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Inaugural Columbia Task Force Report Confirms Jewish Students’ Claims of Antisemitism

Jordana Horn
Times of Israel, Mar. 5, 2024

In recent years, it has become increasingly common at Columbia to defer to a protected class’s views,” reads the report. “But when some Israeli and Jewish Columbia affiliates have complained about phrases or comments in recent months, the response has been different, defending the intentions and free speech rights of the speakers. While there are important reasons to value the perspective of both the speaker and the audience, the University must be consistent in its approach.”
 
An inaugural report published Monday by Columbia University’s Task Force on Antisemitism confirmed claims by Jewish students of an antisemitic and hostile environment, and focused on delineating new proposed regulations on demonstrations on campus.

The task force was formed in November 2023 by Columbia University president Minouche Shafik, Barnard College president Laura Rosenbury and Teachers College president Thomas Bailey “as part of a commitment to ensuring that our campuses are safe, welcoming, and inclusive for Jewish students, faculty, and staff, and all of us.”

Members of the task force’s working group include the report’s main author, Law School Prof. David M. Schizer, and Business School Prof. R. Glenn Hubbard, Magda Schaler-Haynes from the Mailman School of Public Health, Law Prof. Matthew C. Waxman and Gil Zussman from the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. More input was provided by 10 staff members from Columbia colleges.

While researching the status of antisemitism on campus, “the task force has heard of the isolation and pain many Jewish and Israeli Columbia affiliates have experienced in recent months,” the report reads. “While mourning Hamas’s unspeakable atrocities on October 7, some Jewish and Israeli Columbia affiliates have been the object of racist epithets and graffiti, antisemitic tropes, and confrontational and unwelcome questions, while others have found their participation in some student groups that have nothing to do with politics to be increasingly uncomfortable.”

… [To read the full article, click here]
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