House lawmakers grill Columbia University president over antisemitism

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Columbia University leadership says it is actively taking steps to counter a wave of antisemitism on its campus since the beginning of the Israeli-Hamas war October.

Tuesday, House Republicans grilled the university’s president Dr. Minouche Shafik, calling the Ivy league institution a hot bed for Jewish hate.

Dr. Shafik told lawmakers the university is cracking down.

15 students were suspended, and 5 professors disciplined for inflammatory speech. She also says a newly formed university task force is working to clearly define hate speech.

“To actually clarify what language crosses the line,” says Dr Shafik.

In a yes or no question, Dr. Shafik confirmed to lawmakers that calling for the genocide of Jews does in fact violate Columbia’s code of conduct.

Failing that test, previously cost leaders at Harvard and the University Pennsylvania their jobs.

The university did fire a professor who praised Hamas on social media October 11th. Rep Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) says he should never have been hired.

For some Jewish students the actions are too little too late, before the hearing a group from Columbia and Barnard University accused the university of allowing hate to brew.

“The Jewish students on campus have been under extreme duress since October,” said Barnard University student Yola Ashkenazie.

“A tenured professor insisted that people who are religiously observant and go regularly to synagogue are indoctrinated,” recounted Columbia student Eden Yadegar, “A student’s star of David was ripped off her neck.”

Republicans, including Committee Chairwoman Rep Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), argues the university should have reacted sooner.

“Columbia stands guilty of gross negligence at its best,” said Foxx, “at worst has become a platform for those supporting terrorism and violence against the Jewish people.”

Stefanik and Foxx are vowing to hold the Ivy League institution accountable.

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