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As Protests Continue at Columbia, Some Jewish Students Feel Targeted

Days after Columbia University’s president testified before Congress, the atmosphere on campus remained fraught on Sunday, shaken by pro-Palestinian protests that have drawn the attention of the police and the concern of some Jewish students.

Over the weekend, the student-led demonstrations on campus also attracted separate, more agitated protests by demonstrators who seemed to be unaffiliated with the university just outside Columbia’s gated campus in Upper Manhattan, which was closed to the public because of the protests.

Some of those protests took a dark turn on Saturday evening, leading to the harassment of some Jewish students who were targeted with antisemitic vitriol. The verbal attacks left some of the 5,000 Jewish students at Columbia fearful for their safety on the campus and its vicinity, and even drew condemnation from the White House and Mayor Eric Adams of New York City.

“While every American has the right to peaceful protest, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly antisemitic, unconscionable and dangerous,” Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the White House, said in a statement.

But Jewish students who are supporting the pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campus said they felt solidarity, not a sense of danger, even as they denounced the acts of antisemitism.

Grant Miner, a Jewish graduate student at Columbia University, says he doesn’t feel unsafe on campus.Credit…Bing Guan for The New York Times
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