MEANWHILE AT COLUMBIA: As leaders tell Congress calls for genocide won't fly, unruly campus mob chants genocidal slogan

Hundreds of students from the Ivy League school occupied the school’s lawn and protested outside the gates to the campus.

The students chanted anti-Israel slogans and yelled obscenities at police officers. Some of the students were arrested this Thursday.

While Columbia University’s President Minouche Shafik was facing questions at a Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill about anti-Semitism on campus, anti-Israel students at Columbia, including Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), occupied the university’s Butler Lawn in what was described as a “Gaza Solidarity Encampment.”

The protest began at 4:00 AM  Wednesday, according to an Instagram post from Columbia’s SJP. 

Another post from the group shows a large gathering of Columbia University students congregating on the school’s lawn. 

Hundreds of the anti-Israel demonstrators brought tents to the lawn in what they termed the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment,” according to the New York Post

[Columbia University leaders speak before Congress to discuss rampant anti-Semitism on campus: LIVE BLOG]

Police officers from both the campus police department and the NYPD were present and stopped anyone without a Columbia ID from accessing the campus, reported National Review

Police arrested at least four of the protestors this Thursday, according to PIX 11.

In a video taken by Campus Reform, protestors can be heard chanting: “No more money for Israel’s crimes,” “Israel is a terror state,” “Down down with occupation, up up with liberation,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” 

The latter slogan is viewed by some as an anti-Semitic call to destroy Israel and ethnically cleanse Jews from its territory. 

Another protestor can be seen demonstrating against the NYPD presence, yelling: “This is [a] public sidewalk. We are allowed to walk here, to be here, to exist in our community.”

Another demonstrator yelled at a police officer: “This is a f****** sidewalk,” and repeatedly shouted: “Go f*** yourself.”

Campus Reform’s video also shows a counter-protestor waving an Israeli flag from outside the campus gates.

Campus Reform spoke to the counter-protestor, who said: “There is a big radical group on our campus called SJP that supported the October 7th massacre. On October 12, they held a rally supporting it. You have Professor Joseph Massad who said it’s astonishing, it’s awesome. Nobody did anything about it, the administration doesn’t do anything about it.”

[RELATED: House committee investigating Columbia University for ‘environment of pervasive antisemitism’]

He added: “I think these students should have been arrested, yes. They were told at eleven o’clock that if they don’t move, they would be suspended.” Continuing, he said: “You can’t just let people colonize the lawn.”

Late in the evening, the SJP posted on Instagram urging followers to “come picket around the camp,” adding: “Columbia is threatening us with suspensions and arrests because they are afraid of our collective power. But we do not have our full strength without you.”

New York University’s SJP also called on followers to join the Columbia protest, writing on Instagram: “PULL UP TO COLUMBIA!!! AS ARRESTS ARE IMMINENT, JOIN THE CALLS TO SUPPORT OUR COMRADES.”

In response to a request from comment, Columbia referred Campus Reform to a written warning delivered to the demonstrators that read: “This notice is a final request from the University that you immediately cease your participation in this encampment and leave the campus. If you are a Columbia student and you do not adhere to this final request by 9:00 p.m. today, April 17, 2024, the University will take the interim measure of suspending you pending investigation for possible violation of multiple University policies.” 

Campus Reform has contacted Columbia’s SJP for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.