Anti-Israel protest in Washington (archive image)
Anti-Israel protest in Washington (archive image)REUTERS

An anti-Israel event scheduled to be held Wednesday at Columbia University’s School of Social Work (CSSW) was shut down by the school - but students held it anyways, the National Review reported.

The event justified and praised Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel, which saw the rape and mutilation of women, the brutal murder of 1,200 Israelis, and the abduction of about 240 Israelis and foreigners, mostly civilians, to Gaza.

Though the event itself was officially canceled, students in the Columbia Social Workers 4 Palestine, the group which planned the event, held a "teach-in and discussion" in a different location on the campus. A video shared widely on X, formerly Twitter, shows student activists praising Hamas' brutality and violence, claiming it to be a "valiant act of resistance."

Speaking at the anti-Israel event, one woman said, "On October 7, the Palestinian liberation fighters demonstrated their refusal to be dominated. They showed the world that the Palestinian people will fight for freedom instead of quietly adapting to subjugation. They showed us that with creativity, determination, and combined strength the masses can accomplish great feats, a fact we have seen in every heroic struggle for liberation from Vietnam to Afghanistan. As Mao says, 'dare to struggle, dare to win.'"

In a Wednesday response to the event, CCSW said, "A student-led event within the School of Social Work building proceeded without permission, after being canceled."

"We communicated to the student organizers that this event could not be held at the school because they did not follow protocol. As a result, we prevented access to the classroom the students intended to use.

"Despite clear direction that the event was not permitted, a group of students moved to host the event in the public lobby of our school. School and University administrators informed the students of the possibility of disciplinary action and urged them to disperse, which they did. The matter is under review under University procedures."

In a statement published on the school's website, CCSW dean Melissa Begg said, "We learned late last night of a flier and accompanying text being circulated about a December 6th event at the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW)."

"This is not a CSSW-sponsored event. The students who organized the event did not seek approval for the fliers and text as required by CSSW processes. CSSW supports free speech but does not condone language that promotes violence in any manner, which is antithetical to our values. This event will not go forward at CSSW."