Columbia anti-Israel agitators issue defiant ultimatum, end 'negotiations' with school

A group of anti-Israel students who sparked a fiery protest on the campus of Columbia University in New York said they had given up on talks with school leaders until the administrators pledge not to have them arrested or forcibly removed from their encampment on the West Lawn of the Ivy League institution. .

“As good faith negotiations are impossible if one party threatens to use force to obtain concessions, the student negotiating team has left the table and refuses to return until there is a written commitment according to “that the administration will not release the New York Police Department or the National Guard on its student territory,” the school's chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), an anti-Israel organization, announced in a statement. communicated around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The SJP and aligned groups also accused Israel of launching a “genocidal attack” in Gaza, referring to its military response to a deadly Hamas terrorist invasion on October 7, 2023 that killed more than 1,200 Israelis and seen more of 200 kidnapped and held hostage. .


Pro-Palestinian protests continue at Columbia University in New York

Pro-Palestinian supporters gather in front of Columbia University on April 23, 2024 in New York. In response to recent campus unrest and concerns about the safety of Jewish students, Columbia University President Minouche Shafik announced the move to online learning on Monday. She further urged faculty and staff to prioritize remote work. (Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

Critics of the protest group, including Jewish students and faculty, counter that the demonstrations disrupt learning and create an anti-Semitic and dangerous environment at the $65,000-a-year university.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft even publicly condemned school leaders in a statement from his philanthropic organization announcing that he would withdraw support for his alma mater due to the current atmosphere.

A pro-Palestinian encampment is built on the campus of Columbia University in New York

Anti-Israel agitators build an encampment on the campus of Columbia University in New York on Monday, April 22, 2024. The university announced that all classes would be held virtually today in response to ongoing protests on campus. (Pierre Gerber)

SJP's refusal to break camp comes after police emptied tent camps set up by like-minded agitators at other major universities, including NYU across town and Yale in Connecticut.

After New York University leaders on Monday asked police to remove a group that had set up tents in front of the university's Stern School of Business, crews arrived to build a temporary plywood wall around the perimeter – with steel gates and police standing guard.

A fence is built outside New York University's Stern School of Business

A barrier is constructed outside the Stern School of Business at New York University in New York on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. The wall comes a day after more than 100 people were arrested during a demonstration outside the building. (Julia Bonavita/Fox News Digital)

About 150 protesters moved a block to Washington Square Park, where they chanted anti-Semitic and anti-police slogans for hours.

Earlier in the day, Yale University police removed a similar group from the school's Beinecke Plaza.

Protesters were instead allowed to gather at a public intersection, where some were seen banging Tommy Bahama beach chairs while many others sat with laptops until the group dispersed voluntarily in time to clear the way for commuters during rush hours.

Anti-Israel agitators block roads outside Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

Protesters block an intersection just outside Yale University in New Haven, Conn., Monday, April 22, 2024. Protests continue after a week of demonstrations calling for the university to divest from drug manufacturers military weapons. (Michael Ruiz/Fox News Digital)


Neither group alleged that police used excessive force after the clearances, although the NYU protesters were accused of throwing objects at police.

However, Columbia leaders had been reluctant to allow police officers on campus and returned to COVID-era remote learning as Jewish students expressed concerns for their safety .

As Columbia administrators and radical student representatives failed to reach an agreement on campus, another group of protesters gathered near the home of Senator Chuck Schumer in Brooklyn.

WATCH: Anti-Israel crowd gathers outside Senator Schumer's New York home

The New York Democrat, who is Jewish, is also the Senate majority leader. The agitators condemned his support for Israel and asked him to call for an end to the United States' supply of weapons to Israel for its ongoing fight against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.


A police officer arrests a protester

NYPD officers arrest anti-Israel protesters as they block roads in front of Senator Chuck Schumer's home in Brooklyn, New York, Tuesday, April 23, 2024. (Julia Bonavita/Fox News Digital)

New York police arrested dozens of protesters after they sat in the middle of a major intersection and refused to move. Spectators who obeyed police orders to let the cars pass cheered as their compatriots were led away in groups of two to four at a time, their wrists tied behind their backs. Those arrested were then placed on prison buses.

Police did not immediately provide a summary of the number of arrests and charges.

Police in tactical gear also visited the Columbia campus Wednesday morning — but they did not remove any agitators after the school announced it would extend the deadline for their departure by another 48 hours.

Despite the SJP's fiery announcement, the school said the negotiations had involved “constructive dialogue.”


In a statement posted on its website, the university said protesters agreed to reduce the size of their encampment on school grounds, expel non-student agitators and police themselves against ” any discriminatory or harassing language.”


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