Columbia Encampment
Columbia EncampmentReuters/Adem Wijewickrema/TheNews2/Cover Images

Columbia University reached a settlement yesterday in a lawsuit filed by students who were harassed and intimidated by anti-Israel protesters who erected illegal tent encampments on campus in recent months.

The settlement was reached yesterday (Tuesday) in a Manhattan federal court. Under the terms of the agreement, the students who filed the lawsuit will be offered “walking escorts” for their safety on campus. In addition, a “safe passage liaison” will be appointed to whom students will be able to address any concerns over threats to their safety stemming from future protests.

Columbia also agreed to take action to assist students who were prevented from taking exams or completing assignments as a result of the anti-Israel protests.

Attorney Jay Edelson, who represented the students, said that the settlement "sets the bar for how Columbia must protect its students."

“The next step for the Columbia community is just as important: We’re looking toward a return to a real debate on campus,” Edelson said.

The class action lawsuit, which was filed by a female Jewish student identified only as C.S., alleged that Jewish students have been intimidated, harassed, and even physically assaulted by anti-Israel protesters on campus.

The latest round of protests began with the establishment of an illegal tent encampment on the Columbia campus on April 17, setting off a trend that quickly spread to other campuses across the US.

The protests frequently featured calls for violence against Jews. In one incident, two protesters shouted at Jewish counterprotesters that the October 7 massacre would be repeated "every day" and "10,000" times." In addition, a protester held a sign calling on the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization to murder Jewish students. on campus.

Early in the encampment protests, an Orthodox rabbi at Columbia warned Jewish students to stay away from campus for their own safety.

In another incident, an anti-Israel protester hit a counterprotester in the face with a rock.

In late April, anti-Israel protesters broke into and occupied Columbia University's Hamilton Hall. The following day, NYPD officers were brought in to remove the protesters from campus, and many were arrested.

Columbia ultimately canceled its university-wide commencement ceremony in response to the anti-Israel protests.

A new encampment was set up on Friday. The Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine organization set up the new encampment as Columbia hosted its alumni weekend. The encampment was named “Revolt for Rafah" in light of Israel's operation in the city of Rafah, where the final four Hamas battalions and many hostages are located.

The encampment, like its predecessors, featured multiple tents set up on the campus grounds. One of the signs at the encampment read, “We’re back b-es."

The new encampment was taken down by the protesters on Sunday night. However, the protesters vowed to return to set up more encampments in the future.