Wednesday, June 05, 2024

  • Wednesday, June 05, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Washington Post:

Columbia University officials agreed on Tuesday to provide safe passage for students on campus in a settlement reached with a Jewish student who sued on behalf of those who switched to online learning in April in the midst of intense pro-Palestinian protests.

The school is creating a “Safe Passage Liaison” who will have authority to open alternative entrances and exits to students with existing 24-hour security escorts, if needed, under the terms of the settlement. 

“We think peaceful protest is a constructive way to solve situations,” said Jay Edelson, an attorney for the plaintiff, but recently extremists have tried to take over campuses, and “push out, figuratively and literally, people who they deem are on the wrong side.” That has created situations that have turned frightening, he said.

As protests intensified, some Jewish students at Columbia complained they were the targets of antisemitic threats, according to the settlement and interviews with students.

“We got a focused security monitor who’s going to be able to serve as the eyes, ears and voice for anyone on campus who feels unsafe,” Edelson said. “That is a major win.”
No, this is a travesty.

Jews who want to feel safe need to call up a hotline and get escorted to alternative building entrances to not be attacked? That is considered a win?

Imagine if black children who want to attend integrated schools still needed to be accompanied by escorts of US Marshals, like Ruby Bridges in 1960, for their safety today.

It was a necessary stage to integrate the school at the time, to normalize the idea of a black child having equal rights. But if people of color required escorts today to go to class,  everyone would recognize that as racism and unacceptable. 

A year ago, Jewish students at Columbia had free access to the entire campus. Now they don't. Forcing them to have to change their way of life to protest those who are attacking them is not progress; it is pandering to the antisemitic mob.

An escort might make things slightly better for individuals who need help at the moment, but it misses the entire point of what equal rights actually means. 

I cannot believe I need to say this, but: All students should have the right to use every space on campus, every entrance to buildings, equally.  Any protest that limits those rights is not, by definition, "peaceful protest" or "free speech" - it is intimidation.

The protesters who are shutting parts of campus off to people they don't like are the ones who need to be forced to change their actions to make the campus safe for all, not the victims. 

Not to mention what would happen when this is implemented. Some students would resent this public "protection" of Jews, saying that the Jews are being treated better than everyone else. Some Palestinian students might performatively call the escorts to go into Hillel to intimidate Jewish or Zionist events. 

Any supposed solution that enforces unequal treatment of some students is, by definition, discriminatory.  It is the campus environment that must change, not the habits of those who are being attacked.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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