April 21, 2024

By Ryan King


House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik on Sunday called on Columbia University President Minouche Shafik to resign, accusing her of failing to “protect Jewish students on campus.”

Stefanik’s (R-NY) demands come in the wake of Shafik’s testimony on Capitol Hill last week, in which she was grilled over the Ivy League school’s handling of antisemitism at the prestigious Manhattan campus.

The GOPer’s comments also were made the same day Columbia Rabbi Elie Buechler issued a dire warning to Jewish students on campus about “extreme antisemitism” and urging them to go home.

“Over the past few months and especially the last 24 hours, Columbia’s leadership has clearly lost control of its campus putting Jewish students’ safety at risk,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“It is crystal clear that Columbia University – previously a beacon of academic excellence founded by Alexander Hamilton — needs new leadership. President Shafik must immediately resign.”

Former state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who used to represent Borough Park and Midwood in Brooklyn and now heads the group Americans Against Antisemitism,” tweeted to Stefanik in response, “Thank you!

“President Shafik of Columbia: Get the hell out of the way. Resign immediately. ‘Never Again’ is a lie!”

The blistering comments come against the backdrop of virulent anti-Israel protests on campus, which have led to more than 100 arrests.

Rabbi Buechler said in the WhatsApp message Sunday, “The events of the last few days, especially last night, have made it clear that Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety in the face of extreme antisemitism and anarchy.

“It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved.”

Stefanik further called on Columbia University’s board to “appoint a President who will protect Jewish students and enforce school policies.”

During her testimony before the House Education and Workforce Committee, Shafik affirmed that calling for the genocide of Jews is a violation of the school’s code of conduct.

That question had tripped up the heads of Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania before the education panel last year.

Stefanik’s grilling of the presidents of those three institutions in December about their efforts to combat antisemitism on their campuses quickly went viral and sparked a national outcry.

Ultimately, University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill resigned, and Harvard University President Claudine Gay eventually stepped down after a plagiarism scandal.

The education committee has been conducting a probe into antisemitism on college campuses across the country.

“While Columbia’s failed leadership spent hundreds of hours preparing for this week’s Congressional hearing, it clearly was an attempt to cover up for their abject failure to enforce their own campus rules and protect Jewish students on campus,” Stefanik chided.

During the hearing, Shafik described the phrase “from the river to the sea” as “hurtful” but stopped short of calling it antisemitic.

The phrase refers to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and has been used by Hamas terrorists in calling for removing Jews from the entire area, essentially Israel.

Shafik was also grilled about whether professors and faculty who have promoted antisemitism would be fired.

“Any faculty member at Columbia who behaves in an antisemitic way or in any discriminatory way should find somewhere else to go,” Shafik said during the hearing.

Columbia University did not respond to a Post request for comment.