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Columbia faculty, vice dean donate to squad congresswomen

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With Columbia University wracked by anti-Israel protests and acts of anti-Semitism, school president Minouche Shafik is vowing to “bring this crisis to a resolution” with the help of a committee of “deans, university administrators and faculty members,” she said in a statement. That may be harder than it looks given that university administrators and faculty members have been funding two congresswomen accused of making anti-Semitic comments.

Faculty and administrators at Columbia have given Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib over $22,000 over the last three election cycles, including nearly $9,000 this election cycle. The donors to the Minnesota and Michigan representatives include at least seven faculty members and a vice dean, according to Federal Election Commission records examined by The Center Square.

Omar and Tlaib have both been accused of anti-Semitism for public statements they have made. Omar said “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” in response to a tweet about Israel, and later apologized, thanking Jewish colleagues for educating her on the “painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.” Tlaib used the slogan “From the river to the sea,” which calls for the genocide of Jewish Israelis. Palestinian-American Tlaib was censured by the House of Representatives for her statements.

Omar’s daughter was arrested at Columbia where she was suspended for her role in a protest. President Joe Biden released a statement, in part responding to the protests, saying, “In recent days, we’ve seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews. This blatant Antisemitism is reprehensible and dangerous – and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country.”

The professors and dean who made the donations to Ilhan and Tlaib did not respond to emails seeking comment and asking if they regretted the donations given events on campus.

Among the donors is medical school vice dean Rudina Odeh-Ramadan who gave $1,000 to Tlaib. Patrick Youngblood, a research director at the Labor Lab gave Tlaib $1,000 and Omar $1,750. Dr. Blandine LaFerrere, an associate professor of medicine, gave Omar $2,800.

Author of a book about the genocide in Bosnia and Teacher’s College professor Amra Sabic-el-Rayess gave Tlaib $1,000 and Omar $2,000.

While some Republicans in Congress have been accused of anti-Semitism, none received donations from Columbia faculty. That’s not a surprise as 93% of Columbia donations in the 2024 election cycle have gone to Democrats according to OpenSecrets.org. That’s down from 97% in 2020.

Columbia University is not alone among New York universities in such donations. Faculty and administrators at New York University also gave about $22,000 to Tlaib and Omar over the last three election cycles. That school’s faculty give 96% of their donations to Democrats.