On Wednesday night, a Columbia University business school professor who is of Israeli American descent gave a passionate speech on campus, criticizing his employer for not publicly condemning student organizations that he believes are “pro-terror” and in support of Palestine.
In a YouTube video titled “An Open Letter to Every Parent in America,” Assistant Professor Shai Davidai claimed that Columbia’s President, Minouche Shafik, has not publicly denounced certain student groups. Davidai went on to express that he would never allow his own daughter to attend the Ivy League school.
At the campus vigil for the Israelis who were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists, Davidai expressed his anger and frustration towards liberal universities across the country for not taking a firm stance against the attacks. His voice shook with rage as he spoke, highlighting the need for universities to stand up against such atrocities.
As college campuses across the United States continue to be a center of heated discussions, protests, and conflicts between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups, one educator has spoken out about the issue. The recent invasion by Hamas into Israel on October 7 and the ongoing Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have only added fuel to the fire. The educator’s comments were filled with passion and concern.
The conflict has resulted in the loss of numerous innocent lives on both sides of the border. Thousands of people have been killed as a consequence of this ongoing conflict. Davidai didn’t hold back as he shouted at Columbia University’s President, Minouche Shafik, calling her a coward. This outburst came after President Biden and Mayor Eric Adams publicly condemned violence.
, “President Shafik of Columbia University, where are you? The students are waiting for you to eliminate all pro-terrorist organizations from the campus.”
Davidai did not indicate which specific student groups he regarded as “pro-terror.” However, he did mention a recent protest that took place last Thursday, which was organized by Columbia’s local chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. Simultaneously, Students Supporting Israel held a counter-protest.
Last week, at Columbia University, he expressed disbelief at the sight of hundreds of students protesting, whom he once again characterized as “pro-terror.” In a passionate statement, Davidia condemned the killing of 1,400 Israelis by Hamas militants and made it clear that such atrocities are never acceptable, even when committed under the guise of resistance.
The educator passionately declared that Columbia University would not be a suitable choice for his 18-year-old daughter, despite its excellent reputation. He expressed concern that the university president permits pro-terrorist groups to march on campus, and therefore, his daughter’s safety would not be guaranteed.
In a bold move, he drew a comparison between the protesters and notorious groups like the Ku Klux Klan or ISIS. Davidia questions in disbelief, urging viewers to share the video of his speech: “It’s hard to believe that we have student organizations that support terrorism. Can you imagine?”
“He said, ‘I’m speaking out because I walked onto my own campus, the very place that employs me and is supposed to keep me safe, and yet I was shivering,’” he recounted. “‘I’m 40 years old and I was shivering to come to my own employment. Imagine not being able to go to work because your boss doesn’t value your life, because your boss supports pro-terror organizations.’”
A 24-year-old Israeli student was subjected to a brutal attack with a stick outside the main library of the university on Oct. 11, a day before the protests erupted. The attacker, identified as Maxwell Friedman,19, was arrested and charged with second and third-degree assault, both classified as hate crimes.
According to the Columbia Spectator, the victim expressed his apprehension for his safety and confirmed that he will not be coming back to the campus anytime soon. Campus has been a challenging place for Pro-Palestinian students due to the hate they have experienced.
The Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine group has reported instances of Muslim students being subjected to spitting and having their hijabs ripped off while on campus. Additionally, activists have been unjustly labeled as “terrorists.”
Shafik emphasized the importance of providing immediate support to members of the Columbia community who have been directly affected during times of crisis. He stated that their duty of care towards the safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff is of utmost importance on a daily basis.
According to her, it is the responsibility of the university to guarantee that students have the freedom to assemble and voice their opinions. However, she expressed disappointment with the fact that certain members of the Columbia community have engaged in “abhorrent rhetoric”, which has led to doxing and online harassment of some students.
As per the Spectator, Shafik expressed concern that certain individuals are exploiting the current situation to propagate anti-Semitic and Islamophobic sentiments, as well as bigotry against both Palestinians and Israelis, among other forms of hatred. He further emphasized that during this time of unrest, it is crucial to refrain from using language that demonizes, intimidates, or unfairly portrays entire communities.
She emphasized that such speech is contradictory to the values of Columbia and has the potential to result in harassment or violence. Furthermore, if such speech is against the law or violates the University’s regulations, it will not be accepted.
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