Ilhan Omar’s daughter returns to Columbia with her mom to cheer on anti-Israel protesters as deadline to clear out nears

ilhan and daughter at columbia
ilhan and daughter at columbia
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Ilhan Omar’s daughter returned to Columbia’s campus — under the protection of her Congresswoman mother — to cheer on her fellow anti-Israel protesters on Thursday, as the deadline for the university and protesters to reach an agreement on ending the encampment ticks down.

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s daughter returned to Columbia University Thursday — under the protection of her congresswoman mother — to cheer on her fellow anti-Israel protesters, as school officials admitted they were no closer to reaching an agreement about clearing the encampment from campus.

The far-left “Squad” member (D-Minn.) and Isra Hirsi, 21, posed for photos and cheered on the protesters who had put up dozens of tents near the center of the Morningside Heights campus.

The congresswoman later tweeted that she was in “awe” of the student activists’ “bravery and courage.”

“I had the honor of seeing the Columbia University anti-war encampment firsthand,” Omar wrote.

“Contrary to right-wing attacks, these students are joyfully protesting for peace and an end to the genocide taking place in Gaza,” she said.

The high-profile visit came hours before a Friday morning deadline for Columbia officials and protesters to reach a deal over dismantling the tent city — which wasn’t mentioned by a school flak during a Thursday evening press conference.

“To underscore, we have our demands, they have theirs. A formal process is underway and continues,” said Ben Chang, Columbia’s vice president of communications.

“As President [Minouche] Shafik has said, we very much hope these discussions are successful. If they are not, we’ll have to consider options for restoring calm to campus,” Chang added.

Reps for the school wouldn’t say whether a deadline still existed.

A small group of school faculty and administrators have been in contact with student organizers “to discuss the basis for dismantling the encampment, dispersing and following university policies going forward,” Chang said.

Hirsi — who is a junior at Barnard College, the historically women’s institution affiliated with Columbia — was one of more than 100 protesters arrested at the Gaza Solidarity Encampment on the Morningside Heights campus last Thursday.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was spotted smiling at the anti-Israel encampment at Columbia University. REUTERS
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was spotted smiling at the anti-Israel encampment at Columbia University. REUTERS
Omar accompanied her daughter, Isra Hirsi, who was suspended from Barnard College last week. Instagram / @pwgatsipa
Omar accompanied her daughter, Isra Hirsi, who was suspended from Barnard College last week. Instagram / @pwgatsipa

She and at least two other students were suspended from Barnard for their participation in the unauthorized protest.

Hirsi complained in an interview that she was kicked out of her dorm and banned from campus for participating in the protest after university administrators warned students to leave.

Columbia officials said they have tightly controlled access to campus in the wake of the protests, so it’s unclear how Hirsi was allowed back.

In the days after the high-profile arrests, Omar wrote on X that she was “enormously proud” of her daughter – who also boasted in an interview about being known as the “‘PC police’” among her friends.

Access to Columbia’s campus is tightly restricted, and only people with active Columbia IDs are allowed to enter. On Monday, a prominent Israeli business professor, Shai Davidai, learned he had been barred from campus because administrators “could not guarantee his safety.”

It was not immediately clear if Hirsi’s ID had been reactivated or if she was allowed onto the campus as part of her mom’s entourage.

Omar took selfies with students while on campus. REUTERS
Omar took selfies with students while on campus. REUTERS

One prominent pro-Israel campaigner slammed the university for allowing Hirsi to return to Columbia.

“I’m not sure why suspended students are being allowed on campus and in the encampment….when one of the university’s conditions to allowing the encampment to exist [and] protests to continue was that only current students would be able to participate,” Students Supporting Israel Columbia President Eden Yadegar told The Post Thursday.

Elected officials who request to visit the campus are allowed to do so, a university spokesperson said.

When reached by The Post Thursday afternoon, a member of the Office of Public Safety said that public relations reps were escorting media and others onto the closed campus between 2 and 4 p.m.

Hirsi was reportedly banned from campus following her suspension. Robert Miller for NY Post
Hirsi was reportedly banned from campus following her suspension. Robert Miller for NY Post

The escort system is also how House Speaker Mike Johnson and other politicians — including GOP Reps. Mike Lawler and Anthony D’Esposito — entered the campus on Wednesday afternoon, campus officials confirmed.

Columbia has capitulated to anti-Israel protesters twice this week by extending deadlines for them to clear campus.

A university statement issued around 3 a.m. Wednesday said the deadline had been extended for an additional 48 hours as discussions with demonstrators continued.

The Post has reached out to Columbia officials to confirm whether that deadline will be enforced.

About 100 pro-Israeli protesters gathered outside of the university’s entrances on Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue around 6 p.m. Thursday, where there was a massive police presence.

Two men holding mixed American and Israeli flags were seen climbing the locked gates at Amsterdam and 116th Street.

Among those supporting Palestinians was a group of about 20 Orthodox Jews, who denounced Zionism and prayed.

“Judaism and Zionism is not the same thing,” Chain Ruben, 30, told The Post. “Judaism is defined as a religion and Zionism is defined as nationalism.”

“One of the basics of Jewish beliefs is that God sent us into exile which is the reason why we have been living in different lands all over the world for centuries,” he continued.

“We believe that was not an accident but guided by God for a reason. Our religion forbids us to end the exile by force. That’s why we are forbidden to have a Jewish State. Until God is gonna end that. So to end it by force without God is a serious sin.”

Beside him stood Nachman Lieberman, 15, who held a sign that read, “Judaism condemns the state of ‘Israel’ and its atrocities.”

“Judaism forbids people to kill and to steal,” Rabbi Yosef Rosenberg added.

On Monday night, Columbia Provost Angela Olinto announced that the last classes of the spring semester would be hybrid to accommodate the limited access to campus and the number of students who did not feel safe.

After over a week of police presence and community strife, however, several students said they were fed up with protests disrupting their learning.

Hirsi was arrested along with 100 other Columbia students. Matthew McDermott for NY Post
Hirsi was arrested along with 100 other Columbia students. Matthew McDermott for NY Post

“The friends that I have, we are definitely over the protest in terms of, you know,  we want to live our lives,” Noa Fay, a 23-year-old Barnard senior, told The Post.

“We want to graduate on time and normally and we want to enjoy the final days we have on campus so we are all pretty frustrated,” she lamented.

The hybrid schedule was especially disappointing given that the Class of 2024 already started college online at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fay said.

“We started in a time of chaos and we are ending in a time of chaos although this time it’s self-induced, which is why it’s a little bit more distressing,” she noted. “

“This doesn’t have to be happening, and we are making it happen to ourselves, which is discouraging…I am totally over it.”

One 18-year-old freshman agreed that the situation had gotten “out of control.”

“It’s disrupting campus life for everyone,” said the student, who declined to give their name.

“They are selfish. They are not taking the other students into consideration,” they said of the protesters.

“Tents on campus are not part of student life. That’s not what I come to school for.”