Rudy Giuliani Visits Columbia University, Calls for President Minouche Shafik's Resignation

Former NYC mayor Giuliani calls for Columbia president's resignation over anti-Israel protests, sparking debate on free speech and campus safety.

Israel Ojoko
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Rudy Giuliani Visits Columbia University, Calls for President Minouche Shafik's Resignation

Rudy Giuliani Visits Columbia University, Calls for President Minouche Shafik's Resignation

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani visited Columbia University on April 25, 2024, and called for the resignation of the university's president, Minouche Shafik. Giuliani, along with other House Republican colleagues, accused Shafik of failing to handle anti-Israel protests on campus, which they said have created an unsafe environment for Jewish students.

During his visit, Giuliani criticized the pro-Palestinian protesters, calling them "terribly misguided people." He also suggested that Columbia University "beats Harvard at Jewish hatred," referring to the Gaza Solidarity Encampment set up by protesters on the Morningside Heights campus.

Giuliani played a clip of Shafik discussing terrorism in the Middle East and said she has "earned herself a major league firing" due to her testimony on campus antisemitism before Congress. He pointed out that he has historically supported the right to protest, even allowing the Ku Klux Klan to exercise their First Amendment rights when he was mayor, but said he "never had this kinda crap" during his time as mayor.

Several lawmakers, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, have also called for Shafik's resignation. Johnson spoke at Columbia University on the same day, invoking the Founding Fathers and 9/11, and criticized faculty who have joined the protests. He called on Shafik to resign unless she could bring control to the campus and suggested that federal funding for the university could be in jeopardy if protests continued.

Why this matters: The protests at Columbia University have been part of a broader wave of pro-Palestinian demonstrations at universities across the United States in recent weeks. The situation has raised concerns about the balance between free speech and the safety of Jewish students on college campuses, as well as the role of university administrators in handling such conflicts.

A university spokesperson stated that Shafik is focused on de-escalating the situation on campus and appreciates the support of faculty, administration, and community leaders. Giuliani said he plans to speak with President Joe Biden about the situation and demand that he take action, including potentially deploying the National Guard. However, the stated aim of the protesters is to demand an end to the military action that has killed thousands of civilians in Gaza, and Jewish students taking part in the protests have accused people of weaponizing antisemitism to silence them.

Key Takeaways

  • Giuliani called for Columbia president Shafik's resignation over anti-Israel protests.
  • Lawmakers, including House Speaker Johnson, also demanded Shafik's resignation.
  • Protests at Columbia part of broader pro-Palestinian demonstrations at US universities.
  • Concerns raised about balancing free speech and safety of Jewish students on campuses.
  • Protesters aim to demand end to military action killing civilians in Gaza.