Ritchie Torres criticizes universities, colleges for 'staying silent' during Israel attacks

New York City has seen a rise in bias against Jewish Americans since the terrorist attacks on Israel

Congressman Torres criticized some colleges and universities for staying silent saying they are allowing an atmosphere of fear and terror to take hold on campuses against Jewish students. 

Some parents spoke out about the protest at Cooper Union on Wednesday after a group of students were locked inside the library after other students involved with the protest ran inside the school.

"That should never happen to any student anywhere in this country," a parent said.


Jewish students locked in library during pro-Palestinian rally at Cooper Union

A group of Jewish students say they ended up locked inside the library at Cooper Union while other students who were part of a pro-Palestine rally banged on the windows and door.

A Harvard student chanted "Long live the intifada."

Recently students at Harvard supported the Intifada which calls for a wave of violence against Jewish people around the world.

Another recent demonstration was also held at NYU, and after people believed to be students ripped down posters of hostages being held by Hamas.

"The notion that the world must be cleansed of Jews is the kind of genocidal antisemitism that one would expect from Nazi Germany, not from an academic institution in New York City," Torres said.

Torres, along with some students and parents, called on the federal government to enforce national civil rights laws to protect Jewish students.

Torres is now urging the Federal Department of Education to withhold federal dollars from colleges and universities until campuses deal with the growing wave of antisemitism.

FOX 5 reached out to Harvard, Columbia, and NYU.

Harvard responded by saying: 

"Our University rejects terrorism – that includes the barbaric atrocities perpetrated by Hamas. Our University rejects hate—hate of Jews, hate of Muslims, hate of any group of people based on their faith, their national origin, or any aspect of their identity. Our University rejects the harassment or intimidation of individuals based on their beliefs."

Columbia University added: 

"As we have reiterated many times over the past few weeks, antisemitism or any other form of hate will never be tolerated in our community. We are taking every measure to ensure our community’s safety. We encourage our community to visit our campus resources page for information on the many forms of support the University is providing during this time of crisis."