Columbia University Backs Off From Plan To Use Police To Clear Out Anti-Israel Encampment

Administrators at Columbia University in New York have folded from their promise of stringent action against anti-Israel protesters on the school campus. Now, the student activists have reportedly been told that the school will not be using the New York Police Department to move them from the premises.

Columbia’s decision to let the protesters continue their encampment demonstration on the university’s campus comes after the administration gave multiple deadlines for the activists to pack up and leave. However, as each deadline came and went, the university failed to take any action.

The first deadline was early last week, as the university’s President Minouche Shafik gave the students a deadline of Tuesday midnight to reach an agreement with the administration. The deadline was later pushed back to Wednesday morning at 8 a.m., after which it was extended again to Friday.

Before its decision to back down completely from his threats of action against the protesters, the university said that negotiations were going on and showing progress.

​​”We have our demands; they have theirs…The talks have shown progress and are continuing as planned,” the school said on Thursday night, per The Daily Wire.

“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 school added.

The school has already been forced to move to remote learning for the final days of the spring semester.

The school, however, managed to take action against the protest leader for saying on video that “Zionists don’t deserve to live.”

The student, Khymani James, had made the comments during a disciplinary hearing with administrators focused on an earlier comment he shared on social media, in which he wrote about fighting a Zionist.

“I don’t fight to injure or for there to be a winner or a loser, I fight to kill,” he stated.

When asked if he saw any issue with his social media comments, he said he didn’t and went on to compare Zionists to Nazis and white supremacists, saying, “These are all the same people. The existence of them and the projects they have built, i.e. Israel, it’s all antithetical to peace. It’s all antithetical to peace. And so, yes, I feel very comfortable, very comfortable, calling for those people to die.”

“Be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists,” he added.

The school, on Friday, announced that James had been barred from campus, even though it was not clear if he was suspended or permanently expelled from the school.