Columbia University announced on Friday the suspension of two student associations that organized demonstrations demanding a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, accusing them of “repeated violation” of university rules.
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Gerald Rosberg, vice chancellor of the university, announced that the membership of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace will be suspended for the entire fall semester.
“This decision was made after the two societies repeatedly violated university rules about holding events on campus, culminating in an unauthorized event Thursday afternoon that occurred despite warnings and resulted in threatening and intimidating speeches,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Rosberg explained that the suspensions would only be lifted if the two associations demonstrated their willingness to respect the university’s rules.
“This ensures the safety of our community and the continuity of the university’s core activities,” Rosberg added.
US media reported that hundreds of Columbia University students left classes on Thursday to attend a demonstration organized by the two relevant student associations.
On this occasion, they called on the American government to press for a ceasefire in Gaza, where the Israeli bombing left more than 11,000 people dead, most of them civilians, including more than 4,500 children, according to the Ministry of Health in the Hamas government.
The bombings came in response to the October 7 Hamas attack in Israeli territory, which killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians, according to a new official Israeli toll that was revised downward on Friday.
Some US media reported that students at Thursday’s protest called on the university to describe the Israeli attack on Gaza as “genocide” and to stop working with Israeli institutions.