Students at Columbia University Chant for 'Intifada'

Anti-Israel rally at Columbia (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
January 25, 2024

Students at Columbia University during a Wednesday pro-Hamas rally on campus chanted for an "intifada" in New York City.

The protest, which was captured in videos posted online by Columbia Business School assistant professor Shai Davidai, comes as Columbia has faced criticism for the rising anti-Semitism on its campus.

The demonstration drew around 100 students and included calls for violent uprisings and dying for the Palestinian cause.

"There is nothing, nothing more honorable than dying for a noble cause," a speaker shouted into a bullhorn.

Another speaker led students in an Arabic chant of "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be Arab"—a slogan that calls for the eradication of Jews from Israel.

During the event, students marched in a line through campus as an organizer led them in chants of "Intifada, intifada, long live the intifada!" The intifadas were violent Palestinian uprisings that targeted Jewish civilians, killing over 1,000 Israelis in the 1990s and early 2000s. That organizer also chanted, "From New York to Gaza, globalize the intifada!"

A spokeswoman for Columbia did not respond to a request for comment.

Davidai said the protest was "unauthorized" and a violation of Columbia's code of conduct.

"By refusing to hold the organizers accountable, Columbia is sending a big fuck you to every Jewish and Israeli student, faculty, or staff," the professor said.

The calls for violence and cleansing Jews from Israel appear to violate the university's rules. Columbia said late last year that its "rules of conduct do not allow or condone language that promotes or supports violence in any manner."

"Calls for genocide against the Jewish community or any other group are abhorrent, inconsistent with our values and against our rules," said the statement.

This is not the first time Columbia has faced controversy over anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents. Last week, Columbia's Barnard College hosted an anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist professor at its "Day of Dialogue" event, canceling classes and raffling off a campus store gift card to encourage attendance. Barnard College in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon defended the decision, calling the professor a "renowned" scholar who could help students "examine all viewpoints."

In November, Columbia administrators took no action for hours as anti-Israel protesters occupied the law school building, the Free Beacon reported.