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USA: Columbia University bans anti-Israeli protest leader over calls for Jewish genocide; 550 arrested across US campuses over support for terror group Hamas

The remarks were uploaded on Instagram in January by Khymani James who has served as a spokesperson for the agitators. James threatened, "Be grateful that I'm not just going out and murdering Zionists."

One of the organisers of the anti-Israel rallies at New York-based Columbia University, 20-year-old Khymani James, was barred from the campus following the release of a clip in which he was heard vehemently expressing that Zionists “don’t deserve to live” and should be murdered which led to massive outrage at the institution. Later, the student leader apologised and said that he “mis-spoke in the heat of the moment” and was “unusually upset.”

Columbia University stated on 26th April that Khymani James was prohibited from entering the campus. The remarks were uploaded on Instagram in January by Khymani James, who has served as a spokesperson for the anti-Israel protestors. James threatened, “Be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists.” The statements were made both before and after he was summoned for a disciplinary hearing by the Columbia University administration.

Khymani James said, “I don’t fight to injure or for there to be a winner or a loser, I fight to kill,” in a post. The comments were then shared widely which sparked the backlash against the University. The University released a statement which read, “Calls of violence and statements targeted at individuals based on their religious, ethnic, or national identity are unacceptable and violate university policy.”

On 26th April, James alleged, “I affirm the sanctity of all life and the movement for liberation. This applies to all people regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality. All people deserve to be safe from physical harm.” However, he then said, “I am frustrated that the words I said in an Instagram Live video have become a distraction from the movement for Palestinian liberation. I misspoke in the heat of the moment, for which I apologize.”

Students who sparked nationwide anti-Israel protests, however, have declared that they have reached a standstill with officials and that they plan to stay in their camp until their demands are satisfied. Protesters at campuses around the country are calling for institutions to sever financial ties to Israel and divest from businesses they claim are supporting Israel. Meanwhile, the demonstrations have turned anti-semitic in several universities and have scared Jewish students away from the universities.

Rallies by students protesting Israel’s counter-offensive against Hamas terror attack have spread around the United States in the wake of the arrest of over 100 activists at Columbia University last week. Major campuses have had close to 550 arrests linked to protests in the last week. Police employed tasers and chemical irritants to break up anti-Israeli demonstrations.

The Israel-Hamas war began over six months ago on 7th October 2023, when Hamas terrorists, in a shock attack, invaded Southern Israel from land, sea, and air to kill over 1,200 Israelis, kidnapped over 254 Israeli and foreign nationals, which prompted Israel to launch a retaliatory ground action after weeks of aerial bombardment on the Palestinian enclave. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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