Pro-Palestinian protesters arrested at Yale, Columbia cancels live classes

The protests at Yale and other university campuses across the US began in response to the latest escalation of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, following a deadly incursion into Israel by Hamas extremists on October 7 and Israel's fierce response in the Hamas-controlled Gaza enclave.

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Protesters gather at the corner of Grove and College streets after the Plaza encampment was broken up. Pro-Palestinian protesters called on Yale to cut financial ties with arms investors in New Haven, Connecticut, April 22, 2024, Photo: Reuters
Protesters gather at the corner of Grove and College streets after the Plaza encampment was broken up. Pro-Palestinian protesters called on Yale to cut financial ties with arms investors in New Haven, Connecticut, April 22, 2024, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Police arrested dozens of people at a pro-Palestinian demonstration at America's Yale University on Monday, hours after Columbia University canceled live classes due to campus protests that also led to mass arrests last Sunday.

Demonstrators blocked traffic around the Yale campus in New Haven, Connecticut, demanding that the school cut financial ties with investors - arms manufacturers. Police arrested more than 45 protesters, the Yale Daily News reported. Representatives of the university did not respond to Reuters reporters' questions to comment on the incidents on campus.

The protests at Yale and other university campuses across the United States of America (USA) began in response to the latest escalation of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, following the deadly incursion of Hamas extremists into Israel on October 7 and Israel's fierce response in the Hamas-controlled Gaza enclave.

Columbia University students attended classes virtually Monday as the administration hopes to calm tensions on the New York campus after pro-Palestinian demonstrations last Sunday ended in mass arrests.

From the protest in front of Columbia University
From the protest in front of Columbia Universityphoto: Reuters

In a statement Monday, Columbia University President Nimat Minush Shafik said the university is canceling live classes Monday, while also condemning the anti-Semitic language, intimidation and bullying she says have recently occurred on campus.

More than a hundred pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested on campus Thursday after Shafik authorized New York police to clear a tent camp set up by students demonstrating against Israel's operations in Gaza.

The protesters are demanding that the university cut financial ties with Israel. The university believes that setting up a camp with tents on campus violates school rules. Columbia and neighboring Barnard College suspended dozens of students who participated in the protests.

Eli Buhler, the rabbi of Columbia University and Barnard College, which is affiliated with the university, told students in an online message that campus and city police cannot guarantee the safety of Jewish students, local media reported.

"It pains me to say that I would strongly recommend that you return home as soon as possible and stay at home until the reality on campus and its surroundings drastically improves," Buhler said in a Vocap message to hundreds of Jewish students before the beginning of the Passover holiday last weekend.

The protests at Columbia, reminiscent of anti-Vietnam War demonstrations at the university more than 50 years ago, are the latest in a series of demonstrations that have disrupted classes and life on university campuses, and traffic on bridges and airports since the latest escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has started on October 7 with the Hamas attack on Israel.

In addition to the protests, human rights activists also pointed to a rise in prejudice and hatred against Jews, Arabs and Muslims in the months after October 7.

In a statement on Sunday, on the occasion of the Jewish holiday of Passover, US President Joseph Biden warned of the "disturbing growth of anti-Semitism" in the country.

"Silence is complicity," said Biden's statement, which contained an allusion to the student protests at Columbia. "Even in recent days we have seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews. Blatant anti-Semitism is reprehensible, dangerous and has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere else in our country."

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