Students protest at colleges across NYC amid crisis in the Middle East

Lauren Glassberg Image
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Students protest at NYC colleges amid crisis in the Middle East
Lauren Glassberg reports from Morningside Heights with the latest.

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- As Israel continues its attacks on Gaza from the air, students protested at several colleges in New York City over the crisis in the Middle East, some in support of Palestinians, and others supporting Israel.

At Columbia University, there was a call for the end of Jew hatred as Jewish students say they are frightened by displays of antisemitism and anti-Israeli rhetoric, and that the university isn't doing enough to protect them.

"I've stopped wearing the Jewish Star of David because I'm afraid," said Columbia student Noah Cajina.

It was an entirely different perspective at CUNY in Midtown a couple hours earlier, where students walked out of class demanding an end to Israel's siege on Gaza.

It's part of a larger effort at campuses around the country. Close to a thousand people did the same at NYU.

"We demand NYU stand for Palestinian students, for Palestinian supporters," NYU student leader Destiny said. "We demand NYU divest from the arms manufacturers that Israel are using to do this genocide, to seize on Gaza occupation."

Some high schoolers also protested in Washington Square Park for a free Palestine.

While many of the NYU students refused to talk on camera, one student did.

"Of course, no one likes violence on both sides, but it's obvious that there is a clear genocide going on against Palestinians," the student said. "So that is why we march today."

Outside the United Nations, there was a clear denunciation of Hamas in the form of baby strollers with the photos of the 30 children held captive by Hamas, some of them babies.

The images are so hard to make sense of and are hard to see.

They produce arguments, anger, disappointment, despair and hope that perhaps demonstrations can lead to dialogue.

"A lot of people are not willing to listen," said NYU student Lea Orbach. "They're more willing to have their side and think like they're right without being open to a regular conversation."


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