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Rep Ilhan Omar‘s daughter Isra Hirsi was among at least 108 people arrested as police in riot gear moved in to break up the anti-Israel protest that rocked New York’s Columbia University.

Tensions had been at boiling point since the protesters pitched tents on the university’s south lawn at 4am on Wednesday, with several fights breaking out as they were met by pro-Israeli counter-demonstrators.

Hirsi, 21, pulled a worried face as she was seen being handcuffed alongside many other sit-in pro-Gaza protesters who were issued with summonses for trespassing. 

The daughter of the staunch Democrat had already been suspended by her university, Barnard College, for joining the protest on the Upper West Side.

New York Mayor Eric Adams staged a press conference on Thursday evening to say that university president Nemat Shafik has asked police to clear a ‘clear and present danger’ to safety on campus.

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s daughter, 21, is arrested along with 108-strong anti-Israel mob as NYPD smashes protest encampment at Columbia University: Squad member’s wayward child was suspended from college hours earlier

Isra Hirsi, Rep Ilhan Omar’s daughter, is seen being handcuffed and arrested on Columbia’s campus on Thursday. She has been taking part in an anti-Israel rally at the college

Students began setting up tents on the university's south lawn at around 4am on Wednesday in an unauthorized protest against the war in Gaza

Students began setting up tents on the university’s south lawn at around 4am on Wednesday in an unauthorized protest against the war in Gaza

At least 108 people were arrested and issued with summons for trespass as riot police moved in and cleared the space on Thursday morning

At least 108 people were arrested and issued with summons for trespass as riot police moved in and cleared the space on Thursday morning 

Swathes of defiant students were seen being arrested and hurried on to NYPD corrections buses. Some had to be physically carried away from the encampment.

Adams said in the aftermath: ‘After numerous warnings issued by campus security and the NYPD the students and those who were occupying the space, NYPD officers moved in to ensure the safety of the campus, the students and the staff. 

‘Columbia University’s students have a proud history of protests and raising their voices, but we will not be a city of lawlessness.’ 

Isra Hirsi tweeted before her arrest on Thursday: ‘Those of us in Gaza Solidarity Encampment will not be intimidated. 

‘We will stand resolute until our demands are met. our demands include divestment from companies complicit in genocide, transparency of @Columbia ‘s investments and FULL amnesty for all students facing repression.’

Adams said the arrests were made peacefully without ‘violence or injury’.

But NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said around 500 students flooded into the quad as police moved in, chanting angrily and ‘telling us that we’re the KKK’.

Busloads of protesters were marched off as students hurled abuse at NYPD officers

Busloads of protesters were marched off as students hurled abuse at NYPD officers 

Protesters are seen outside Columbia University, staging their pro-Gaza rally

Protesters are seen outside Columbia University, staging their pro-Gaza rally 

'I am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide,' the Democrat 's daughter posted on X

‘I am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide,’ the Democrat ‘s daughter posted on X

Demonstrators protest in solidarity with Pro-Palestinian organizers as they block a street near Columbia University, after many were arrested

Demonstrators protest in solidarity with Pro-Palestinian organizers as they block a street near Columbia University, after many were arrested

NYPD officers remove a man as pro-Palestinian protesters march outside Columbia University in New York City on April 18, 2024

NYPD officers remove a man as pro-Palestinian protesters march outside Columbia University in New York City on April 18, 2024

As the handcuffed individuals were loaded into buses, a huge crowd of demonstrators swarmed the police vehicles in a bid to stop them moving.

Once over 100 of the protesters were forcibly removed from Columbia’s green, officers begun the task of tearing down the dozens of tents that had been erected.

Shafik called in the police just hours after she was accused of running a hotbed of antisemitism during a Congressional hearing about her handling of pro-Palestinian protests on campus.

The Ivy League chief defended the ‘peaceful’ demonstrations and the students’ right to free speech in the surge of anti-Semitic rhetoric since the start of the Gaza war that led to the resignations of Harvard President Claudine Gay and Yale President Liz Magill.

‘After numerous warnings issued by campus security and the NYPD the students and those who were occupying the space, NYPD officers moved in to ensure the safety of the campus, the students and the staff,’ City Mayor Eric Adams told a press conference

‘After numerous warnings issued by campus security and the NYPD the students and those who were occupying the space, NYPD officers moved in to ensure the safety of the campus, the students and the staff,’ City Mayor Eric Adams told a press conference

Isra Hirsi was featured in a video condemning the university for not listening to students protesting for Palestinians

Isra Hirsi was featured in a video condemning the university for not listening to students protesting for Palestinians

Self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., embraces Hirsi as her mother Rep. Ilhan Omar looks on

Self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., embraces Hirsi as her mother Rep. Ilhan Omar looks on

But House GOP Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, slammed her leadership of the college which has 4,000 Jewish students on roll. 

And she accused her of refusing to ‘enforce their own policies and condemn Jewish hatred on campus, creating a breeding ground for antisemitism and a hotbed of support for terrorism from radicalized faculty and students.’

GOP Rep. Burgess Owens told Shafik that the experience of Jewish students at Columbia reminds him of the ‘hated and bigotry’ he experienced in the 1960s deep south, referring to one professor at the Ivy League calling the October 7 attack ‘awesome.’

But the university president sent an uncompromising email to all staff and students as police began to move in on Thursday.

‘I took this extraordinary step because these are extraordinary circumstances,’ she wrote.

‘I have determined that the encampment and related disruptions pose a clear and present danger to the substantial functioning of the University.

‘Columbia is committed to allowing members of our community to engage in political expression — within established rules and with respect for the safety of all.’

Around 60 tents had dotted the lawn, some featuring two large signs declaring ‘liberated zone’ and ‘Gaza solidarity encampment.’

Pro-Palestinian students take part in a protest in support of the Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, at Columbia University in New York City

Pro-Palestinian students take part in a protest in support of the Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, at Columbia University in New York City

In a video from Wednesday, pro-Palestine and pro-Israel demonstrators clashed outside of the school as one person screamed: ‘We are Hamas!’ while a man wearing an Israel flag on his back and a yamaka on his head walked past her.

Hirsi’s mother, the Democrat ‘Squad’ member from Michigan was among those tackling Shafik during her Congressional appearance, accusing her of singling out pro-Palestinian students and characterizing the clashes on campus as being between ‘pro-war and anti-war protestors’.

Shafik insisted she had aggressively worked to combat antisemitism on campus, including holding over 200 meetings on the topic, holding daily meetings of the campus security team and working with the NYPD and FBI when hate crimes occur on campus.

All the arrested Columbia students have been suspended by the university which said it was still actively trying to identify those who took part.  

Student Layla Saliba of Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine said they would seek amnesties for the suspended students and slammed Shafik’s decision to send in the police.

‘What happened today at Columbia University was an act of violence towards Arab, Muslim, Palestinian students, Jewish students and just anybody who supports Palestinian liberation,’ she said.



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