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Columbia professor: University presidents ‘cowards’ for silence on ‘pro-terror’ protests

‘My 2 year old daughter is legitimate target’ of terrorists, he says

A Columbia University professor recently called higher education leaders “cowards” for refusing to condemn “pro-terror student organizations” that support Hamas raping and murdering children in the name of “resistance.”

During a campus vigil, Shai Davidai, an Israeli and assistant professor at Columbia Business School in New York City, gave an emotional speech expressing his fear and concern for children of all ages in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel.

A video of Davidai’s Oct. 18 speech has more than 3.8 million views on X.

The father of two young children, Davidai said it troubles him deeply that the presidents of Columbia, Harvard, NYU, Stanford, Berkeley and other universities “won’t speak out against pro-terror student organizations” that have organized protests supporting Hamas.

These groups believe “my 2 year old daughter is a legitimate target of resistance,” he said. “You are allowed to murder and kidnap my 2 year old daughter in the name of resistance, and none of the presidents of universities all around the country are willing to take a stand. This is what cowards do.”

In particular, Columbia President Minouche Shafik is a “coward” for her silence on the “pro-terror student organizations” that have protested on campus in recent days, Davidai said.

Shafik did issue a statement Oct. 9 expressing her devastation about the “horrific attack on Israel” and “the ensuing violence.” She promised to work to keep the campus safe and urged the community to support each other.

However, she did not condemn or mention Hamas in her statement or in a follow-up message Wednesday about the “extremely charged” atmosphere on campus, including the alleged assault of an Israeli student at Columbia.

Shafik said Columbia is working to keep its students, faculty and staff safe, including an increased public safety presence, regular contact with the New York City Police Department, and expanded resources for the campus safety hotline and escort service.

But Davidai said her actions are not enough; she and other university presidents must condemn the terrorism being supported by some student groups that justifies raping young women and murdering grandmothers and babies.

Last week, thousands of students chanted “pro-terror songs” in New York City in support of Hamas and Palestine, Davidai said in his speech. He said he felt afraid to come to campus, and the Center for Jewish Life had to go on lockdown.

“They were celebrating the rape of teenage girls in a music festival in the name of resistance,” he said of the protesters. Later, he added, “We would never allow the KKK to march on our campus.”

Davidai said if his daughter was 18, he would never send her to Columbia because “she will not be protected there.” He asked people to share his speech on social media to help him urge parents to demand that their children’s universities condemn the groups on campus supporting Hamas’ “terror.”

He said people have asked him: “‘Are you not afraid to speak up? You’re putting your job on the line.’ You’ve got it all wrong. I am not afraid to speak up. I am speaking up because I’m afraid.”

After his speech gained attention online, Davidai wrote Thursday on X that his goal was not to gain attention for himself.

“I am not a symbol. I am not the point. I am just some dad who would sacrifice everything – EVERYTHING – to protect his children,” he wrote.

MORE: Violence, threats, tears: Israeli supporters face aggressive pro-Palestinian campus protests nationwide

IMAGE: ShaiDavidai/YouTube screenshot

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