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Jewish Columbia students faced with threats, attacks speak out, say some protesters aren’t fully educated

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A Jewish student at New York City’s Columbia University called out the general faculty for failing to properly educate students about the differences between Palestinian civilians and Hamas, as well as why the antisemitism being shown through demonstrations and attacks is abhorrent.

Eli Shmidman, vice president of the Jewish Law Students Association chapter, told FOX News that part of the problem is that students get caught up in the “social justice aspect” of supporting the Palestinians, and are able to be convinced by “bad faith actors,” such as those who believe the massacre at the Israeli music festival on October 7 was a hoax.

“The honest truth is that it’s fearful, it’s frightening, it’s disheartening, It’s devastating. Many students are afraid to go to class,” he said on “America Reports.”

He said one of the worst feelings for Jewish students on campus is that they must walk into class knowing at least some of the other individuals in the room hate them or essentially want them eliminated as a people.

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“I don’t know how students are expected to carry that burden on them and carry a law school schedule.”

Shmidman was one of several Jewish students who spoke at a press conference responding to the threats, which also followed an attack on a Jewish student who reportedly objected to a woman who had been tearing down posters of Hamas kidnapping victims.

The suspect reportedly attacked victim “I.A.” with a stick, and has since been arrested by the NYPD. 

A group of Columbia deans – Shih-Fu Chang, Lisa Rosen-Metsch and Josef Sorett spoke out about the “extremely charged” atmosphere on campus in an email to students, according to the college’s student newspaper.

The deans made note of the antisemitic attack and said the campus should “recommit” to “be together across our differences.” I.A. suffered a broken finger in the attack, according to the paper.

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Shmidman said many students who may be demonstrating without full knowledge of what they are demonstrating in support of should be better educated by professors of the bigger picture of what is going on.

“It’s incumbent upon the administration and the university to actually take a stronger stance and educate their students, help them realize that they’re not differentiating between Hamas and Palestinian civilians, and they’re not differentiating with a terrorist attack in an actual military war.”

Earlier on FOX News, Columbia student Noa Fay spoke out in response to a statement by about 100 Columbia professors whom host Dana Perino reported had signed a letter defending students who are supporting Hamas.

“In our view, the students’ statement aims to recontextualize the events of October 7, pointing out that military operations and state violence did not begin with that day, but rather it represented a military response by a people who had endured crushing and unrelenting state violence from an occupying power over many years,” Perino read before adding, “I can’t believe an adult signed that.”

Fay said the letter proves what she herself said at the aforementioned press conference with Shmidman, that the “propaganda has become so insidious.”

“I comment on in terms of undergraduate students, the issue of lack of education, lack of critical thinking skills, frankly, and intellectual capabilities, all mostly, hopefully as a result of our relatively young age,” she said, faulting faculty for failing to be the proverbial adults-in-the-room.

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“[T]o see now this distinguished professors signing on these are people who we know to be who we had – previously at least – considered to be experts in their field, and at the very least, people to respect and to see now that they are setting up – this will be a very long generational thing. It will be a long battle,” she said of the impending fight against the rise of antisemitism.

She said the facts of the Hamas invasion and massacres of civilians are not debatable, and that the proverbial both-sidesing is flawed at its core.

Upstate, an individual was reportedly detained as a “person of interest” in connection to antisemitic threats at Cornell University, according to ABC News.

New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement that law enforcement would do “everything possible to find the perpetrator who threatened a mass shooting and antisemitic violence on campus.”


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