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Columbia professor told students to avoid mainstream media because ‘it is owned by Jews:’ report

Columbia University’s Task Force on Campus Anti-Semitism reported a series of disturbing incidents at the Ivy League school, exposing alleged “harassment of Jewish students” and anti-Semitic comments by professors, including one who reportedly told his class to avoid mainstream media because it was “Jew-owned.”

Speaking to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, task force members described a pattern of anti-Semitic prejudice at the Manhattan college, Anti-Israel protests have been ongoing since the Hamas massacre on October 7.

Task force members told the paper that Jewish and Israeli students regularly feel “targeted and ostracized” on campus and are often isolated in the classroom.

“One professor, while reading students’ names before an exam, came across a Jewish-sounding surname and asked the student to explain his opinion of the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza.” The newspaper reportedHe cited members of the task force.

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Students march through an encampment on the Columbia University campus in New York, Monday, April 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Stephen Jeremiah)

Another professor reportedly “exposed a student’s complaint about derogatory comments about Jewish people by publishing the email to other students.”

The report also found that professors repeatedly encouraged students to take part in anti-Israel protests and Gaza solidarity camps, some even offering extra credit or holding classes at the protest sites, according to Haaretz.

“Other incidents included students having Jewish symbols removed from their bodies. Students were expelled from their student clubs because they did not want to take part in collective actions or statements against Israel’s right to exist,” the report said.

The examples listed are “only a small portion” of the hundreds of testimonies collected by the special investigative committee, which describe a pattern of “harassment, intimidation, discrimination and exclusion of Jewish students” by professors and classmates at NYU, Haaretz wrote.

The task force, which was formed last November and released its first report in March, told the magazine that it had conducted more than 20 listening sessions at universities, spoken to around 500 students, and collected hundreds of examples of Jewish students who felt they had been discriminated against.

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Anti-Israel agitators set up camp on Columbia University campus

Gaza solidarity camp at Columbia University in New York. (Peter Gerber)

Haaretz said it plans to publish some of the testimonies in the coming weeks to shine a spotlight on the plight of Jewish students at Ivy League universities.

Professor Gil Zusman, an Israeli professor of electrical engineering, said: He told the New York Post He said he witnessed “clear discrimination against Israeli students and Jews” on campus, adding that “they were targeted by protesters from the very beginning.”

Zussman also confirmed that, as far as he knew, at least two professors were taking their courses to the anti-Israel camp, as noted in the report.

Jewish students at Columbia University are grateful to the task force for shining a spotlight on the hostility they have experienced on campus over the past few months, but they acknowledged they are skeptical that Columbia faculty will take any action to remedy the problem, despite its troubling findings.

Anti-Israel protesters at Columbia University set up an encampment on campus.

Anti-Israel protesters set up an encampment on the Columbia University campus in New York City on Monday, April 22, 2024. (Peter Gerber)

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“I’m grateful that Columbia’s anti-Semitism taskforce found this, but I feel like their work may not be fully appreciated by university officials,” a senior at the university, who asked to be identified only as Jessica for fear of retaliation, told Fox News Digital.

She said she fears Columbia does not have the “capacity” to address growing hostility on campus after she and other Jewish students repeatedly raised concerns about their safety on campus and were “ignored.”

Another student, Avi, said he was outraged by the professors’ comments, highlighting their remarks about Jewish ownership of the media, as detailed in the report.

“In an academic institution that is supposed to foster free thought, there should be no reason for a professor to preach hateful language and make such comments both in and out of the classroom,” he told Fox News Digital.

Columbia University protesters

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 2, 2024: Protesters demonstrate near Columbia University on February 2, 2024 in New York City. (Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

He said he doesn’t expect the university to take any steps to improve Jewish students’ on-campus experience, adding bluntly, “I lost confidence in the faculty several months ago.”

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“They’ve already set a precedent by not responding to anti-Semitic incidents on campus,” he said. “They’ve given rioters a free rein.”

Columbia University’s public affairs office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.