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Columbia alum Obama silent as Jewish faculty, students face antisemitic harassment on campus

Former President Obama, an alumnus of Columbia University, is staying silent on the violent antisemitic rhetoric aimed at Jewish students and faculty by campus protestors.

The open antisemitism running rampant on Columbia University's campus in New York City has drawn condemnation from both sides of the aisle, but one prominent Democrat and alumnus of the school is remaining silent, choosing not to speak out against the anti-Israel demonstrations taking place there.

In a lengthy Monday post on X commemorating the celebration of Passover, former President Obama, who graduated from Columbia in 1983, made no mention of protestors' violent rhetoric aimed at the university's Jewish students and staff, and neither he nor his representatives responded to Fox News Digital's request for comment about the antisemitic demonstrations that have engulfed the campus since last week.

A number of other Democrats have, however, joined their Republican colleagues in denouncing discrimination against Jews at Columbia, which was forced to move all classes to virtual on Tuesday because of safety concerns.


"Every American has a right to protest," Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. "But when protests shift to antisemitism, verbal abuse, intimidation, or glorification of Oct. 7 violence against Jewish people, that crosses the line."

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, another Democrat, also denounced the display of antisemitism at the university, saying she was "appalled." 

"Threats of violence against Jewish students and the Jewish community are horrible, despicable and wholly unacceptable," she said. "Using the rhetoric of terrorists has no place in New York, where we pride ourselves on tolerance and the right of every group to practice their religion in peace."


Others who joined their party members in addressing the encampment were Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and John Fetterman, D-Penn.

The anti-Israel agitators initially formed the encampment last Wednesday — setting up tents and refusing to leave. They have proceeded to march in and around the campus demanding the school end affiliations with groups that support Israel amid its war with Hamas in Gaza, which has resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths.

The university announced early Tuesday that classes on the main campus would remain virtual or hybrid "until the end of each school's Spring 2024 semester" due to safety concerns over the demonstrations. Classes initially went virtual on Monday.

Fox News' Julia Johnson contributed to this report.

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