Student suspended for spraying anti-Israel protesters, wants to come back to school

In his petition, the student writes that the university turns a blind eye to pro-Palestinian rallies he claims are filled with antisemitic rhetoric

A legal battle between Columbia University and an Israeli American student has ignited following his suspension for using "skunk spray" during a pro-Palestinian protest on campus in January. The incident, impacting over 20 students, drew national attention and prompted an NYPD investigation.
The student, a former IDF soldier, maintains the spray was a non-violent expression of dissent against pro-Hamas sentiments, while the university deems his actions disruptive and dangerous, leading to his suspension until May 2025.
The student's lawsuit challenges the university's decision, alleging bias against his Israeli background and an unfair process that jeopardizes his academic future. He claims the university selectively enforces its policies, overlooking antisemitic rhetoric during pro-Palestinian events while swiftly condemning his actions. This, he argues, created a hostile environment for Jewish and Israeli students.
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אוניברסיטת קולומביה ניו יורק  ארה"ב הפגנה נגד ישראל פרו פלסטינית באזור וול סטריט
אוניברסיטת קולומביה ניו יורק  ארה"ב הפגנה נגד ישראל פרו פלסטינית באזור וול סטריט
Pro-Palestinian rally at Columbia
(Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
The lawsuit further details escalating hostility after the incident, including the exposure of his personal information online and the creation of mock "wanted" posters portraying him as dangerous. This, he claims, forced him to leave his home in fear for hisf safety. He criticizes the university's alleged inaction despite reports of threats. He claims this ineptitude on the part of the university could be constituted as university officials' tacit agreement with the pro-Palestinian demonstrators, further contributing to the hostile environment.
Columbia University did suspend the activities of both the Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace campus student organizations due to unauthorized demonstrations and intimidating rhetoric. The student seeks damages, while the university says it cannot comment on ongoing legal proceedings.
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