Columbia staff encouraged Israel hatred on campus: Report

“If I were a parent of one of these students, I would have major concerns about these faculty,” says professor.

By World Israel News Staff

Faculty members and staff were a major contributing factor towards the anti-Israel and antisemitic environment that roiled the campus of Columbia University, according to interviews with professors, students, and a damning report from an taskforce for combatting Jew hatred at the school.

One revelation from an internal probe found that Columbia professors had badgered their Jewish students regarding their views on Israel’s military campaign against the Hamas terror group, pressuring them to express their opinions publicly.

Some Columbia professors reportedly told their students that mainstream media “is owned by Jews.”

Gil Zussman, a professor of engineering at Columbia originally from Israel, told Haaretz that teachers at the school had been vocal about the anti-Israel protests, which included rhetoric promoting terror attacks and rampant harassment of Jewish and Israeli students on campus.

“Based on conversations with students, we now know that some faculty members are unfortunately also creating a hostile environment toward Israelis in classrooms and are encouraging rule-breaking by student protesters,” he told Haaretz.

“For example, over 10 faculty and staff were standing outside Hamilton Hall when students broke in” and illegally occupied the building, holding a custodian hostage, Zussman said.

“If I were a parent of one of these students, I would have major concerns about these faculty.”

Zussman noted that as an act of support, some protesters even moved their office hours to the protest encampments – meaning that Israeli or Jewish students would have to physically enter the anti-Israel mobs in order to speak with their professors.

“Jewish and Israeli students are feeling very targeted and ostracized,” Prof. Nicholas Lemann, who teaches at Columbia’s School of Journalism, told Haaretz.

“The concept of Zionism has become unacceptable in some circles at Columbia. People are asked to promise that they’re not Zionist. In the classroom, some feel uncomfortable because of intense criticism of Zionism.”

Over 500 students were interviewed by the taskforce regarding their experiences of antisemitism at Columbia. A full report from the taskforce is expected to be made public in the coming weeks.