Israeli American professor blasts Columbia U President’s Israel-Hamas response

In fiery speech, Israeli American Professor Shai Davidai alleges Columbia U has taken a pro-terror stance.

An Israeli American professor at Columbia University’s business school blasted his employer in a fiery speech on campus on Wednesday in which he ripped the university and its president for not publicly denouncing pro-Palestinian Arab student organizations, The New York Post reported.

In his remarks, assistant professor Shai Davidai alleged that Columbia’s president, Minouche Shafik, has not spoken out against the student groups.

Davidai’s comments were made at a campus vigil for the Israelis abducted by Hamas terrorists in the murderous attack on October 7.

“President Minouche Shafik of Columbia University, you are a coward,” Davidai shouted while noting President Biden and New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ comments denouncing violence.

“Where are you, President Shafik of Columbia University? We are waiting for you to eradicate all pro-terror student organizations from campus,” he added.

Davidai did not specify which student groups he considered “pro-terror” but referred to a protest last week organized by Columbia’s chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace.

He said he could not believe he witnessed hundreds of students — whom he again labeled “pro-terror” — protesting at Columbia University last week.

“If my amazing 2-year-old daughter was now 18 years old, I would never — never — send her to Columbia,” stated Davidai. “Not because it’s not a great institution — it’s an amazing institution. But because I know that she will not be protected there because the president of the university allows pro-terrorists to march on campus.”

“Can you imagine that here we have pro-terror student organizations?” Davidai asked, adding, “I’m speaking up because I walked onto my own campus — the place that employs me, that is supposed to keep me safe — and I was shivering. I am 40 years old and I was shivering to come to my own employment. Imagine not being able to go to your work because your boss does not value your, life because your boss supports pro-terror organizations.”

Shafik acknowledged students and professors’ concerns over “personal security” when “the atmosphere on campus is extremely charged” in a message to the Columbia community Wednesday, according to the Columbia Spectator.

She added that the university is “duty-bound to ensure [students] can gather and express themselves” but said she was “disheartened” that some Columbia community members have displayed “abhorrent rhetoric,” including the doxing and online harassment of some students.

“Unfortunately, some are using this moment to spread antisemitism, Islamophobia, bigotry against Palestinians and Israelis, and various other forms of hate,” Shafik wrote, according to the Spectator. “Especially at a time of pain and anger, we must avoid language that vilifies, threatens, or stereotypes entire groups of people.”

“It is antithetical to Columbia’s values and can lead to acts of harassment or violence,” she added. “When this type of speech is unlawful or violates University rules, it will not be tolerated.”

Tensions have been felt in college campuses across the country since the Hamas attack on October 7.

Earlier this week, alumni of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School launched an online petition in which they urge the Dean of the Law School to make a statement against the atrocities committed by Hamas in Israel and be a voice of morality.

The alumni also denounced recent expressions of hatred of Israel that were seen on campus.

At Harvard University, prominent alumni denounced a pro-Palestinian Arab statement from students who blamed Israel for the Hamas attack on southern Israel.

The Wexner Foundation subsequently announced it would cut ties with Harvard, while several high-profile donors announced they would stop donating to the university.

(Israel National News’ North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)

October 21, 2023 | Comments »

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