Jewish students at Columbia University and Barnard College ripped their school administration’s “inaction against antisemitism” on the Morningside Heights campus, with Barnard senior Noa Fay complaining that “as a result of this inaction, there are Jewish students who do not feel physically safe on campus.”
The students spoke after more than 100 professors signed a letter siding with students who voiced support for Hamas’ terrorist invasion of Israel on Oct. 7 that killed 1,400.
“When Columbia professors band together and sign a letter that basically justifies Hamas’ actions, I do not feel safe,” said Barnard sophomore Jessica Brenner. “I feel walking on campus many people just want me to die.”
“Now I get it,” she added, “I actually understand how the Holocaust happened.”
“It was always hard for my generation to comprehend how the Nazis could have mobilized, how did the gentile bystanders fall victim to propaganda so effectively they quickly became the perpetrators themselves?” Fay said.
“The saturation of anti-Israel propaganda on campus” has convinced most students “of the same insidious theories through which the Holocaust was enacted,” she continued. “The student body at Columbia and our peer institutions has been so thoroughly propagandized they do not see and refuse to see the extent of their fear and hatred towards the Jewish people. This is antisemitism at its core.”
The following incidents are only a few among a pattern of hostility and hatred towards Jews that have been reported to Columbia’s administration, with little response:
•An Israeli student was attacked on campus after hanging up a poster of a Jewish civilian currently being held hostage by Hamas. The Manhattan District Attorney has since charged the attacker with a hate crime.
•A leader of a Columbia-funded undergraduate student organization publicly and unapologetically claimed “white Jewish people today and always have been the oppressors of all brown people,” wrote that “Israelites are the Nazis,” asserted that “the Holocaust wasn’t special,” and barred Zionists from attending her club’s events. After the email circulated, the student reaffirmed their horrifying beliefs on social media.
•Students at last Wednesday’s pro-Palestinian walkout on Columbia’s campus displayed banners claiming that “resistance is not terrorism,” implying that Hamas’ indiscriminate murder, rape, and terrorizing of civilians was legitimate.
•A swastika was found on the walls of the International Affairs Building.
•Students who publicly supported Israel received death threats.
•Social media has become a cesspool of hateful rhetoric. Just a few instances include: An Instagram post that used a cockroach emoji to dehumanize students at a vigil mourning the deaths of those murdered by Hamas; The Columbia version of the anonymous social media platform Sidechat littered with posts hoping for the deaths of specific Jewish students.
•Inside a Law School building, a student told a visibly Jewish student, “F*ck the Jews.”
•Jewish students at Columbia Law have been targeted with antisemitic tropes in class group chats, including accusations of committing “economic warfare.”
“The University’s lack of a meaningful, practical response to these acts of blatant antisemitism is incredibly disheartening,” said Brenner.
“Undergraduates who have filed official reports about these incidents have been left with no emotional support, no feedback, and no consequences for the perpetrators of these hateful actions,” said Fay.