National News from ABC

NYC Mayor Eric Adams says he’s ‘horrified and disgusted’ by antisemitism at Columbia University protests

For the fifth day, pro-Palestinian students occupy a central lawn on the Columbia University campus, on April 21, 2024 in New York City. (Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

(NEW YORK) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams addressed the ongoing protests at Columbia University, condemning examples of antisemitism and hate speech in a statement Sunday.


“I am horrified and disgusted with the antisemitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus,” Adams said.

Protests over the Israel-Hamas war continued at the University campus in Upper Manhattan for the fifth day on Sunday, which has led to the arrest of over 100 people, according to police.

“I have instructed the NYPD to investigate any violation of law that is reported,” Adams said. “Rest assured, the NYPD will not hesitate to arrest anyone who is found to be breaking the law.”

Mayor Adams called out specific examples of hate speech, such as, “a young woman holding a sign with an arrow pointing to Jewish students stating ‘Al-Qasam’s Next Targets, or another where a woman is literally yelling ‘We are Hamas,’ or another where groups of students are chanting ‘We don’t want no Zionists here.'”

“I condemn this hate speech in the strongest of terms,” Adams said.

Columbia Chief Operating Officer Cas Holloway said in a post on the university website Sunday that the school was boosting “safety measures” on the Morningside campus.

“The gathering of large crowds on campus and around the Morningside perimeter are causing considerable disruption and distress,” Holloway wrote, noting the school would be upping security by 35 additional guards and two additional supervisors per shift; “enhanced perimeter security staffed by additional private security personnel”; and additional coverage at the Kraft Center over Passover.

On Thursday, demonstrators had occupied Columbia’s south lawn for over 30 hours “in violation of the university’s rules” and did not leave despite “numerous warnings,” Mayor Adams said at the time.

NYPD arrested 108 people for trespass without incident, officials said Thursday. Among those, two were also arrested for obstruction of governmental administration, officials said.

The protests, which began on April 17, followed Columbia University president Minouche Shafik’s testimony to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce about antisemitism on college campuses.

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik called for Shafik’s resignation on Sunday, saying Columbia University “failed to enforce their own campus rules and protect Jewish students on campus,” in a post on X, formally known as Twitter.

“While Columbia’s failed leadership spent hundreds of hours preparing for this week’s Congressional hearing, it clearly was an attempt to cover up for their abject failure to enforce their own campus rules and protect Jewish students on campus,” Stefanik wrote.

“President Shafik must immediately resign. And the Columbia Board must appoint a president who will protect Jewish students and enforce school policies,” Stefanik wrote.

In his statement Sunday, Adams acknowledged how the ongoing conflict in the Middle East “has left many of us grieving and angry.”

“New Yorkers have every right to express their sorrow, but that heartbreak does not give anyone the right to harass or threaten others or to physically harm someone they disagree with,” Adams said.

Mayor Adams recognized the heightened tensions in New York, as the Jewish community celebrates the beginning of Passover on Monday.

“As Mayor of the city with the largest Jewish community in the world outside of Israel, the pain these protests are causing Jews across the globe is not lost on me, especially as we start Passover tomorrow evening,” Adams said, noting, “I also see and hear the pain of those protesting in support of innocent lives being lost in Gaza.”

Concluding his statement, Adams said, “In this moment of heightened tension around the world, we stand united against hate.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

On Air Now

Now Playing On X101

Download The X101 App


Site Designed & Hosted by Eves Digital