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Jewish Academic Blocked from Entering New York Ivy League Campus

A Jewish professor at Columbia University says he has been barred from campus after criticizing the university’s response to antisemitism in the rise of Free Palestine protests.

Shai Davidai, an assistant professor in the management division of Columbia Business School, said he has been banned from campus after being vocal against the Free Palestine movement on campus and the lack of protection from the university for Jewish members of the community.

“I have not just a civil right as a Jewish person to be on campus,” Davidai is shown saying in a video released by @UESpeeps on X, formerly Twitter. “I have a right as a professor employed by the university to be on campus.”

Columbia’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine first started a petition on April 9 asking the university to fire Davidai over his “bully(ing) pro-Palestine students of color.” The petition has now surpassed more than 8,000 signatures.

“Under the guise of fighting antisemitism, he uses his Twitter and Instagram accounts to incite harassment and violence against these students,” the petition read. “Shai’s usage of his social media platform to harass students is a clear violation of university policy and an abuse of power from a faculty member.”

Davidai has grown prominent across the Columbia campus after a video went viral showing him criticizing the university’s response to the October 7 attack by Hamas.

“I want you to know one thing. We cannot protect your child,” Davidai said at a vigil just weeks after the Hamas attack. “I’m speaking to you as a dad, and I want you to know, we cannot protect your children from pro-terror student organizations, because the president of Columbia University will not speak out against pro-terror student organizations.”

Newsweek has reached out to Davidai and Columbia University for comment.