By: Mary Margaret Olohan, The Daily Signal
Columbia University has tightened access to campus beginning Thursday amid news that a Jewish student was attacked on campus by an allegedly pro-Palestine student.
The New York Police Department confirmed to The Daily Signal on Thursday that officers responded to an assault on Wednesday around 6:10 p.m. in front of 600 West 116th Street.
Upon arrival, officers were informed that the victim, a 24-year-old male, “was engaged in a dispute with an unknown individual,” the police statement said. “The dispute became physical and the individual struck the victim in the hand with a wooden stick.”
Police arrested 19-year-old Maxwell Friedman, a young woman. The statement also said that the victim refused medical attention on scene.
According to the Columbia Spectator, the victim is a 24-year-old Israeli School of General Studies student. That student spoke with the Columbia Spectator on condition of anonymity citing fears for his safety, and the publication identified him as “I.A.”
The publication reported that earlier in the day, “the suspect approached him and other students who were in Uris Hall putting up posters with names and photos of Israelis that Hamas has reportedly taken as hostages.”
The friend said the suspect asked to join them, telling the students she was Jewish. Throughout the morning, the suspect continued to stay with the group, I.A. said.
Around 5:30 p.m., I.A. said he was outside Butler with four other friends and noticed the suspect, now with a bandana covering her face, ripping the flyers off the wall.
When they approached her, I.A. said the suspect screamed obscenities toward the students and hit I.A. with a stick. I.A. said he defended himself when the suspect allegedly tried to punch him in the face. After the incident, I.A. said that one hand was bruised and his ring finger on the other hand was broken.
The group of students went to Columbia Public Safety, who contacted the NYPD, I.A. said.
The student told the Columbia Spectator that the suspect attacked him because he is Jewish.
“This is because me being an Israeli these days. Not me because being myself,” he said. “It is because me being an Israeli who is under a certain kind of threat.”
In a late Wednesday statement, Columbia University Executive Vice President David Greenberg noted that “as a follow up to the Provost’s email earlier today related to safety and free expression on campus, beginning at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow (October 12) access to the Morningside campus will be open to valid Columbia University ID holders only.”
“This condition is in place to help maintain safety and a sense of community through planned demonstration activities,” he said.
The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Signal. At 4:30pm on Thursday, the campus Students for Justice in Palestine group plans to hold a “Call to Action for Palestine” event where they intend to pressure Columbia to meet their demands for Palestine.
The student pro-Palestine group has expressed solidarity with the attacks on Israel by Hamas terrorists.