A prestigious US university said Friday it suspended two student groups that organized protests on the Israel-Hamas war that “included threatening rhetoric and intimidation.”
Gerald Rosberg, Columbia University’s chair of the special committee on campus safety, said Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace would be suspended throughout the fall semester.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Hundreds of Columbia students had walked out of lectures on Thursday, US media reported, to attend a protest organized by the two groups in which they called on Washington to push for a ceasefire in Israel’s assault on Gaza, which has killed over 11,000 people.
The suspension would only be lifted if the two groups showed they were willing to comply with campus regulations, Rosberg noted.
In a statement posted online, Jewish Voices for Peace said it was “appalled” at the decision, calling it “an act of censorship and intimidation by the administration.”
“By suspending Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine, Columbia has made a statement that Palestinians, students who support Palestinian rights, and Jewish students who reject the state of Israel’s actions in their name, are unwelcome on campus,” the same source added.