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Patriots team owner pulls Columbia funding as anti-Semitic protests spread

Protester encampment at the University of California, Berkeley Associated Press/Photo by Haven Daley

Patriots team owner pulls Columbia funding as anti-Semitic protests spread

Patriots football team owner Robert Kraft pulled financial support from Columbia University on Monday, citing the school’s failure to quell growing anti-Semitism on campus. University leaders need to stand up to hate by ending the protests immediately, Kraft said in a statement released by his nonprofit Foundation to Combat Antisemitism. Columbia made headlines last week when over 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested after occupying a campus lawn for over 30 hours. With a few exceptions, all classes on the school’s main campus will be a hybrid of in-person and online classes for the rest of the semester, Provost Angela V. Olinto announced. The rise in protests has caused some Jewish students to fear for their safety. Rabbi Elie Buechler advised Jewish students at Columbia University to return home for their safety, citing extreme anti-Semitism on campus.

The New York Police Department arrested 150 protesters at New York University’s Manhattan campus on Monday night. The school contacted NYPD to assist demonstrators who ignored the university’s 4 p.m. ultimatum to disperse, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry told Fox 5 New York. Faculty and students were among those arrested, Daughtry added. He also shared his belief that the protests are being funded by the same group and bolstered by professional agitators in the crowds. Harvard University’s Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee claims the administration suspended the student club, which the school has not confirmed. Protests and encampments have also popped up in Boston at MIT and Emerson College, as well as at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

How far have protests spread? California State Polytechnic University’s campus in Humboldt closed after protesters clashed with law enforcement on Monday. Demonstrators piled furniture to barricade themselves inside and claimed control of the school building. Footage shows police officers in riot gear attempting to pull the barricade down as protesters chant and yell. Other demonstrators gathered outside the occupied building, surrounding law enforcement on both sides before law enforcement left campus later that night. Administrators said classes would be held online until Thursday, citing safety concerns. The University of California’s campus in Berkeley has seen protesters marching and forming an encampment in support of Palestinians. Demonstrators at the University of Alberta in Canada and the University of Sydney in Australia have also mounted encampments on campus to protest the war in Gaza.

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Sift on leaders speaking out against the rising anti-Semitism on campuses.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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