After Harvard University students released a statement accusing Israel of being “fully responsible” for the “unfolding violence” in the region following last weekend’s surprise Hamas attack, a Columbia student organization has joined the chorus of ambiguity through terrorism a ‘counter-offensive.’
A shocking statement released Monday by the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine said Hamas’ actions were a “counteroffensive against their settler-colonial oppressor.”
“The weight of responsibility for the war and its victims unequivocally lies with the Israeli extremist government and other Western governments,” read the statement, which was also signed by a group called Jewish Voice for Peace.
The Ivy-League schools were also joined by a group from Northwestern University called Justice in Palestine, which said they “stand unwavering in our commitment to highlighting the profound injustices facing the Palestinian people.” .
Harvard’s statements were widely condemned, including by former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who wrote on .’
The first part of the statement from Columbia University’s Students for Justice in Palestine and a Jewish Voice for Peace
“Organized on the basis of democratic principles to promote justice, human rights, liberation and self-determination,” the group describes itself on Facebook
“As long as you continue this story, fighting will continue to break out until justice is achieved. Because nothing else works,” the coalition statement read.
“As Columbia students, our classes regularly discuss the inevitability of resistance as part of the struggle for decolonization. We conduct research among renowned scholars who challenge the fact that the media requires oppressed peoples to be ‘perfect victims’ in order to earn sympathy.”
“Yet our institution not only fails to align its actions with its ostensible values, but also actively normalizes Israeli apartheid and subjugation of Palestinians,” the group continued.
The group reiterated previous statements demanding that Columbia University divest from Israel.
That was the case in April 2023 reported that Columbia’s plans to build a campus in Tel Aviv were met with fierce opposition from both staff and students.
“We call on our government as a whole to verbally recognize Palestinian existence and humanity,” the statement continued.
Meanwhile, Northwestern Students also wrote that it is a “grave miscarriage of justice to portray Palestinians as the aggressors in this occupation,” adding that it is “morally untenable to portray Israel as a victim.”
The Palestinian Solidarity Committee holds banners outside Harvard University
Harvard President Emeritus Larry Summers has said he is ‘sickened’ by the Ivy League school’s response to Hamas’ attack on Israel
Fire and smoke rise from an explosion on a Palestinian residential tower following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, just hours after the festival attack, as the Israeli counter-offensive began
On Monday, Israeli warplanes continued to bombard central Gaza City, home to Hamas’s ruling centers, with relentless bombardment until early Tuesday after Israel’s prime minister vowed retaliation against the Islamist militant group that would “resonate for generations.”
The four-day war has already claimed at least 1,600 lives as Israel saw gun battles on the streets of its own cities and Gaza neighborhoods reduced to rubble for the first time in decades. Hamas also escalated the conflict, vowing to kill captured Israelis if attacks targeted civilians without warning.
The Israeli military said it found the bodies of about 1,500 Hamas militants in Israeli territory as it gained effective control in the south and restored “full control” of the border. It was not immediately clear whether these figures overlapped with deaths previously reported by Palestinian authorities.
Israel said Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza are holding more than 150 soldiers and civilians taken from Israel after the attack completely overwhelmed its vaunted military and intelligence apparatus.
As the Israeli army activated 300,000 reservists in a massive mobilization, the big question was whether it would launch a ground attack on the small coastal area of the Mediterranean. The last ground attack was in 2014.
The moves, along with Israel’s formal declaration of war on Sunday, signaled that Israel is increasingly shifting to the offensive against Hamas, threatening greater destruction in the densely populated, impoverished Gaza Strip.
“We have only just begun to attack Hamas,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a nationally televised address. “What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will haunt them for generations to come.”