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White House Condemns Antisemitism on College Campuses

White House Condemns Antisemitism on College Campuses

The White House condemned antisemitism on college campuses, days after New York City police dispersed a pro-Palestinian rally at Columbia University and arrested more than 100 students.

Though it avoided naming a specific university, the White House statement is the latest sign of how campus tensions spurred by the Israel-Hamas war are influencing U.S. politics in a presidential election year.

“While every American has the right to peaceful protest, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said. “They have absolutely no place on any college campus, or anywhere in the United States of America.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he was “horrified and disgusted with the antisemitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus.” In a post on X, he said he had instructed the police to investigate “any violation of law.”

I am horrified and disgusted with the antisemitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus. Hate has no place in our city, and I have instructed the NYPD to investigate any violation of law they receive a report about and will arrest anyone found to be breaking…

— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) April 21, 2024

The rally at Columbia started Thursday, a day after Columbia President Nemat Shafik testified at a House hearing on campus antisemitism. Among the 108 students arrested was Isra Hirsi, daughter of Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota.

Read More: The Growing Antisemitism Among Young Americans

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican, criticized Shafik’s leadership of the university in a post on X, saying Sunday that “Columbia’s leadership has clearly lost control of its campus putting Jewish students’ safety at risk.” She called on Shafik to resign.

Stefanik was among the lawmakers who pressed Shafik on Wednesday about praise by some Columbia professors for Hamas’s attack on Israel on Oct. 7. The invasion prompted an Israeli assault on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

My full statement on Columbia University’s Failed Leadership:

“While Columbia’s failed leadership spent hundreds of hours preparing for this week’s Congressional hearing, it clearly was an attempt to cover up for their abject failure to enforce their own campus rules and protect…

— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) April 21, 2024

Billionaire Bill Ackman, who has repeatedly criticized antisemitism in the wake of Hamas’s attack, took aim at the leaders of Columbia, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, contrasting them with “other well managed elite universities.”

I thought @Columbia was a private university dedicated to educating its students in an atmosphere conducive to learning. Apparently I was wrong.

It is interesting to compare the calm and productive learning environments at other well managed elite universities like @DukeU and… https://t.co/eXbdLdOH8M

— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) April 21, 2024

Yale University President Peter Salovey responded to protests on his university’s campus, saying Sunday that while Yale supports “free speech and civil discourse,” it’s committed “to campus safety, peaceful assembly, and civil discourse.”

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