Abraham Franchetti | Students for Justice in Palestine’s mask is off at Columbia.

Franchetti’s Facts | Ivy League campuses have been overrun by antisemites—and jihadists sympathizers. 

Students for Justice in Palestine encampment on Columbia’s campus. / Photo credit: @jonasydu / X

By Abraham Franchetti

Editor’s Note: It has come to our attention that the previous version of this article presented firsthand accounts of events published in The Free Press at Yale as though they were objective reporting done by the author.

Yale police are currently investigating the claim made that Sahar Tartak was stabbed in the eye, and protestors at the encampment have since been arrested. From Tartak’s personal account: “Next, I went to the Yale police, but they offered little in the way of assistance. They told me that their orders came from administrators who weren’t present at the demonstration and that there were only seven officers to handle a crowd of about 500. So I was checked out by an ambulance EMT, who recommended I go to the hospital.” Source: CNN, Fox, Guardian

Professor Shai Davidai was prevented from entering campus after requesting a police detail of at least 10 cops. He has been allowed on the campus of the business school where he teaches. Source: NYMag

The claims of “jihadism” and “terrorism” did not contextualize politically sensitive terms, as specified within the terms of our editorial standards. The editorial team will be more vigilant in our contextualization of labels of this nature in the future. Additionally, because there are historical implications to the word “jihad” which associates violence with Muslim religious ideology, we encourage a cautious interpretation of the groups of protestors as presented by the author. 

At the Penn Post, we reiterate our commitment to publishing uncomfortable statements without censorship. We welcome and encourage the writing of opposing viewpoints and encourage rigorous debate of claims made in our opinion pieces within the comments section of our online publication. 

The President of Columbia University, Nemat Shafik, testified last week to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Unlike Liz Magill and Claudine Gay, the respective former presidents of Penn and Harvard, Shafik testified that calls for Jewish genocide were a violation of University policies and committed to fighting antisemitism. It seemed, based on this testimony, that Columbia was turning over a new leaf in supporting Jewish students and ensuring a safe campus environment. 

Last weekend’s horrifying events shattered this illusion and laid bare the moral corruption taking root at Columbia and peer institutions. Shortly after Shafik spoke, Students for Justine in Palestine (SJP) Columbia and affiliated groups began an encampment on the school’s East Butler Lawn. 

Over the past few days, this encampment has become a source of fear not only for Jews at Columbia, but any student who would like to learn in peace. Protestors shouting “We are Hamas” and “Go back to Poland” at Jewish students, chants to “globalize the intifada” (take terrorism targeted at Israel global), and calling for repeats of the October 7th massacre are now commonplace. A sweep by the NYPD that temporarily disrupted the event has proven to be ineffective, and Columbia has made no further attempts to end this insanity. 

Over the weekend, the director of the Orthodox Union-Jewish Learning Initiative at Columbia, Rabbi Elie Buechler, wrote to students “It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved.” Harassment from protestors and Columbia’s cowardice has made daily life hellish for Jewish students. 

On Saturday night a group of brave students made the true colors of these “protestors” clear. While waving Israeli and American flags, these students were greeted by a masked individual who stood in front of them with a sign saying “Al-Qasam’s next targets”. Al-Qasam is the military wing of Hamas.

The mask is off: Columbia has mobs on its campus demanding terrorists attack students.. Worse, Ivy League jihadism is not limited to Columbia. At Yale, a similar encampment has been active for weeks. On Saturday, a Jewish student journalist reporting on the camp, Sahar Tartak, was attacked by these “protestors” and stabbed in the eye. Yale police did not attempt to find her attacker, and while she recovers in the hospital, the encampment remains. On Sunday, National SJP called for their chapters at universities all over the country to begin solidarity encampments. 

By failing to take action, Yale and Columbia have both explicitly chosen the mob rule of terrorist sympathizers over the basic safety of Jewish students. Today, Columbia prevented professor Shai Davidai from entering campus because they cannot keep him safe. Columbia’s administration has bent the knee to a jihadist mob, allowing brainwashed students to take control of the university grounds. 

Spineless administrators claiming to lead our nation’s most prestigious universities are emblematic of a moral rot in the Ivy League. The full-throated support of Hamas, Iran, and the Houthis (whose flag reads “Death to America”) emanating from Columbia would be unthinkable to Americans from any other time. 

Schools like Vanderbilt show that this path is avoidable. After students forced their way into an administrative building and refused to obey campus police, the school expelled and suspended disruptors. Tartak’s attacker will not face the same fate, neither will Columbia’s Hamas loving campers, nor will the vast majority of the agitators upending American college life. 

This disaster should concern all Americans and raise important questions about our future. How is it possible that hundreds of America’s supposed best and brightest have become enamored with jihadism? And why are some of the most powerful universities in the world terrified of handing out consequences? What has gone wrong in Columbia’s admissions department that with a 4% acceptance rate the school is excluding real Americans in favor of Hamas sympathizers?  

Jihadists in the heart of our nation’s universities are a threat to America’s values and existence. Without action, college radicals will sneak into positions of power, bringing down our country from within. This has already begun, with representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) refusing to condemn chants for “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” emanating from her district. 

The idea that people who applaud terrorism deserve a spot at Columbia or Yale, much less the United States is laughable. If the Ivy League wishes to remain a bastion of American leadership, universities must take serious action to ensure the safety of students who care about learning, research, and serving their country. Amateur jihadists who threaten their peers and cheer on murder must be disciplined and expelled. By giving in to these radicals, allowing encampments to remain and classes to be disrupted, Columbia sends the message that the terrorist ideology is one they must entertain. America’s greatest universities should be reserved for America’s greatest minds, and there is no world in which far-left Hamas lovers are the best our nation has to offer. Penn’s recent decision to suspend its chapter of SJP, “Penn Against the Occupation” may be a source of hope that a turning tide can begin here. In addition to remaining vigilant against radical disruptors, Penn must commit to admitting students who reflect the values of our founder, Ben Franklin: tolerance, self-reliance, and patriotism.

Abraham Franchetti is a sophomore in Wharton studying Finance with a minor in Classical Studies from Port Washington, NY. Abraham is also the Fundraising Director for The Pennsylvania Post. His email is bramf@wharton.upenn.edu.

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