Columbia suspends pro-Palestinian student groups

November 11, 2023
Robert Ayers

Columbia University has just suspended two pro-Palestinian student groups for the remainder of the fall semester. 

The university, according to CBS News, issued the suspensions on Thursday.

The groups that have been suspended are the Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine groups.

The university's special committee on campus safety released a statement on the matter on Friday. It begins, "Columbia University is suspending Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) as official student groups through the end of the fall term."

The "why?"

According to the university, it has suspended these two groups because they have "repeatedly violated University policies related to holding campus events."

The university writes, "This decision was made after the two groups repeatedly violated University policies related to holding campus events, culminating in an unauthorized event Thursday afternoon that proceeded despite warnings and included threatening rhetoric and intimidation."

The university did not go into specifics about what these groups have been up to.

Instead, the university explained that it is necessary for student groups to follow university policies and procedures to ensure the "safety" of the university community and to avoid disrupting "core" university activities.

The university also states that to lift the suspensions, the two groups will have to demonstrate "a commitment to compliance with University policies and engaging in consultations at a group leadership level with University officials."

Filling in the blanks

The Washington Examiner, in its own report on the suspensions, provides more details about these two groups.

Per the outlet:

Both student groups, which have chapters at universities all over the country, have drawn intense scrutiny over the past month for statements and activities expressing support for Hamas's Oct. 7 terrorist attack in Israel. The attack claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Israeli citizens, some of whom were beheaded or raped.

Fox News suggests that the suspensions are part of an effort to combat some of the antisemitism that America has seen - particularly from student groups - following Hamas' attack on Israel.

The outlet, in its report, demonstrates how other universities - including Brandeis University, Harvard University, and the University of Pennsylvania - have also recently been taking steps to combat antisemitism on their campuses.

Fox also hints at what might be driving this belated response from these universities, namely, the "intense backlash" that these universities have faced for allowing antisemitism to thrive on their campuses amid the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.

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