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The scandal of using chemical warfare against pro-Palestinian students at Columbia University

A leaked audio recording of a former administrator at Columbia University in the city of New York has suggested that officials at the institution have tried to cover up chemical attacks against pro-Palestine student protestors.
News ID: 84661
Publish Date: 15June 2024 - 12:45

TEHRAN (defapress) - Anti-war demonstrators began to hold gatherings in some US universities after Israel declared war on Gaza on October 7.

The scandal of using chemical warfare against pro-Palestinian students at Columbia University

But, such protests snowballed after New York police attacked students at Columbia University on April 18 to remove an on-campus tent encampment. Officers arrested more than 100 students which sparked a huge outcry. 

A large number of colleges across the United States were inspired by the protest encampment pitched by students of Columbia University.

Anti-war activists along with faculty members and university staff established tents on college campuses across dozens of universities in the United States urging officials to meet their demands in divesting from companies benefiting from Israel’s war on Gaza and delivery of arms to the regime.

But police launched heavy-handed crackdowns on the protesters. More than 3,000 people have been arrested or detained on campuses across the country so far.    

Over the past two months, video footage circulating on social media shows individuals aligned with the pro-Zionist, pro-Israel groups attacking the anti-war demonstrators who had set up encampments on the college campuses. US police have been accused of inaction and allowing vigilantes to beat students.

“Pro-Palestinian students were documented to be the victims of a chemical attack on the campus. It was documented by the Public Safety Office. I believe some students had documentation from the ER visits they had. One of the students who was harmed in this incident was at the school…was a student at the particular school where I was working.

So, I just assumed this again was all hands on that moment. I was told in not uncertain terms to not even touch it,” the administrator of Columbia University said in the leaked audio published by Students for Justice in Palestine which is a Columbia University student group.

American university officials and politicians have condoned police violence against anti-war protesters accusing them of antisemitism, a charge that they reject as baseless.

“Really demoralizing”

The ex-administrator’s admission that Columbia University officials have tried to shut down all communications about the chemical attacks on pro-Palestine students clearly shows the United States is attempting to silence dissenting voices.

“I mean this is really demoralizing to me, right. It’s like I just saw at this point if we’re not even going to communicate empathetically with our own student body during a really, during a crisis….then what are we doing here right, so this was really demoralizing, ” the former administrator of Columbia University added in the recording about his feeling over the covering up of the chemical attacks against students.   

The administrator said two former Israeli army soldiers were among those who carried out the chemical attacks against the anti-war activists, adding that 15 students were hospitalized and several of them are still suffering major health complications.

Demands of protesters

The demonstrators have asked universities to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza which has so far claimed the lives of more than 37,000 Palestinians. Besides, they have demanded that their educational institutions cut academic ties and collaborations with Israeli universities and programs. The protesters have also called for ending the US military aid to the regime and a complete ceasefire in Gaza.

Nonetheless, US police have responded with harsh clampdowns.

Practice what you preach!

The United States considers itself as the world’s leading democracy and defender of human rights. It also lectures other countries to respect freedom of speech and the right to protest. However, clampdowns on protesters who want to express their opposition to Israel’s brutal onslaught against Gaza, have cast doubt on such human rights claims.

Using violence against pro-Palestinian protesters is also indicative of Washington’s bias in favor of Israel. This clearly indicates that protecting Israel is Washington’s priority despite the atrocities that the regime perpetrates in the Palestinian territories.

 

Source: Tehran Times

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