I spent much of the afternoon speaking to students at Columbia University,
where the protests against the Gaza war have been marred by allegations of
harassment and antisemitic incidents.

Several Jewish students told me they were
concerned about a threatening campus environment.

Guy Sela, an Israeli Columbia student – and a
veteran of the Israel Defense Forces – told the BBC he believed “every
Israeli Jewish student” at the university had faced “at least one
antisemitic act”, whether verbal or physical, since the protest began.

“I’ve been threatened here, called names
like murderer, butcher and rapist, just because I was born in Israel,” he

Jonathan Swill, a 27-year old master’s student
from New Jersey, told the BBC he was moving to Israel after graduation, having
turned down a place in a doctoral programme at Columbia.

“I just can’t stay here anymore,” he

“This place is uncomfortable for me. Every
time I wake up, I dread having to come to campus. I don’t know when I’m going
to have things thrown at me.”

Another Jewish
student – who asked to remain anonymous, citing safety reasons – said his
experiences with antisemitism on campus recently have been “emotionally
exhausting” and have led to constant feelings of fear, particularly when
leaving religious ceremonies.

“I feel scared wearing my yarmulke,” he said. “In the past week,
there’s definitely been a change. It’s 100% as bad as everyone is saying.”