Pro-Israel Columbia Professor Claims He Was Denied Entry To Anti-Israel Protest Site

Screenshot/X/Luke Tress

Mariane Angela Contributor
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A pro-Israel assistant professor from Columbia University claims that he was blocked from entering the campus Monday.

Tensions rose at Columbia University as Shai Davidai, a pro-Israel assistant professor at Columbia Business School, was allegedly denied campus entry where anti-Israel protests were underway. The assistant professor took to X, previously known as Twitter, to express his dismay over what happened.

Columbia students are currently demanding the university divest from companies with ties to Israel had set up tents on a central campus lawn. These protests had led to over 100 arrests and ongoing suspensions as the demonstration continued into its week, according to The New York Times. (RELATED: Columbia Faculty Orchestrate Walkout On Behalf Of Pro-Palestinian Protesters)

Davidai can be seen on video visibly frustrated at a locked gate and claimed the university had deactivated his ID card to block his access. During a confrontation captured in another video, Davidai approached Columbia University COO Cas Holloway to protest the restriction. Holloway offered Davidai an alternative location for his demonstration. “We are willing to take you to the Math Lawn,” Holloway stated. The Math Lawn is away from the main protest area where pro-Palestinian demonstrators had established a “Liberation Zone,” Daily Wire reported.

However, Davidai protested this idea. “No, I am a professor here… I have every right to be everywhere in campus.” he said. “You cannot let people who support Hamas on campus and me, a professor, not on campus. Let me in now!”

Amid the unrest and concerns over safety, including claims of “extreme antisemitism,” a campus rabbi advised Jewish students to leave the campus. As a result, Columbia transitioned to online classes just before the Passover holiday, a move announced by Columbia University’s Minouche Shafik. Shafik’s statement emphasized a shift to virtual classes to “deescalate the rancor” and allow the community to reflect on the situation.