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Columbia University's senate sides with pro-Hamas protesters, calls for investigation of university leadership over reaction to antisemitic protests

In a controversial move, senators voted in favor of a resolution calling out university officials for allegedly violating the procedural rights of students and faculty.

El Senado de Columbia se pone del lado de los manifestantes pro-Hamás: pide que se investigue a la dirección de la universidad por su reacción contra las protestas antisemitas


Amid a wave of antisemitic protests at major U.S. universities, Columbia University's senate voted Friday in favor of a resolution siding with pro-Hamas protesters.

The resolution questioned the university's management and requested an investigation against the university's leadership for allegedly “violating established protocols, undermining academic freedom, jeopardizing free inquiry and breaching the due process rights of both students and professors,” reported The New York Times.

The resolution targets Columbia University President Nemat Shafik, who has come under fire from progressive and antisemitic groups for her decision to summon the New York Police Department to campus last week.

The unprecedented decision, contrary to Columbia's tradition of not calling in law enforcement, led to the arrest of more than 100 students who joined the antisemitic protests.

“The resolution, adopted by a vote of 62-14, with three abstentions, fell short of a proposal earlier in the week to censure Dr. Shafik, which many senators worried could be perceived as yielding to Republican lawmakers who had called for her resignation over her handling of antisemitism claims,” the New York Times reported.

Nemat Shafik is not only being pressured and questioned by progressive and antisemitic groups at Columbia but also by Republican leaders, pro-Israel groups and members of the Jewish community who believe her response to the antisemitic protests was inadequate and caused, among other things, the university to move to hybrid classes for the remainder of the semester.

However, Shafik still has some circumstantial allies, such as some university senators who expressed concern that the resolution could further erode the trust and relationship of the Columbia president with the student community, exacerbating the crisis on campus.

In fact, during the meeting on Friday when the resolution was passed, Nachum Sicherman, professor of Economics, asked senators to vote against the proposal to avoid external interference.

“We are in a serious crisis, and I don’t see how weakening a president who is under attack from both the right and left is going to help resolve the crisis,” he said.

Likewise, during the debate, the New York Times reported that some senators expressed their concern that the resolution does not address antisemitic violence on campus.

One of them was Behavioral Sciences Professor Carol Garber, who said she fears the Senate resolution “has ignored the impact of the hostile and aggressive language and actions toward Israeli and Jewish students, faculty and staff on this campus.”