Columbia Professor Denounces University for Allowing Anti-Israel Terrorist Sympathizer To Host ‘Resistance 101’ Class, Recruit on Campus

An event at Barnard’s, Columbia’s women’s college, hosted three virulently anti-Israel groups with ties to the attackers on October 7.

The Palestinian-Canadian journalist Khaled Barakat, who has been banned from the European Union, participated in an online event for Barnard and Columbia students. Twitter

An Israeli professor at Columbia University’s Business School is calling for the ouster of the university’s leadership after a virulently anti-Israeli group which openly supports terrorists was allowed to hold a recruiting event on campus.  

A psychology professor, Shai Davidai, is denouncing Columbia for allowing speakers from the groups Within Our Lifetime, Masar Badil, and the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoners Network to speak at Barnard College, the all-women’s branch of Columbia University across the street from the main campus. 

The event took place as part of “Palestine Solidarity Month.” A flier posted on X, formerly Twitter, by Mr. Davidai lists the event as occurring at Barnard with a 50 person cap. The flier prominently notes, “Featured speakers from Within Our Lifetime, Masar Badil, and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoners Network!”

An anti-Israel advocacy group functioning across Europe and the United States, Samidoun has courted controversy in the wake of October 7 for its close association with and endorsement of Palestinian terror groups. On October 7, the group’s chapter in Germany posted a photo of members at Berlin handing out candy celebrating the devastating terror attacks. Shortly thereafter, Germany announced a ban of the group, stating that it spreads anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda under the guise of solidarity for Palestinian prisoners. 

The online event for Barnard and Columbia student had been canceled by Columbia administrators, but took place online anyway. Twitter/@TheStuStudio

Mr. Davidai noted that Samidoun’s American affiliates had openly praised Palestinian terrorists. The coordinator for Samidoun’s American operations, Joe Catron, openly praised a senior member of the Islamic Jihad, Khader Adnan, making Mr. Adnan his Facebook cover photo. 

According to Mr. Davidai, Samidoun brought Khaled Barakat to speak to Barnard and Columbia students. A video posted on X showed Mr. Barakat openly praising the actions of Leila Khaled, a 79-year-old former member of the terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which participated in the October 7 attacks. 

Mr. Barakat was banned from entering the European Union for four years, starting in 2020, due to his support for terror organizations. 

A recording of Sunday’s Columbia event, leaked on X, showed Mr. Barakat openly praising Hamas and other militant groups. “There is nothing wrong with being a member of Hamas,” Mr. Barakat said at one point. The anti-Israel activist also bragged of his “friends in Islamic Jihad,” another terror group active on October 7.

A protest at Columbia University on October 12, 2023.
An anti-Israel protest at Columbia University on October 12, 2023. Daniella Kahane

Mr. Barakat’s wife, Charlotte Kates, also spoke several times. Ms. Kates, who has previously spoken at events in Iran on behalf of terrorists convicted of killing American and Israeli officers, exhorted students to support “armed resistance.”

“This is a society that is full of people and narratives of revolutionary history and resistance, and stories of victory and struggle,” the short-haired activist  stated, “It is incumbent on us that when we do go out and speak at demonstrations and we do go out and organize, to say that we do stand with the Palestinian armed resistance. And that we support them.”

Ms. Kates comments were met with a round of applause by attendees of the event, who appeared donning keffiyehs.  

In his post on X, Mr. Davidai harshly rebuked the school for hosting the event. “In sum: a pro-terror student group at Columbia hosted a ‘Resistance 101’ event that included organizations with confirmed ties to the PFLP– a U.S. designated terrorist organization.”

He added that “Columbia’s administration knew about this event. I know, because dozens of us alerted them of it. The entire responsibility for this event falls on the shoulders of the President of Columbia and the President of Barnard College.”

“They should both be fired immediately.” 

In a statement to the Sun, Columbia said that it’s investigating the event.

“We are aware of an unsanctioned, unapproved event that took place last night. Columbia canceled the event, denying requests to use university space, as did Barnard,” the university wrote. “Despite this, the event organizers held the event in a residence with an online option. We are investigating this matter and will not tolerate violations of university policy.”

The New York Sun

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