Columbia suspends Ilhan Omar's daughter after pro-Palestine protest

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Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) daughter Isra Hirsi announced Thursday she had been suspended from college after taking part in an unauthorized pro-Palestine protest on campus.  

“i’m an organizer with CU Apartheid Divest @ColumbiaSJP, in my 3 years at @BarnardCollege i have never been reprimanded or received any disciplinary warnings,” said Hirsi on X.  

“i just received notice that i am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide,” she added.  

Columbia noted that Hirsi is a student at Barnard College, which is connected to Columbia but has some independence.  

Barnard would not comment on specifics but pointed to an announcement from its senior staff on Thursday that said Columbia and Barnard students set up an unauthorized encampment on Columbia’s South Lawn.  

“A number of Barnard Senior Staff also went to the lawn to ask Barnard students participating in the encampment to leave and to advise Barnard students that they would be subject to sanctions at Barnard if they did not leave the encampment,” the statement reads.  

The students also received written warnings that they would receive interim suspension if they did not leave by Wednesday night, according to the school. 

“those of us in Gaza Solidarity Encampment will not be intimidated. we will stand resolute until our demands are met. our demands include divestment from companies complicit in genocide, transparency of @Columbia’s investments and FULL amnesty for all students facing repression,” Hirsi said.  

The suspension comes a day after a House hearing where Columbia officials were questioned by members of the Education and the Workforce Committee about their response to the rise in antisemitism that has been seen both nationally and globally since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. 

Multiple U.S. colleges have grappled with demonstrations and protests in the months since.

Columbia President Minouche Shafik received numerous questions from Omar about the treatment of Palestinian protesters during the hearing. 

The Hill has reached out to Omar’s office for comment.  

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