Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib criticize ‘appalling’ suspension of Omar’s daughter at Columbia

Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib criticize ‘appalling’ suspension of Omar’s daughter at Columbia

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) slammed the suspension of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) daughter from college after she participated in a pro-Palestinian protest on campus.

“From UM to Vanderbilt to USC to Columbia, students across our country are being retaliated against for using their constitutional rights to protest genocide. It’s appalling,” Tlaib added while sharing Isra Hirsi’s post to social platform X.

Hirsi, Omar’s daughter, announced earlier that day in her post that she had been suspended from the university for “standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide.”

“How does a student with no disciplinary record suddenly get to a suspension less than 24 hours after a nonviolent protest? What merits asymmetric crackdowns on Palestinian human rights protests,” Ocasio-Cortez said, also sharing Hirsi’s post.

“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,” Hirsi said in her post.

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

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

Barnard did not comment on specifics Thursday, but pointed to an announcement from its senior staff saying Columbia and Barnard students “set up an unauthorized encampment” on Columbia’s South Lawn.

Columbia made multiple requests that students participating in the protest leave the lawn before “a number of Barnard Senior Staff also went to the lawn to ask students participating in the encampment to leave,” according to the statement.

Senior staff members also advised students they would face sanctions if they did not leave, in addition to written warnings they would receive interim suspension if they did not leave by Wednesday night, according to the school.

NYPD makes arrests at Columbia as protest encampment is removed

The sanctions against students participating in the protest came two days after the University of Southern California revoked its valedictorian’s ability to deliver a speech at graduation due to “substantial” security risks after discovering she had links to pro-Palestinian sites on her social media.

The suspensions also come amid a wave of demonstrations and protests on U.S. college campuses in the aftermath of Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Hirsi’s suspension took place a month after civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against Columbia University for suspending pro-Palestine student groups during the previous fall semester.

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

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