Is the Gaza war Tearing US University Campuses Apart?

Protests at Columbia, Yale and elsewhere “are getting uglier”. (Image credit: Illustration by Stephen Kelly / Getty Images)

Joel Mathis, at The Week: Campus unrest over the war in Gaza “has reached a fever pitch in the final weeks of classes,” said The New York Times, with confrontations between authorities and pro-Palestinian protesters at Columbia University, Yale University, New York University and others across the United States. The heart of the conflict: Administrators are “struggling to balance students’ free speech rights and the need to protect Jewish students” from threats to their safety.

The crisis is particularly acute at Columbia, where a rabbi linked to the school “urged Jewish students to stay home” to avoid “tense confrontations” with protesters, CNN said. (In fact, everybody is staying home: The university soon announced it was shifting to remote classes for the final weeks of the spring semester.) The White House even weighed in, condemning “blatantly antisemitic” rhetoric after videos appeared to show some Columbia protesters expressing support for Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

“School administrators and local law enforcement have cracked down on the protests,” Reuters said. More than 100 protesters have been arrested at Columbia, while other students have been suspended — and similar crackdowns have taken place at Yale, NYU and the University of Minnesota. Some Republicans want to see even more: Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) this week called on President Joe Biden to send in the National Guard

More here.