The spectacle of Palestinian resistance fighters storming the Israeli checkpoints separating Gaza from Israel was stunning, not only for Israelis but especially for the Palestinian and Arab people who came across the region to march in support to the Palestinians in their fight against their cruel colonizers,” Massad wrote.
“But as the ongoing war between the Israeli colonial army and the indigenous Palestinian resistance has only just begun, the coming days will surely be crucial in determining whether this is the start of the Palestinian liberation war or a new battle in this endless struggle between the colonizer and the colonized,” he concluded in his article.
The protests are just some of many that have taken place on college campuses across the country as students remain divided on the issue, with many mobilizing to defend the Palestinian people or condemn the attack of Hamas – all against a backdrop of controversial statements from NYU student groups. Law School, Harvard University and others.
Pro-Palestinian activists were told not to engage with the media during the protest, but some defied the order.
Dozens of student groups signed statements holding Israel “fully responsible” for the terrorist attack and subsequent violence in the region.
Harvard President Claudine Gray released a video in response to the letter, emphasizing that the university “rejects terrorism,” including the “barbaric atrocities perpetrated by Hamas” as well as “hatred” against “any group of people because of their faith.
At least five groups withdrew their support for the statement on Wednesday.
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The president of the NYU Law School Student Bar Association, who issued this statement on behalf of student groups, ended up losing her job offer to an international law firm . The NYU statement declares “unwavering and absolute solidarity with the Palestinians in their resistance against oppression toward liberation and self-determination.”
The law firm Winston & Strawn LLP called the comments “inflammatory” and “deeply in conflict” with the firm’s values in announcing the withdrawal of its bid for the student president position.
Elizabeth Pritchett, Joshua Q. Nelson and Greg Wehner of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.