No anti-semitism at Columbia University claims jewish student, ‘it's a distraction tactic’ - Hindustan Times
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No anti-semitism at Columbia University claims jewish student, ‘it's a distraction tactic’

Apr 24, 2024 04:53 PM IST

Columbia University gives students two more days to clear up after Tuesday midnight deadline passed.

Columbia University has recently become the epicentre for anti-Israel protests, drawing hundreds of students to encamp on the campus grounds. Despite the administration's ultimatums, these students remain defiant, and their numbers continue to grow.

US flags alongside portraits of Israelis taken hostage by the militant Palestinian group Hamas in front of the pro-Palestinian encampment at Columbia University in New York on April 23, 2024. (AFP)
US flags alongside portraits of Israelis taken hostage by the militant Palestinian group Hamas in front of the pro-Palestinian encampment at Columbia University in New York on April 23, 2024. (AFP)

Even as pro-Palestine protests continue across various campuses, concerns about anti-semitism have been raised by critics and Jewish supporters. However, amidst these discussions, an interview with a Jewish student participating in the pro-Palestine protest has gained significant attention.

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Jew student at Columbia University says, ‘I feel safe here, no anti-semitism on campus’

Jared Kannel, a Jewish student actively involved in the Gaza encampment at Columbia University, shared with TRT World that he feels completely secure on campus. He suggests that U.S. officials are diverting attention from Israel's actions by solely focusing on allegations of anti-Semitism on college campuses.

According to Kannel, the purported concerns of anti-Semitism serve as a distraction tactic, aimed at avoiding discussions about the ongoing situation in Gaza and Israel's actions.

Columbia University extends deadline for students

Meanwhile, discussions aimed at resolving the standoff between pro-Palestinian demonstrators and officials at Columbia University have been extended after a midnight deadline passed.

The extension of talks for two days followed reported "significant progress" in negotiations, as stated by an administrator early Wednesday, according to the university's student newspaper. Prior to this decision, some demonstrators expressed concerns that the school might resort to police intervention to dismantle their encampment, especially after over 100 arrests the previous week.

Headway in talks between Columbia University and protestors

According to the Columbia Spectator, student representatives have agreed to four commitments with Columbia. These include the removal of a significant number of tents, ensuring that only Columbia students remain in the encampment, adhering to New York fire safety standards, and prohibiting discriminatory or harassing language at the encampment.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul convened a meeting early Monday with Columbia's leadership, law enforcement, and a group of students to discuss balancing campus safety with the right to free expression.

With the semester drawing to a close and protests ongoing, Columbia University has transitioned many classes to a hybrid format this week. This move allows students to complete their courses remotely, avoiding areas of the campus where tensions are running high.

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