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House Education Committee questions Columbia University on pro-Palestine student protests

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On April 17, The bi-partisan House Education Committee held a congressional hearing focused on Columbia University’s response to alleged antisemitism on campus. This hearing is part of a larger investigation into universities in the wake of widespread pro-Palestinian protests nationwide.

The majority of the hearing consisted of attacks on pro-Palestinian students and organizations on campus, including labeling organizations as antisemitic and calling for the expulsion of pro-Palestinian students and professors. The witnesses were Dr. Nemat Shafik, president of Columbia University, Professor David Schizer, and board of trustees co-chairs Claire Shipman and David Greenwald.

While under questioning, Dr. Shafik announced the firing and demotion of pro-Palestinian professors for comments made on October 7, denounced student protesters who used chants like “From the river to the sea” as antisemitic and described Columbia’s political repression of pro-Palestine organizations.

“We brought in extra security expertise and had regular contact with the NYPD and the FBI,” said Dr. Shafik, referencing student protests. Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC) said the institution “only suspended three students for antisemitic incidents between October 7 and March 24” and called for more students to face disciplinary actions. Columbia University suspended two student groups, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, last year after pro-Palestine student protests.

This bipartisan hearing follows previous hearings targeting student protests at schools like Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The university presidents of Harvard and Penn have since resigned.

#AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #StudentMovement


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