Ilhan Omar's daughter claims she's homeless, has no food after suspension for anti-Israel protest

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks during a news conference to discuss proposed legislation entitled Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act outside the U.S. Capitol on March 11, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks during a news conference to discuss proposed legislation entitled Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act outside the U.S. Capitol on March 11, 2021, in Washington, D.C. | Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s daughter, Isra Hirsi, claims she's been locked out of her housing on campus and can no longer use her dining plan for meals following her suspension as a result of her participation in anti-Israel protests at Columbia University, where Hirsi was one of over 100 people arrested last week for refusing to leave an encampment. 

Hirsi, an organizer with Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, was suspended from Barnard College last week alongside two of her classmates. The daughter of the Minnesota congresswoman was part of a “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” set up by anti-Israel demonstrators last Wednesday. 

The following day, Columbia President Minouche Shafik authorized the New York Police Department to clear the encampment, and the authorities arrested dozens of students, including Hirsi. 

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In an interview with Teen Vogue, the 21-year-old student said that as a result of her suspension, she has been locked out of her on-campus housing, and she can no longer eat meals at her school’s dining hall. 

“I was a little bit frantic, like, where am I going to sleep? Where am I gonna go? And also all of my s*** is thrown in a random lot. It’s pretty horrible,” she said. “I don't know when I can go home, and I don’t know if I ever will be able to.” 

The student also complained about her lack of food following her suspension. Hirsi added that Columbia University students who were suspended hadn't been subjected to the same level of punishment as Barnard students.

“I cannot go to the dining hall. I sent them an email like, ‘Hey, I rely on campus for my meals, I rely on my dining plan,’ and they were like, ‘Oh, you can come pick up a prepackaged bag of food,’ a full 48 hours after I was suspended,” Hirsi said. “There was no food support, no nothing. The Columbia students still have access to a dining hall and to their homes; they can't go anywhere else, but they can go home and to one dining hall.”

Rep. Omar responded last week to the news about her daughter, writing in a Friday X post that she's “enormously proud” of Hirsi. 

“She has always led with courage and compassion, from organizing a statewide school walk out on the 20th anniversary of Columbine at the age of 15, to leading the biggest youth climate rally at our nation’s Capitol at 16, and now pushing her school to stand against genocide,” Omar wrote.

“Stepping up to change what you can’t tolerate is why we as a country have the right to speech, assembly, and petition enshrined in our constitution,” she added. 

In a Monday statement, Barnard President Laura Rosenbury offered to lift the interim suspension of students who don't have a previous record of misconduct if they agree to abide by the campus rules during a “probationary period.” 

“If these students choose this path, neither the interim suspension nor the probationary period will appear on the students’ academic transcripts and these sanctions will not become part of students’ reportable disciplinary records barring a finding of responsibility under the Student Code of Conduct for future misconduct,” the statement read.

“The remaining students on interim suspension have previously received notices regarding misconduct, and the College is committed to addressing these situations quickly yet thoughtfully through our conduct process.”

The ongoing anti-Israel protests at Columbia University have prompted Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., to lead a delegation calling for Shafik’s resignation. In the letter, the congressional leaders cited the president’s failure to dismantle the encampment and address antisemitic harassment on campus as the reasons why they've lost faith in her ability to lead. 

One of the reports the delegation cited was a warning from Rabbi Elie Buechler, director of the campus’ Orthodox Union-Jewish Learning Initiative, who advised Jewish students to “return home as soon as possible” due to the situation at Columbia University. 

“The events of the past few days, especially last night, have made it clear that Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety in the face of extreme antisemitism and anarchy,” the rabbi wrote.

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

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