Rep. Ilhan Omar, Isra Hirsi, Anti-Israel Protests, Columbia University

Daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar Among Students Suspended For Anti-Israel Protests At Columbia University

Think this is coincidence?

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) daughter was one of three students suspended on April 18 after participating in a pro-Palestinian encampment at Columbia University in New York.

Isra Hirsi, a junior at Barnard College, took to X to talk about her experience and announce her suspension.

“I’m an organizer with CU Apartheid Divest @ColumbiaSJP, in my 3 years at @BarnardCollege i have never been reprimanded or received any disciplinary warnings,” she tweeted. “I just received notice that i am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide.”

Hirsi joined dozens of students who pitched green tents across the campus’s main lawn while university President Minouche Shafik appeared before her mother and other members of Congress to testify on campus antisemitism. Shafik called law enforcement on the protesters to break up the demonstration. While students were taken into custody, more protesters started setting up new, yellow tents just yards away from the green tents, The New York Daily News reported. 

Officials said Hirsi was released with a summons after being detained for trespassing.

Columbia student Jonas Du called being a student there “surreal.” “It really felt like we’re in what some people would say… almost a war zone of a campus,” he told Fox News

Omar pressed the president on April 17 with triggering questions about campus protests and the hostile environment students face. During her questioning, the Minnesota state representative touched on an incident at the Ivy League school that resulted in severe consequences for six students. “I was appalled to learn that in April, Columbia suspended and evicted six students for their involvement in the pro-Palestinian panel event on campus,” she said. 

“It happened that all six students were arbitrarily targeted after the university brought in a team of private and former police investigators. These investigators harassed and intimidated Palestinian students at their homes, demanding to see students’ private text messages and sent threatening emails to the leaders to those pro-Palestinian groups.” 

Viewers of the hearing and fellow Democratic colleagues think there is no coincidence that Hirsi was arrested following the testimony.

“The timeline of Representative Ilhan Omar grilling Minouche Shafik and the next day Shafik expelling Omar’s daughter and calling in the NYPD to arrest peaceful protesters is extremely damning, hard to see it as anything but mismanaged ego and revenge,” @toddedillard tweeted. 

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) shared similar sentiments on the social platform that the incidents may somehow be connected. “The day after @IlhanMN questioned Columbia leadership’s commitment to free academic expression, the school suspended her daughter? It’s clear what is happening here,” he wrote in response to Hirsi’s tweet.

“Our educational institutions should not be in the business of political reprisals.”

Both Columbia and Barnard released statements on the arrests. Columbia simply stated, “Students who are participating in the unauthorized encampment are suspended. We are continuing to identify them and will be sending out formal notifications.” 

Barnard’s statement placed some blame on Columbia. “Before noon on April 17, Columbia made multiple requests that students participating in the unauthorized encampment leave the lawn,” the statement read. “A number of Barnard Senior Staff also went to the lawn to ask Barnard students participating in the encampment to leave and to advise Barnard students that they would be subject to sanctions at Barnard if they did not leave the encampment.”

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