Columbia University President Breaks Silence on Anti-Israel Protests

Columbia University President Minouche Shafik broke her silence concerning the pro-Palestinian protesters who took over the campus for the past few weeks.

Shafik described the past few weeks at the university as being, “among the most difficult,” adding that the school still has “a lot to do.”

“These past two weeks have been among the most difficult in Columbia’s history. The turmoil and tension, division, and disruption have impacted the entire community,” Shafik said. “You, our students, have paid an especially high price. You lost your final days in the classroom and residence halls. For those of you who are seniors, you’re finishing college the way you started- online.”

Shafik’s remarks came after New York Police officers conducted a raid of the protesters that had seized control of Hamilton Hall last week, vandalizing the academic building.

“A group of protesters crossed a new line with the occupation of Hamilton Hall,” Shafik continued. “It was a violent act that put our students at risk, as well as putting the protesters at risk. I walked through the building and saw the damage, which was distressing.”

Earlier last week, administrators at Columbia announced that the school would not use the New York Police Department to clear anti-Israel protesters out of the campus.

”We have our demands; they have theirs,” Columbia said at the time. “The talks have shown progress and are continuing as planned,” the university went on to say before adding that “a formal process is underway and continues.”

“For several days, a small group of faculty, administrators, and university senators have been in dialogue with student organizers to discuss the basis for dismantling the encampment, dispersing, and following university policies going forward,” the university explained.

The university later decided to allow the NYPD to conduct a raid to remove the protesters.