Home News Rep. Ilhan Omar’s daughter among students suspended at Columbia over pro-Palestinian encampment

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s daughter among students suspended at Columbia over pro-Palestinian encampment

The daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a vocal Democrat sharply critical of Israel, was among at least three students suspended Thursday over a pro-Palestinian, two-day encampment at Columbia University.

Omar grilled Columbia administrators Wednesday on protections for students protesting the war in Gaza.

Isra Hirsi, a junior at Barnard College, is an organizer with the student-led coalition Columbia University Apartheid Divest, which pitched dozens of green tents across the main lawn, as university president Minouche Shafik was set to testify on campus antisemitism before Congress.

The standoff prompted Shafik to call in the NYPD to break up the demonstration. Dozens of students had been detained by Thursday afternoon, as protesters began setting up new, yellow tents some yards away from the original encampment.

It was unclear if Hirsi was among those detained by the NYPD.

“In my 3 years at @BarnardCollege, I have never been reprimanded or received any disciplinary warnings,” Hirsi said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I just received notice that I am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide.”

“We will stand resolute until our demands are met,” added Hirsi, who called for Columbia to divest its finances from companies and institutions that profit from Israel.

The email read, “This notice is to inform you that Barnard College is suspending you on an interim basis effective immediately. This decision is based on information received from Columbia University Public Safety that you have been involved in an unauthorized encampment on the Columbia University campus and you have not ceased participation in this unauthorized encampment despite repeated requests from Barnard and Columbia on April 17, 2024 that you do so.”

The number of suspensions appeared likely to grow as Columbia continues its investigation.

“Students who are participating in the unauthorized encampment are suspended,” a university spokesperson said in a statement. “We are continuing to identify them and will be sending out formal notifications.”


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