5 colleges facing accusations of anti-Semitism on campus after Hamas attack

Students walk across the campus of Columbia University in New York, October 5, 2009.
Students walk across the campus of Columbia University in New York, October 5, 2009. | Reuters/Mike Segar

Columbia University 

A 24-year-old Jewish Israeli student said that he was assaulted by a 19-year-old female suspect who hit him with a stick. The suspect attacked the victim, identified by his initials I.A., due to privacy concerns after he noticed her tearing down fliers of Israelis taken hostage by Hamas. 

As The Columbia Spectator reported last Saturday, I.A. is an Israeli School of General Studies student. A friend of I.A.'s said that the suspect had approached him and other students while they were putting the fliers up, claiming that she was Jewish. 

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Later, I.A. saw the same girl, now wearing a bandana over her face, ripping the fliers off of the wall. When the group approached her, I.A. said that she screamed obscenities at him and hit him with a stick in front of the Butler Library. The student claims that he tried to defend himself after the girl allegedly tried to punch him in the face. 

The group of students reported the incident to Columbia Public Safety, who contacted the New York Police Department, according to The Spectator. An NYPD spokesperson confirmed to the outlet that the suspect had been taken into custody and charged with one count of assault. 

"This is because me being an Israeli these days. Not me because being myself," I.A. said. "It is because me being an Israeli who is under a certain kind of threat."

The victim also warned other Jewish and Israeli students against coming to campus if they feared for their safety due to upcoming protests. 

Shih-Fu Chang, School of Engineering and Applied Science dean; Lisa Rosen-Metsch, School of General Studies dean; and Josef Sorett, Columbia College dean, released a statement acknowledging that the atmosphere on campus is "extremely charged and many are concerned for their personal safety." 

"Community members are observing and experiencing disturbing anti-semitic and islamophobic acts, … with some students being targeted based on their religious identity or political speech," they wrote, as quoted by the Spectator.

"Even more, it is paramount — in a moment where it is most difficult to be together across our differences — that we recommit ourselves to doing precisely that."

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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