newsSchools & Higher Education

Columbia deletes Instagram story celebrating dual degree with Tel Aviv U

A spokesperson for the Ivy League school previously said "the University welcomes and embraces the Israeli students."

A view of protesters demonstrating outside the campus of Columbia University in New York City on April 25, 2024. Credit: Evan Schneider/U.N. Photo.
A view of protesters demonstrating outside the campus of Columbia University in New York City on April 25, 2024. Credit: Evan Schneider/U.N. Photo.

Columbia University’s School of General Studies reposted an Instagram story congratulating the first graduating class of the Columbia-Tel Aviv University dual-degree program, only to delete the story two hours later, according to Columbia Jewish & Israeli Students’ post on X.

For the past several weeks, tensions have been rising at Columbia as anti-Israel protests were getting out of hand, occupying campus grounds with an encampment as well as Hamilton Hall—one of the main administration buildings—resulting in violent incidents that have eventually led to a New York City Police Department raid on campus to evacuate and arrest protesters, allowed by the university’s president, Minouche Shafik.

Due to these events, the administration has decided to cancel this year’s main commencement ceremony.

One of the protesters’ demands of Columbia was to effectively divest financially from Israel, close the school’s Tel Aviv Global Center and end Columbia’s dual degree program with Tel Aviv University, as proposed by the Columbia University Apartheid Divest movement and reported in the Columbia Daily Spectator. This proposal has received much support, which might have led to the deletion of the Instagram story. 

“Columbia University welcomes and embraces the Israeli students, faculty and staff on our campus,” a university spokesperson told the Columbia Daily Spectator. “We also benefit greatly from our dual-degree program with Tel Aviv University.”

Although none of these demands was met, this incident underscored the continued unrest on campus and the grim reality that Jewish and Israeli students face. Israel Hayom was unable to verify this story independently, yet as of Thursday afternoon, no such story appears on Columbia’s official Instagram page.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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