Demonstrators Arrested As Anti-Israel Protests Take Over College Campuses

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Protests against Israel have erupted on college campuses across the United States, leading to numerous arrests and heightened tensions among students. The demonstrations, which have been particularly intense at Columbia University and Yale, are in response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza.

At Columbia University, over 100 students were arrested after the university called in the police to disperse a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators. The protesters had set up an encampment of about 50 tents earlier in the week, called the "Gaza Solidarity Encampment." The university's president, Nemat Shafik, justified the decision to involve the police, stating in a campus-wide email, "I took this extraordinary step because these are extraordinary circumstances."

The move has sparked controversy on campus, with some students and faculty members criticizing the administration for infringing on freedom of speech. Some Jewish students, however, have expressed relief, claiming that the pro-Palestinian demonstrations had become increasingly hostile and anti-Semitic.

Meanwhile, at Yale, 40 students were arrested after the riot squad was called to manage the situation. Students at the university had begun a hunger strike the previous week, demanding that Yale divest from weapons manufacturing companies involved in the Israel-Gaza war. The university declined their request.

The protests are part of a larger trend of demonstrations on college campuses nationwide. Students at various institutions, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have set up tents and protests in solidarity with their pro-Palestinian peers at Columbia. Many of these protesters are calling for their universities to divest from businesses that support or operate in Israel and to sever academic programs with Israeli institutions.

In response to the protests, some universities have begun rewriting policies outlining punishments for disruptive behavior. Columbia University, for instance, has warned that unauthorized demonstrations will lead to more suspensions. Despite these warnings, many students have vowed to continue their demonstrations.

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