Some college presidents and leaders appear to be changing their tune on anti-Israel protesters on campus, with at least three colleges expelling, warning or suspending students for taking part in disruptive protests viewed as antisemitic in the last few days alone, Fox News Digital has found. 

“Any participants in today’s events… who turn out to be Pomona students, are subject to immediate suspension. Students from the other Claremont Colleges will be banned from Pomona’s campus and subject to discipline on their own campuses,” Pomona College President Gabrielle Starr said in a warning to students on Friday. 

An estimated 150 people and students at the California school protested outside Starr’s office in a campus administrative building on Friday, before storming the building and refusing to leave over the removal of a pro-Palestinian “mock apartheid wall” on campus. At least 20 people were arrested, which sparked Starr’s letter to the school community warning that those who took part would be suspended. 

Several students reportedly used “a sickening, anti-black racial slur in addressing an administrator,” according to Starr’s letter, while the New York Post reported students referred to police as the “KKK.” 

Friday’s protest, which drew a large police response, is just the latest that hit campuses since war broke out in Israel in October of last year. Colleges from coast to coast have seen pro-Palestinian protesters take over school libraries and buildings and had to clean menacing graffiti off campus property. Jewish students say it feels as if it’s “open season for Jews on our campuses.” 



Jewish students nationwide have reported feeling unsafe on campuses as cases of antisemitism increase, and have called on school leaders to take action, while other students have filed lawsuits against schools for allegedly not adequately responding to antisemitism on campus. 

When Hamas first attacked Israel in October, Fox News Digital spoke with Israel’s special envoy for combating antisemitism, who said the war marked a “moment of reckoning” for colleges as cases of antisemitism increased. 

“This is a moment of reckoning… for universities, for social media spaces, for elected officials. It’s a moment of reckoning for what we have enabled for far too long in that moral ambiguity, if you will. This is a time for moral clarity and courage in calling out the moral ambiguity,” Michal Cotler-Wunsh told Fox News Digital in an interview last year.  

Claudine Gay

Late last year, the presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and MIT appeared before Congress and were grilled about their handling of antisemitism on their respective campuses. Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik had especially fiery exchanges with the trio of academics, pressing them to answer if “calling for the genocide of Jews” violates the respective schools’ codes of conduct. 

The presidents of Harvard and Penn, Claudine Gay and Liz Magill, respectively, came under fire for both answering Stefanik that such comments would violate the schools’ codes of conduct depending on the “context.” Both presidents subsequently resigned from their positions after widespread condemnation from Jewish communities nationwide, alums, and students. 

UPenn president during House hearing

In the last few days alone, it appears more college leaders are laying the law down on anti-Israel protesters who disrupt campus activities with slogans such as “​​one solution, intifada revolution.” 

The University of Michigan, for example, announced a “disruptive activity policy” last week that creates new penalties for students who disrupt university events, after students had for months called on the school to divest from companies that provide weapons to the Israeli military. 

“No one is entitled to disrupt the lawful activities or speech of others. Because the university is a public institution, not only are we prohibited from interfering with lawful speech, we are required to intervene when we become aware that others are interfering with or disrupting lawful speech on our campus,” Michigan President Santa J. Ono said last week. 

Vanderbilt University last week reportedly expelled three students, suspended another and put 20 more on probation for taking part in a sit-in protest in a school building where students allegedly pushed through security before the protest devolved into arrests. The school has not released specifics on how many students were expelled, but the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs said a “thorough review” of the incident was carried out, and students would have 10 days to appeal penalties, the student newspaper reported.


“After a thorough review of the incident, including examination of evidence and interviews with students, the Student Accountability Community Standards and Academic Integrity staff issued a range of findings and sanctions that took the individual circumstances of each student’s conduct into account,” Vanderbilt Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver said Friday, according to the school paper. “The sanctions included disciplinary probation as well as suspension and expulsion.” 

Pro-Palestine protestors in DC

Columbia University announced last week that it suspended students who took part in the “Resistance 101” event late last month. The event featured speakers such as Khaled Barakat, who is reportedly a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization in the U.S. that advocates for the destruction of Israel. 

anti-Israel protest b Columbia

“On March 24, an event took place at a campus residential facility that the University had already barred, twice, from occurring. It featured speakers who are known to support terrorism and promote violence. I want to state for the record that this event is an abhorrent breach of our values. I also want to update our community on the actions which have been underway as a result,” school President Minouche Shafik wrote in a letter to the school community last week. Four students were reportedly suspended, according to the Columbia Daily Spectator. 


Pro-Israel Rally

“I also want to remind our community that all of our rules and policies matter. Yesterday, students, faculty, and other members of our community chose to hold an unapproved event near academic buildings in violation of our rules and policies. We are in the process of identifying participants and they will face discipline under our policies. This university will only thrive if we can build a strong foundation of respect – both for each other and for our rules,” Shafik added. 

As some colleges appear to take a tougher stance on anti-Israel protests, other schools are still grappling with frenzied demonstrations. 

Chaos broke out on Rutgers University’s campus on Thursday during a town hall, requiring police to usher out Jewish students and school officials. The town hall was held by the Rutgers University Student Assembly regarding two boycott, divestment and sanctions referendums on severing ties with Tel Aviv University and divesting any connections to Israel. 

Fox News Digital reached out to the school for comment on the matter, but did not immediately receive a reply. 

Following the ousters of Penn and Harvard’s presidents in recent months, other schools have also clamped down on protests, Times Higher Education reported in February. American University banned indoor demonstrations and Barnard College banned public protests, the report said, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst prevented students who participated in nonviolent protests from joining a study abroad program.


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