update deskSchools & Higher Education

Rep. Omar ‘enormously proud’ of daughter over anti-Israel protest

Isra Hirsi was suspended from Barnard University after an unauthorized anti-Israel protest encampment on campus; she was summoned for trespassing.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) looks back at her daughter offstage as she addresses the crowd at the 2019 Youth Climate Strike in Washington. Credit: Paris Malone/Shutterstock.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) looks back at her daughter offstage as she addresses the crowd at the 2019 Youth Climate Strike in Washington. Credit: Paris Malone/Shutterstock.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said she was “enormously proud” of her daughter Isra Hirsi, who was suspended from Barnard College in New York City over her involvement in an anti-Israel tent protest on campus.

“I am enormously proud of my daughter. She has always led with courage and compassion, from organizing a statewide school walkout on the 20th anniversary of Columbine [the Columbine  High School massacre in Colorado] at the age of 15, to leading the biggest youth climate rally at our nation’s Capitol at 16, and now pushing her school to stand against genocide,” Omar wrote on X Saturday, in reference to Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

“Stepping up to change what you can’t tolerate is why we as a country have the right to speech, assembly and petition enshrined in our constitution,” she added.

Hirsi, 21, announced on X Thursday: “I’m an organizer with CU Apartheid Divest @ColumbiaSJP, in my 3 years at @BarnardCollege I have never been reprimanded or received any disciplinary warnings I just received notice that I am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide.”

She wrote, “Those of us in Gaza Solidarity Encampment will not be intimidated,” and “we will stand resolute until our demands are met.” She then called for “divestment from companies complicit in genocide.”

Hirsi was one of more than 100 people arrested and summoned for trespassing after a group of demonstrators set up a “Gaza solidarity encampment” at Columbia University to protest Israel’s war with Hamas terrorists in Gaza following the murders of 1,200 people, and the kidnapping of more than 250 men, women and children in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Barnard is the sister school of Columbia College. 

Columbia University president Minouche Shafik called on the New York City Police Department to forcibly clear the unauthorized anti-Israel protest encampment on the school’s South Lawn on Thursday.

“They have interfered with the operation of the university, refused to identify themselves, refused to disperse, set up tents on-campus space, failed to comply with policies and damaged campus property,” Shafik wrote in her letter requesting NYPD assistance. “With great regret, we request the NYPD’s help to remove these individuals.”

The Columbia Jewish Alumni Association wrote on Thursday that the unauthorized protests continue to disrupt academic life at the university.

“For those unfamiliar with Columbia University campus, this mayhem is directly in front of the library and several dorms,” wrote the group, which noted that final exams begin in less than 10 days. “You don’t have to be Jewish to be deeply concerned about the academic priorities of professors who condone and encourage this.”

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