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Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib Express Disapproval Over ‘Appalling’ Suspension of Omar’s Daughter at Columbia

Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Credits: The New York Times)

Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib are denouncing the suspension of Ilhan Omar‘s daughter, Isra Hirsi, from college. Hirsi was punished for participating in a protest supporting the Palestinian people.

Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib are outraged, saying that students nationwide are being retaliated against for exercising their constitutional right to protest. They point out that Hirsi, who has no prior disciplinary record, was suspended less than 24 hours after the nonviolent protest.

Ocasio-Cortez questions the sudden and severe punishment, asking what warrants such an “asymmetric crackdown” on Palestinian human rights protests. Hirsi, an organizer with Columbia University Apartheid Divest, shared her suspension on social media.

Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib (Credits: PBS)

She stated that she has never been reprimanded or received disciplinary warnings in her three years at Barnard College, affiliated with Columbia University. However, she was one of three students suspended for showing solidarity with Palestinians facing genocide.

Columbia University clarified that Hirsi is a student at Barnard College, which has some autonomy. Barnard College did not comment on the specifics of Hirsi’s case but referred to a statement from its senior staff.

Isra Hirsi (Credits: Brower Youth Awards)

According to the statement, students set up an unauthorized encampment on Columbia’s South Lawn, and multiple requests were made for them to leave. Senior staff members warned students that they would face sanctions if they did not leave, and written warnings were issued stating that they would be interim suspended if they did not go by Wednesday night.

The suspensions come in the middle of a wave of protests and demonstrations on US college campuses following the October 7 attack on Israel. This incident also follows a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups against Columbia University for suspending pro-Palestinian student groups during the previous fall semester. Hill has reached out to Ilhan Omar’s office for comments.

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