Anti-Israel students sue Columbia University, claim they’re victims of ‘extreme’ harassment despite campus takeover

A group of anti-Israel students filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Columbia University, claiming that they have been the victims of “extreme anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, and Islamophobic harassment on campus since October 9, 2023,” New York Post reported.

Palestine Legal filed the complaint on behalf of four students and the extremist group Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine. It claims that the students have been the victims of “multiple death threats, being called terrorists and ‘Jew killers,’ being harassed for wearing keffiyehs (traditional Palestinian scarf) or hijab, being doxed.” The students also complained that they are “being stereotyped as supporting Hamas or as terrorists, being treated differently by high-ranking administrators.”

The lawsuit accused the Columbia University administration of failing to put an end to, and even reinforcing, the alleged harassment despite “dozens of complaints” from students. It attacked the university’s decision to “invit[e] the New York Police Department (NYPD) onto campus for the first time in decades to arrest over 100 students who had been peacefully protesting Israel’s genocide of Palestinians, summarily suspending many of them, locking them out of classes, and even prohibiting them from taking exams or submitting papers online.”

The anti-Israel, pro-Hamas protests and encampment have taken over Columbia University’s main campus, prompting the school to move to online classes and remote learning for the remainder of the semester, Blaze News previously reported.

The complaint is requesting an investigation into the school’s handling of the alleged discrimination.

On Monday morning, protesters were told they have until 2 p.m. to clear out the encampment or they will be suspended, the New York Post reported.

“It is important for you to know that the university has already identified many students in the encampment,” read a warning letter to students. “If you do not leave by 2pm, you will be suspended pending further investigation.”

“If you voluntarily leave by 2pm, identify yourself to … university officials, and sign the provided form where you commit to abide by all university policies through June 30, 2025, or the date of the conferral of your degree, whichever is earlier, you will be eligible to complete the semester in good standing,” the letter added.

Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine shared the letter on X, telling students, “Do not sign anything with administration.”

“Show up at NOON to protect the encampment!” the group wrote.

Columbia University President Minouche Shafik expressed regret that the university could not reach an agreement with the protesters, who insisted the school divest from entities with ties to Israel. She stated that the demonstrations created a “hostile” and “unwelcoming environment.”

“I know that many of our Jewish students, and other students as well, have found the atmosphere intolerable in recent weeks. Many have left campus, and that is a tragedy,” Shafik said.

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