Columbia University Rabbi to Jewish Students: Return Home Because of ‘Extreme Antisemitism’

By Hamodia Staff

Rabbi Elie Buechler. (The Jewish Center)

Rabbi Elie Buechler, director of Orthodox Union-Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (OU-LJIC) at Columbia/Barnard warned Jewish students on Sunday to return home and not return due to “extreme antisemitism” at the Ivy League university, the New York Post reported.

The ominous directive comes on the heels of virulent anti-Israel protests with a keffiyeh-clad protestor entering a rally by Jewish students with a sign that read “Al Kassam’s [Hamas’s military wing’s] next target.”

“The events of the last few days, especially last night, have made it clear that Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety in the face of extreme antisemitism and anarchy,” Rabbi Buechler told students.

“It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved.

“It is not our job as Jews to ensure our own safety on campus,” he said. “No one should have to endure this level of hatred, let alone at school.”

Jewish students who showed up on campus Saturday night to protest antisemitism were attacked by hate speech and threatened with calls to violence, witnesses told The Post.

“That’s a call to violence. It’s totally out of control. It’s total anarchy,” a student said.

Fox news reported that in addition to chants of “Free Palestine,” protestors chanted “Al-Qassam you make us proud, kill another soldier now!”, “We say justice, you say how. Burn Tel Aviv to the ground!”, and, “Hamas we love you. We support your rockets too!”

While some students heeded Rabbi Buechler’s advice, others are determined to stay on campus. One such Jewish student was “chased up the block” a few days ago by a pro-Palestine mob but plans to remain at the college.

“It’s honestly horrifying now. To walk around Columbia’s campus right now is to walk through a completely hostile environment,” the senior, Avi Weinberg, 25, said.

“We cannot go back to living in a world … where Jewish students can’t go to school,” Weinberg said.

House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who grilled Columbia’s president last week in a congressional hearing about the university’s response to antisemitism, agreed that things “clearly lost control” on campus.

“Over the past few months and especially in the last 24 hours, Columbia’s leadership has clearly lost control of its campus putting Jewish students’ safety at risk. It is crystal clear that Columbia University — previously a beacon of academic excellence founded by Alexander Hamilton — needs new leadership,” she said in a statement.

“President [Minouche] Shafik must immediately resign. And the Columbia Board must appoint a President who will protect Jewish students and enforce school policies.”

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!