Columbia bans student protest leader for incendiary comments he made back in January

Khymani James apologized for saying on video that 'Zionists don't deserve to live'
Friday, April 26, 2024
MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- Columbia University has banned a student protest leader from campus for incendiary comments he made back in January, according to a university spokesperson.

In a video that recently resurfaced, Khymani James, a student activist associated with the Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) coalition, made the comment that "Zionists don't deserve to live."

James acknowledged the statement in a post on X, saying it was from an Instagram Live video in January. "I misspoke in the heat of the moment, for which I apologize."

The apology came early Friday morning, hours after an interview with CNN at Columbia where James repeatedly declined to apologize for the video, saying that the focus should be on Palestinian liberation.

During a teleconference on Friday, the university made the decision to discipline James. A university spokesperson said he has been banned from campus.

The decision comes amid tensions between the university and pro-Palestinian protestors, who have held demonstrations on campus for more than a week now.
Columbia protesters say they're at an impasse with administrators

The students who inspired pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the country said Friday that they have reached an impasse with administrators and intend to continue their encampment until their demands are met.

As the death toll mounts in the war in Gaza and the humanitarian crisis worsens, protesters at Columbia and universities across the country are demanding schools cut financial ties to Israel and divest from companies they say are enabling the conflict.

The-CNN-Wire and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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