A 24-year-old Israeli Columbia student described to the NY Post a volatile environment for Jewish students at the ivy league institution and appalling indifference on the part of administrators and university officials.
Harassment, threats, and fear for personal safety have become a way of life for pro-Israel and Jewish students at Columbia University, according to an undergraduate studying at the prestigious New York institution.
The student, 24-year-old Ofir Dayan, shared with the New York Post shocking details of encounters with activists on campus aligned with the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group, which was previously exposed as a a terror-affiliated anti-Semitic network in a report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA).
SJP was founded by Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley, who was crowned by campus watchdog Canary Mission as “The Most Dangerous Professor in America.”
The primary backers of SJP include founders, financial patrons and ideological supporters connected with terror organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Dayan’s run-ins with SJP members and supporters have been nothing short of terrifying, with the political science major telling the Post, “SJP is violent. I’m worried about my personal safety.”
For example, when a fellow student heard Dayan speaking Hebrew on the phone, she screamed “Stop killing Muslim babies!” and “Zionist, get out!”
Dayan commented that a nearby public-safety administrator “did nothing.”
In another incident last year, Dayan described a “raging mob” of about 50 SJP members cornering a group of five members of Students Supporting Israel (SSI). Dayan lamented, “I believed it would escalate to physical violence.”
While Dayan served as an officer in the IDF, she came to the US unprepared for the hostility and indifference she has experienced from Columbia’s administration, which she said has taken no significant action to address the mounting litany of incidents in which Jewish students and supporters of Israel are bullied, intimidated, and harassed.
Dayan, the daughter of Israel Consul General in New York Dani Dayan, explained to the Post the runaround Columbia has given her when she attempted to lodge official complaints.
“I thought the university would protect me, but they didn’t do anything when [protesters] called me a terrorist,” Ofir said. “The school stands by as I’m harassed.”
Columbia University’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), has faced persistent criticism for its anti-Israel bias and intimidation of Jewish and pro-Israel students.
For example, MESAAS professor Hamid Dabashi equated Israeli policies with those of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group and Nazi Germany, expressing support for violent anti-Israel protests and demonizing Israel on social media.
Dabashi blamed Israel for “every dirty treacherous ugly and pernicious act happening in the world” and called Israel and the US “hyenas.”
Another MESAAS faculty member, Rashid Khalidi, served as spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) when it was listed as a designated foreign terrorist organization, and warned in a radio interview in January 2017 that supporters of Israel would “infest” the US government after President Donald Trump was inaugurated.