AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Anti-Israel Protesters Set Up Encampment at MIT

Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge have established an anti-Israel encampment on the university’s lawn, days after a similar encampment was established at Columbia University in New York.

The encampment on the Kresge Lawn of the university was reportedly called the “Scientists Against Genocide Encampment,” according to a post on X by Francesca Riccio-Ackerman, a PhD research assistant at MIT’s Media Lab.

An NYPD officer stand guard as pro-Palestinian protesters gather outside of Columbia University in New York City on April 18, 2024. (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

In a letter signed by student groups such as the Coalition Against Apartheid, Graduates for Palestine, MIT Jews for Ceasefire, MIT Reading for Revolution, Muslims for Justice, and the Arab Students Organization, students called out the university receiving “over $11 million in research funding” from the Israel Defense Forces.

“We are over 6 months into the genocide in Gaza. We have let life go on, let business go on as usual, while a genocide has been broadcast to us for months. Meanwhile, MIT has received OVER $11 MILLION in research funding from the Ministry of Defense of Israel since 2015,” the letter said. “Multiple labs on this campus are performing sponsored research for the material benefit of the Israeli Occupation Forces. AS RECENTLY AS MARCH 2024, such funding has been renewed.”

Riccio-Ackerman wrote in her post that students would “NOT REST until MIT cuts research ties with the Israeli military.”

MIT’s encampment comes as anti-Israel protesters established an encampment on the lawn of Columbia University on early Wednesday, resulting in several students, such as Isra Hirsi, Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) daughter, being suspended from Barnard College and more than 100 protesters being arrested in relation to their involvement in the protests.

Video footage posted by Talia Khan, the president of MIT’s Israel Alliance showed a crowd of students walking across the university’s lawn, with a few tents seen in the background.

“And, it’s happened,” Khan wrote. “The anti-Israel, pro-terrorist encampment is now up at @MIT. We are afraid to go near.”

Several pro-Palestinian student organizations at the University of North Carolina, Boston University, and The Ohio State University announced that they would hold rallies and protests in support of the anti-Israel encampment at Columbia University.

In response to the rise in anti-Israel protests at universities across the United States, the White House issued a statement labeling the protests as “blatantly Antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous.”

President Joe Biden issued a separate statement ahead of the Passover Jewish holiday, calling out the “alarming surge of Antisemitism” occurring in “schools, communities, and online.”

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