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Pro-Palestinian protesters arrested at Yale; Columbia cancels in-person classes

Dozens of people were taken into custody Monday during a pro-Palestinian demonstration at Yale University, hours after Columbia University canceled in-person classes to ease tensions on its New York campus, where police cracked down on an all-out camp. beginning of this week.

Protesters blocked traffic around Yale’s campus in New Haven, Connecticut on Monday, demanding that the school get rid of military weapons makers, prompting police to make arrests, according to images shared on social media.

According to the Yale Daily News, a student-run news site, more than 40 people were arrested by police. Yale University officials could not be reached for comment.

The protests at Yale, Columbia and other US universities began in response to the latest escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which began on October 7 with a cross-border attack by Hamas militants and Israel’s strong response in the enclave of Gaza. controlled by Hamas.

Human rights activists have highlighted a general increase in prejudice and hatred against Jews, Arabs and Muslims since 7 October. There has been particular concern in recent days, with the Jewish holiday of Passover starting on Monday.

In a statement Monday, Columbia President Nemat Minouche Shafik said the university has canceled in-person classes and again denounced the anti-Semitic language and intimidating and aggressive behavior that she said has occurred recently on campus.

The decision to cancel classes on the New York campus was made after the arrest of more than 100 protesters. Some of them set up dozens of tents in what the university called an unauthorized protest that disrupted university activities.

“These tensions have been exploited and amplified by individuals unaffiliated with Columbia who have come to campus to pursue their own agendas,” said Shafik, who testified before a U.S. House committee last week in defense of Columbia’s response Columbia University to alleged anti-politism. Semitism of the demonstrators. “We need a reset.”

The New York Police Department has sent dozens of officers to the busy Manhattan streets around the Columbia University campus, where clashes between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups have been reported.

“We received reports that Israeli students who were walking on campus had their flags torn from their hands,” said Tarik Shappard, spokesman for the police chief, at a press conference held this Monday outside the campus. “But we have not received any reports of physical harm against any students.”

The student protesters spent several nights sleeping outside on the lawn and have since returned to setting up tents. Students organized Muslim and Jewish prayers in the camp, and some gave speeches condemning Israel and Zionism and praising the Palestinian armed resistance.

Similar pro-Palestinian camps have also been held at Emerson College in Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in nearby Cambridge.

President Joe Biden said in a statement Sunday that his administration will use the full force of the federal government to protect the Jewish community.

“Even in recent days, we have witnessed harassment and calls for violence against Jews. Such blatant anti-Semitism is reprehensible and dangerous — and has absolutely no place on college campuses or anywhere in the country,” he said.

Student organizers at the Columbia University camp responded to White House accusations of anti-Semitism during pro-Palestinian protests on campus. They said they were misidentified and that some “inflammatory individuals” do not represent the movement.

The president of Columbia University wrote in his email to campus that protesters must be open to compromise. “We cannot let one group dictate terms and try to disrupt important milestones … to advance their own point of view,” Shafik said.

Source: Terra

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