[DHSgov, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Columbia University Students Host Event Glorifying Plane Hijacking

On Sunday, a group at Columbia University launched a virtual meeting to discuss ways they can support “Palestine resistance,” according to a new disturbing report. 

The group’s leader, Charlotte Kates, a member of the Israeli-designated terror group Samidoun, applauded the October 7 terror attack by Hamas, and Khaled Barakat, a Palestine activist, glorified airplane hijackings as “one of the most important tactics that the Palestinian resistance have engaged in.”

An investigative report by The Washington Free Beacon, which attended the event virtually, revealed the disturbing support for terrorism just a handful of miles away from the site of the 9-11 attacks. 

While those speakers and other attendees were explicit in their support for terrorism against Jews, the event did not take place in Gaza, Doha, or Tehran. It took place in New York City, where an anti-Semitic Columbia University student group—Columbia University Apartheid Divest—invited the speakers to deliver a lecture on “the fight for liberation,” titled “Palestinian Resistance 101.”

“It is important to popularize campaigns to … scrap the U.S. terror list entirely, or at the very least to get Palestinian, Lebanese, Yemeni, Filipino, and other revolutionary organizations off the terror list,” Kates said. “Because that’s a weapon that’s being used against the Palestinian people, against the Arab people, and against the solidarity movement as a whole, and in order to kind of fundamentally deform the politics of the movement.”

For his part, Barakat glowingly discussed the PFLP’s wave of terrorism during the 1960s and 1970s. He specifically praised the terror group for hijacking airplanes, which he said “introduced the Palestinian questions to the world.” Barakat falsely claimed the hijackings were done peacefully—in fact, PFLP hijackers killed at least two pilots and one Israeli passenger.

“If we take, for example, certain tactics that the Palestinian movement have practiced—take, for example, hijacking airplanes,” Barakat said, “it was one of the most important tactics that the Palestinian resistance have engaged in.”

The newspaper noted that these were not just rogue students. A Columbia University faculty and staff group promoted the event. The group, Justice for Palestine, The Free Beacon writes, was launched earlier in the year with the pledge to “take back our University.” The group has members from both the History and Classics departments at the Ivy League school. 

In October 2022, according to The Canary Mission, which tracks antisemitism, “Kates was banned from entering the European Union, along with her husband Khaled Barakat, who is a leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group. The couple were deported back to Canada.”

Despite launching a “task force” to fight antisemitism on campus, Fox News wrote that “a Columbia Business School professor who condemned campus inaction on antisemitism claims he is under internal investigation by the university over his advocacy for Jewish and Israeli students, faculty and staff.

“This is a clear act of retaliation and an attempt to silence me,” Shai Davidai wrote on X, also sharing a longer statement. 

Davidai, an assistant professor, said that since Oct. 7, when Hamas ‘raped, tortured and slaughtered more than 1,200 of my people and kidnapped an additional 250 civilians,’ Columbia’s campus ‘has been a hostile environment for Jews and Israelis like me.’ 

The House Education and the Workforce Committee has been investigating Columbia University and other colleges over the rise of antisemitism on American campuses in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. Citing the House probe, Davidai noted how Columbia is also under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education and is facing two lawsuits brought by close to 20 Jewish students for alleged violations of their civil rights.” 

The New York Times has said that “universities are also facing enormous outside pressure. Columbia’s president, Nemat Shafik, and the co-chairs of its board of directors have been called to testify at a congressional hearing on antisemitism on April 17. Ms. Shafik did not attend the contentious December hearing where the presidents of Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania struggled to answer questions about whether a call for the genocide of Jews would violate school policies.

Columbia has already been sued in a federal civil rights lawsuit, filed by more than a dozen Jewish students, which describes the university as an institution where ‘mobs of pro-Hamas students and faculty march by the hundreds shouting vile antisemitic slogans, including calls to genocide.’

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators dispute that chants like ‘By any means necessary’ and ‘There is only one solution, intifada, revolution’ are antisemitic calls to genocide.”

It is difficult to imagine that those chants are not calls for terrorism and the total destruction of Israel, however. Liberal leaning magazine, The Atlantic has detailed exactly what Hamas wants: 

Released on August 18, 1988, the original covenant spells out clearly Hamas’s genocidal intentions. Accordingly, what happened in Israel on Saturday is completely in keeping with Hamas’s explicit aims and stated objectives. It was, in fact, the inchoate realization of Hamas’s true ambitions.

The most relevant of the document’s 36 articles can be summarized as falling within four main themes:

The complete destruction of Israel as an essential condition for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of a theocratic state based on Islamic law (Sharia),

The need for both unrestrained and unceasing holy war (jihad) to attain the above objective,

The deliberate disdain for, and dismissal of, any negotiated resolution or political settlement of Jewish and Muslim claims to the Holy Land, and

The reinforcement of historical anti-Semitic tropes and calumnies married to sinister conspiracy theories.

 In 2018, Columbia University had the second-largest federal grants of any college. The antisemitism task force at Columbia might want to call its office. 

This article originally appeared on New Conservative Post. Used with Permission.

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