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Jewish students at Columbia University ask to study remotely as pro-Palestinian demonstrations continue

Cayla Bamberger, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK — Defiant students at Columbia University continued Friday to protest the war in Gaza as some Jewish students, citing ongoing tension on campus, requested permission to study remotely.

The Jewish students said they felt threatened by the large, unrelenting protests surrounding the campus gates. One masked protester reportedly vowed to a group of Jewish students passing through campus to repeat Oct. 7 “10,000 more times.”

“We do not feel safe walking to nor around campus,” read the open letter with 97 signatures as of Friday night. “We urge the administration to allow us to attend classes virtually until the situation has entirely deescalated.”

One day after university President Minouche Shafik tapped the New York Police Department to clear a campus encampment and arrest more than 100 demonstrators, dozens of students took over another campus lawn with blankets and Palestinian flags. They got up before the sun rose and calling on their classmates to join them with warm clothes and blankets, social media posts from overnight show.

A large sign from the original series of tents, pitched earlier this week, continued to advertise the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment.”

Throughout the day, the protesters continued to chant and dance. The campus chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, which was one of two student organizations suspended from campus last semester, was organizing a Sabbath celebration in the encampment zone.


One undergraduate student told The New York Daily News that the more university administrators try to “silence us,” the more she and her classmates will fight back.

“Seriously, that’s why we’re here,” she said. “Because you can’t tell us to shut up.”

The encampment went up shortly before Shafik earlier this week defended in front of Congress her handling of rising campus antisemitism amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Pro-Palestinian protesters, including students from CUNY and New York University, on the perimeter of Columbia, continued to show support for Columbia students. Campus gates were locked for the fifth day in a row.


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