An anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian rally near Columbia University on Manhattan’s Upper West Side earlier this month that drew more than 500 people turned violent when a group cornered a Jewish student who opposed the event with a contingent of 20 or so others.
Jewish Insider reported that on Feb. 2, Columbia freshman Noah Lederman was returning to his dorm to get ready for Shabbat when a group of protesters spotted him holding an Israeli flag (he was also wearing a T-shirt with an Israeli flag on it). He said they surrounded him, threatened him and then attacked him.
Lederman said that following the counterprotest, which ended before the anti-Israel activists started parading down the street, he saw a group of protesters that “appeared to be marching toward me.”
One masked member of the group “took notice of my shirt, which in addition to the flag said in English and Hebrew ‘together we will prevail.’ His eyes flared, and he instructed a group of protesters behind him to spread across the sidewalk to engulf me,” he said.
The man who began the confrontation “shoved me against the wall [of the building] aggressively and pinned me in an attempt to immobilize me. The mob surrounded me. As I broke free, the assailants continued to pursue me, shoving me and yelling, ‘Keep running, keep f***ing running!’” Lederman told Jewish Insider.
Lederman filed a report with the New York City Police Department. Since the attack occurred outside of Columbia’s premises, the school is not involved in the investigation.