2 Democratic Party lawmakers call for resignation of Columbia president over antisemitic protests

Although many Republicans in Congress have denounced the president of Columbia, Fetterman, and Torres are the only Democratic lawmakers who have called for Shafik’s resignation.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Democratic  Representative for New York Ritchie Torres and Democratic Senator from Pennsylvania John Fetterman called for the resignation of Columbia University president Minouche Shafik over her apparent inability to reign amid the chaos of antisemitic protests on campus.

In an X post, Torres wrote: “The cancellation of in-person classes at Columbia University is an admission of failure by President Minouche Shafik, who has chosen to surrender control of Columbia to an antisemitic fringe.”

He added, “If you cannot ensure the safety of your students, then you have no business serving as President of any university, let alone the alma mater of Alexander Hamilton.”

“What Columbia University needs is not an appeaser of antisemitism but a leader who will fight with moral clarity against it,” Torres concluded.

Democratic Senator from Pennsylvania, John Fetterman posted on X that Columbia’s protests were  “antisemitic, unconscionable and dangerous.”

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“Add some tiki torches and it’s Charlottesville for these Jewish students,” Fetterman  added referring to a 2017 white supremacist rally at the University of Virginia characterized by the chant “Jews will not replace us.”

“Do your job or resign so Columbia can find someone who will,” said Fetterman.

Although many Republicans in Congress have denounced the president of Columbia, Fetterman, and Torres are the only Democratic lawmakers who have called for Shafik’s resignation.

Minouche Shafik was questioned at a congressional hearing concerning antisemitism at Columbia University and was asked what steps she was taking to protect Jewish students at the university in the face of a steep rise in bullying and harassment directed at Jews.

Starting last Wednesday, pro-Palestinians set up an encampment and protests escalated to include antisemitic bullying, threats to commit October 7th atrocities repeatedly against Jewish students, and calls for the destruction of Israel.

Read  Columbia protesters reestablish encampment, president returns to negotiating table

In a statement on Monday, Shafik said she was ‘deeply saddened’ by the situation on campus and announced that she was canceling all in-person classes.

‘To deescalate the rancor and give us all a chance to consider the next steps, I am announcing that all classes will be held virtually on Monday.”

She added that although she understood many students were upset about the situation in the Middle East, “We cannot have one group dictate terms and attempt to disrupt important milestones like graduation to advance their point of view.”

Shafik said that the university’s administration and faculty would strive to find a peaceful resolution without indicating when regular classes would resume.

 

 

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