On November 1, 2023, dozens of students participated in a solidarity walkout organized to support Columbia students doxxed for speaking out against the genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. We demanded swift, transparent, and accessible action from the administration regarding the safety of students and faculty members against doxxing attempts.
The Dean has failed to address the safety concerns and protection of the doxxed students for the past week. At one point, Dean of SIPA Keren Yarhi-Milo came to address us. As part of her response to the threats to our safety, she said, “We need to talk to each other, listen to each other… be there for each other, and hug each other.”
Her words of “hugging each other” have not left my mind since then.
I am writing this in response to the Columbia administration’s failure to value Palestinian lives.
Dean Keren, who exactly are you calling on to hug each other? Do your calls for hugs extend to my family in Gaza, who is surviving from the Israeli war machine by sheer luck? Will hugging save them? Will a hug save the Palestinian woman clutching the coffin of her child, whom Israel killed before even a dream could be dreamt? Will a hug bring them back?
Or is your question directed at the Palestinian mother who is shielding her toddler with her own body from Israeli shrapnel before rescue teams retrieve their lifeless bodies from under the rubble? Will it stop the ethnic cleansing we Palestinians have faced since 1948?