Over 100 Anti-Israel Protesters Arrested at Columbia University, Including Ilhan Omar’s Daughter

An NYPD officer stand guard as pro-Palestinian protesters gather outside of Columbia Unive
KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

New York Police arrested more than 100 anti-Israel protesters at Columbia University this week as the Ivy League school president testified before a House committee on the campus response to antisemitism.

Police arrested the protesters on a charge of criminal trespass. They were reportedly detained with no resistance. Per CNN:

Columbia President Nemat “Minouche” Shafik was in Washington, DC, testifying to the House education committee, as the protesters – including students, faculty and others – gathered in upper Manhattan early Wednesday morning, setting up tents and signs.

Later that afternoon, competing rallies of pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups grew.

Several people waving Palestinian flags had verbal confrontations with police officers, who had begun boxing the protesters in with barricades, CNN affiliate WCBS reported. In video from WCBS, pro-Palestinian protesters could be seen clashing with police and some had lit small fires. One woman could be seen being led away in handcuffs.

Columbia only allowed protesters on the campus who had Columbia IDs after they closed the gates. President Shafik wrote a letter to NYPD officials on Thursday asking for the department to remove individuals who were trespassing.

“The actions of these individuals are in violation of University rules and policies,” the president wrote. “The University provided multiple notices and warnings and informed the encampment participants that they must disperse or face immediate discipline.”

Shafik told the NYPD to break up the protesters “out of an abundance of concern for the safety of Columbia’s campus.”

“I took this extraordinary step because these are extraordinary circumstances,” Shafik wrote. “The individuals who established the encampment violated a long list of rules and policies.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 04: Isra Hirsi attends the Teen Vogue Summit & Block Party at Goya Studios on December 04, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Isra Hirsi attends the Teen Vogue Summit & Block Party at Goya Studios on December 04, 2021, in Los Angeles, California. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) daughter, Isra Hirsi, was reportedly among those arrested on Thursday and she will be processed.

“I’m an organizer with CU Apartheid Divest @ColumbiaSJP, in my 3 years at @BarnardCollege, I have never been reprimanded or received any disciplinary warnings I just received notice that I am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide,” Hirsi said on X. 

“Those of us in Gaza Solidarity Encampment will not be intimidated,” she added. “We will stand resolute until our demands are met. our demands include divestment from companies complicit in genocide, transparency of @Columbia’s investments and FULL amnesty for all students facing repression.”


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