Columbia shuts down planned discussion justifying Hamas' October 7 massacre as 'Palestinian counteroffensive'
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Columbia University’s administration has shut down a pro-Palestinian student group’s planned discussion that aimed to justify Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli civilians, Fox News Digital learned Monday. 

A group that calls themselves the “Columbia Social Workers 4 Palestine” was advertising an event to discuss the “Significance of the October 7th Palestinian Counteroffensive.” 

What would have been the group’s second so-called “teach-in and discussion” had been advertised to be taking place in a room of the Columbia School of Social Work on Wednesday between 12-1:50 p.m., according to a flier that circulated on social media. 

“We will discuss the significance of the Palestinian counteroffensive on October 7th and the centrality of revolutionary violence to anti-imperialism. See y’all there!” Columbia Social Workers 4 Palestine wrote on X, sharing the flier with imagery of a dove and a red Palestinian poppy placed in the barrel of a rifle aimed at broken chains. “In advocating for Palestinian liberation, Palestinians have engaged in nonviolent resistance tactics for years. These peaceful actions have been met with tear gas and armed opposition by the Israeli government.” 

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT PRAISES ‘PERSISTENCE’ OF STUDENTS ACCUSED OF ANTISEMITISM

X’s community notes added context, writing, “October 7 was not a ‘counteroffensive.’ There was a ceasefire in place that Hamas broke on Oct. 7., when it launched thousands of rockets, invading Israel, and committing hundreds of war crimes. The term ‘counteroffensive’ applies to Israel’s response, not the Hamas attack.” 

Now, however, it appears the event will not be going on as planned, at least not at its original location.

“We learned late last night of a flier and accompanying text being circulated about a December 6th event at the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW). This is not a CSSW-sponsored event,” Melissa Begg, the dean of Columbia School of Social Work, said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Monday. 

“The students who organized the event did not seek approval for the fliers and text as required by CSSW processes. CSSW supports free speech but does not condone language that promotes violence in any manner, which is antithetical to our values. This event will not go forward at CSSW,” Begg added. 

Free Palestine protester at Columbia

People gather to protest the banning of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace at Columbia University on Nov. 20, 2023. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Approximately 1,200 people were savagely killed during Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attack on kibbutz communities and a music festival in southern Israel and about 247 others were brought into Gaza as hostages, prompting the Jewish state to declare war on the terror organization. 

Pro-Palestinian protesters at Columbia

Columbia students and alumni held a “Denouncement Ceremony” on Nov. 20, 2023, and pledged not to donate money after the banning of two student groups for holding an unsanctioned protest demanding a cease-fire in Gaza. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

CLINTON CLASS AT COLUMBIA DISRUPTED BY PRO-PALESTINIAN PROTESTERS CHANTING, ‘HILLARY, YOU CAN’T HIDE’

Israel launched airstrikes and a ground offensive, which the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry says have killed more than 15,500 people as of Monday. The ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants, and Hamas is known to operate out of a tunnel network beneath key infrastructure, including hospitals.

A week-long cease-fire agreement brought the exchange of dozens of hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

Free Palestine demonstration at Columbia University

Protest against the banning of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace at Columbia University on Nov. 20, 2023, in New York City.  (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Sunday placed the blame on Hamas for ending the cease-fire by failing to add women and children who Israeli and U.S. forces know to have been taken hostage to the list of those to be released by the terror group. Israel said on Friday that 136 hostages remain in Gaza. Of them, either eight or nine are Americans, according to Kirby. 

Last month, Columbia University’s administration banned Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace after the two far-left student groups held an unsanctioned demonstration calling for a cease-fire in Gaza that the university said “included threatening rhetoric and intimidation.”

More than 20 progressive elected officials, including New York Democrats Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman and Nydia Velázquez, reportedly sent a letter to the university calling for the reinstatement of the groups. Hundreds of alumni thanked Columbia’s administration for suspending the anti-Israel groups accused of antisemitism. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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