During a two-hour lecture on Wednesday, a group of about 30 students packed up their things and walked out on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as part of a protest against the school’s involvement in publicly sharing the names and photos of students who had joined pro-Hamas protests.
The lecture, which also featured Dr. Keren Yarhi-Milo, dean of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, was meant to address the role of women in the peace process. Approximately 300 students were attending the class prior to the walkout, which took place before the halfway point.
The students gathered near the International Affairs Building’s lobby, claiming that they were there to draw attention to the fact that the names and photos of students had been plastered on the side of a truck — along with the words “Columbia’s Leading Antisemites” — and the school had done nothing to prevent the “doxxing.” Students claimed that the photos had been pulled from a platform that was supposed to be “private and secure,” and suggested that the school could have taken action to prevent them from being displayed.
Among the students’ demands were a promise from the school’s administrators to ensure student safety, along with “immediate legal support for affected students.”
Those whose names and photos appeared on the truck were members of campus groups that had signed off on a letter blaming Israel for the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas on October 7, when they breached the border from Gaza and slaughtered 1,400 Israelis, a large number of them civilians.
The student protesters reportedly waited in the lobby for the lecture to end, at which point they appeared to prepare for Clinton and Yarhi-Milo to walk by, but the duo left through a side door instead.
Clinton addressed calls for an immediate ceasefire — primarily from the Left — in recent days as well, saying that such an action would only benefit Hamas.
“People who are calling for a ceasefire now do not understand Hamas, that is not possible. It would be such a gift to Hamas because they would spend whatever time there was a ceasefire in effect rebuilding their armaments, creating stronger positions to be able to fend off an eventual assault by the Israelis,” she said.