Twitter co-founder 'Jack Dorsey' Voices Support for Pro-Palestine Protesters at Columbia University

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey expressed support for pro-Palestine student protesters at Columbia University, criticizing the NYPD's forceful eviction and arrests. The protests, part of a nationwide movement, demand universities divest from companies profiting from Israel's war against Hamas.

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Hadeel Hashem
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Jack Dorsey Voices Support for Pro-Palestine Protesters at Columbia University

Jack Dorsey Voices Support for Pro-Palestine Protesters at Columbia University

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey expressed his support for pro-Palestine student protesters who occupied a building at Columbia University. Dorsey, who now serves as CEO of fintech giant Square, took to X (formerly Twitter) to criticize the forceful eviction and arrests carried out by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in response to the protests.

Why this matters: The involvement of influential tech figures like Jack Dorsey in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict highlights the significant role social media platforms play in shaping public discourse and influencing political movements. As the protests continue, the stance taken by these figures may have far-reaching implications for the conflict and the global response to it.

The protests at Columbia University are part of a larger nationwide movement demanding universities divest from companies perceived as profiting from Israel's war against Hamas. Rallies and tent encampments have emerged at over 30 universities across the United States, with students calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and for their institutions to cut financial ties with Israel and companies associated with the Israeli government and military.

Dorsey shared and commented on several posts denouncing the police response, including a video showing heavy machinery deployed by the NYPD to remove protesters. "The level of military equipment local police have is kinda alarming," Dorsey wrote, adding, "this has been all over the country for over a decade."

The tech mogul also endorsed a post by left-leaning podcaster Kyle Kulinsky, who compared the Columbia protesters to demonstrators against the Iraq and Vietnam wars. "Iraq war protesters were smeared & hated in the moment. Same with Vietnam war protesters," Kulinsky wrote. "Today anybody with a functioning brain realizes they were 100% correct & the conventional wisdom was dead wrong." Dorsey responded with a simple "yes."

On Tuesday, the NYPD arrested more than 280 protesters at New York colleges, including Columbia University, where demonstrators had broken into and barricaded themselves inside the Hamilton Hall academic building. The White House condemned the occupation, with Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates stating, "Forcibly taking over buildings is not peaceful – it is wrong. Hate speech and hate symbols have no place in America."

Dorsey's support for the protesters drew both praise and criticism on X. Some users accused him of being a "Hamas supporter" and suggested he might be "raising funding in Qatar." Others questioned why he wasn't more explicit in expressing his views on Israel's actions, calling his stance "pathetic." Despite the backlash, many voiced their agreement with Dorsey's position.

Dorsey's involvement in political and social issues is not new. He has previously voiced support for various causes and candidates, including contributing to the campaigns of Democratic primary candidates Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang, both of whom eventually left the party. Last year, Dorsey indicated support for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in his long-shot bid for the presidency.

The ongoing tensions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been further highlighted by the contrasting stances taken by prominent tech figures. While Dorsey has expressed support for the pro-Palestine protesters, Elon Musk, the current owner of X, has backed Israeli causes. A recent report claimed that Musk took down several accounts calling for the liberation of Palestine.

Protests continue and the debate rages on, the role of social media platforms in shaping public discourse and influencing political movements has once again come under scrutiny. The events at Columbia University serve as a vivid illustration of the deep-rooted complexities and passions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with influential figures like Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk finding themselves at the center of the controversy.

Key Takeaways

  • Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey supports pro-Palestine student protesters at Columbia University.
  • Dorsey criticizes NYPD's forceful eviction and arrests of protesters on X (formerly Twitter).
  • Protests at over 30 US universities demand divestment from companies profiting from Israel's war against Hamas.
  • Dorsey's stance sparks both praise and criticism, with some accusing him of being a "Hamas supporter".
  • The incident highlights the significant role of social media platforms in shaping public discourse on political issues.