Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Columbia University suspended two pro-Palestinian student organizations -- Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace -- for repeatedly holding unauthorized campus events that included "threatening rhetoric and intimidation."
The groups at the Ivy League university in New York City have held protests calling for a cease-fire in Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza and staged a walkout on Thursday, urging students nationwide to demand governments cut aid to Israel and call for an immediate cease-fire.
The suspension will last through the end of the fall semester in December and will be lifted contingent on "the two groups demonstrating a commitment to compliance with university policies and engaging in consultations at a group leadership level with university officials."
"During this especially charged time on our campus, we are strongly committed to giving space to student groups to participate in debate, advocacy, and protest. This relies on community members abiding by the rules and cooperating with university administrators who have a duty to ensure the safety of everyone in our community," he said.
The events at Columbia come as U.S. college students backing either Israel or Palestine report feeling unsupported and, in some cases, unsafe on campus.
The on-campus division has left administrators grappling with ethical and moral issues regarding free speech and academic freedoms since the Hamas invasion on Israel on Oct. 7.