After pro-Palestinian demonstrations on the Columbia University campus in New York, a rabbi warned his Jewish students. As several US media outlets unanimously reported on Sunday afternoon (local time), Rabbi Elie Buechler wrote: “It pains me deeply to have to tell you that I strongly recommend that you return home as quickly as possible and stay there until the “The situation on campus and in the surrounding area has dramatically improved.”

On Sunday night there were violent anti-Semitic statements during the demonstration, as numerous videos on the X platform (formerly Twitter) show. In one, participants can be heard shouting: “We say justice, you say how? Burn Tel Aviv to the ground.” In another recording, the Jewish students are asked to go back to Poland. From the rabbi’s perspective, the events made it clear that neither the university nor the police could guarantee the safety of Jewish students.

The police had already cleared a pro-Palestinian tent camp on campus on Thursday and arrested around 100 participants. Despite repeated requests, they refused to dismantle the camp, a police spokesman said at a press conference. The daughter of prominent Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was reportedly among those arrested.

Columbia President Nemat “Minouche” Shafik herself asked the police for help. “I have taken this extraordinary step because these are extraordinary circumstances,” she wrote in a statement. “The people who set up the camp violated a long list of rules and policies.” According to reports, the situation has worsened since then.