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Live updates – Gaza protesters defy Columbia deadline to disband or face suspension

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Live updates – Gaza protesters defy Columbia deadline to disband or face suspension

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Copyright: Getty Images

Image caption: Columbia students setting up a memorial for Israeli victims of the 7 October Hamas attacks.

Over the course of several days last week, I visited Columbia’s protest encampment and spoke to students, including several Jewish students, who said they had experienced incidents of harassment and antisemitism since the demonstrations began.

Among them was Guy Sela, an Israeli students – and IDF veteran – who told me that “every Israeli Jewish student” at Columbia had faced “at least one antisemitic act”, whether verbal or physical, since the protests began.

“I’ve been threatened here, called names like murderer, butcher and rapist, just because I was born in Israel,” he said, adding that he has seen explicitly pro-Hamas signs on campus.

“We’re paying full tuition here, just as much as they are,” he said, the encampment clearly visible in the background. “There’s no reason that this environment should be less inclusive for anyone that is not Palestinian or support that cause.”

Another Jewish student, 27-year-old Master’s student Jonathan Swill, said he turned down a doctoral opportunity at the university after being subjected to antisemitic abuse, including one case of assault.

“This place is uncomfortable for me. Every time I wake up, I dread having to come to campus. I don’t know when I’m going to have things thrown at me,” he said.



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