‘Columbia will burn’: anti-Israel protestors defy order to leave encampment

Columbia University administration issued an ultimatum to protestors to leave the encampment by 2 pm Monday or face suspension.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

On Monday, anti-Israel protesters at Columbia defied an order to leave the campus encampment or face suspension.

Columbia’s administration issued the deadline for 2 pm on Monday for departure from the encampment, but many protestors remained in the area.

With 120 tents still standing, 300 people gathered repeating chants such as “Free, Free Palestine,” “Expose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest” and “Gaza, Gaza you will rise, NYC is on your side.”

They also displayed copies of the written ultimatum with “Columbia will burn” and “I ain’t reading all that. Free Palestine” scrawled on the papers in large letters.

The protests were organized by Students for Justice in Palestine, but non-students also joined the demonstrations.

The penalty for violating the deadline includes the deactivation of student ID cards, which would bar access to student housing.

Suspended students also would not be allowed to attend classes, academic events and extracurricular activities.

The document describing the ultimatum read, “You are not permitted to complete the Spring 2024 semester, including participate in classes or exams in-person or remotely or otherwise submit assignments or engage in any activities affiliated with Columbia University.”

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“You may lose the semester. If you are scheduled to graduate, you are no longer eligible.”

According to the Columbia Spectator, suspended students will be barred from “campuses, facilities, and property, including all academic, residential and recreational spaces.”

Prior to the expiration of the deadline, dozens of NYPD officers gathered at the Morningside Heights campus in New York City.

Columbia University president Minouche Shafik testified at a congressional hearing on the university’s handling of antisemitic incidents.

With a number of calls for her resignation, Minouche issued the ultimatum to stop the anti-Israel encampment.

She denied one of the protestor’s main demands, that the university entirely divest from Israel.

On Monday morning, Minouche strongly urged the protestors to voluntarily disperse and avoid “alternative internal options.”

The NYPD reported that busloads of law enforcement were standing by to enter Columbia’s campus if necessary.