Betsy McCaughey

Betsy McCaughey


Pursue anti-Israel ‘outside agitators’ disrupting colleges — and end the nonsense for good

The left and its media allies want you to believe the protests roiling college campuses are spontaneous uprisings of morally fervent students worried about Gaza war victims. Don’t fall for that claim.

These protesters don’t represent most students or the American public.

Yet Monday, Columbia University canceled graduation ceremonies, kowtowing to the radical fringe with whom school leaders largely agree.

Students and their families be damned.

Here are the facts: Just a miniscule 2% of people ages 18 to 29 polled by Harvard’s Kennedy School named the Israel-Hamas conflict as their top political concern, compared with double digits worried about inflation and other economic issues.

Students could care less about this issue.

Claims that today’s campus riots are reminiscent of 1968 when students closed down campuses to protest the Vietnam War are nonsense. 

Back then, Gallup found 46% of respondents in that age group considered the Vietnam War the nation’s biggest problem. Not 2%.

Ray Kelly, former NYPD commissioner, nailed it Sunday when he said the nationwide turmoil “looks like a conspiracy.” 

He added, “the federal government should be investigating.”

Organized outside groups are behind much of the campus violence. 

Hours before the storming of Columbia’s Hamilton Hall, an outside organization — The People’s Forum,  known for its anti-Israel activities and links to the Chinese Communist Party — started gearing up for its Hamilton Hall invasion.

In a meeting, TPF’s leader spewed invectives against Columbia.

Hours later, protesters smashed the glass doors of Hamilton Hall, vandalizing and seizing the building.

When Columbia President Minouche Shafik finally called in police late on Tuesday, 13 of the 44 arrested in the building had no affiliation with the university.

Reflecting on the incidents at Columbia and other New York campuses, Mayor Adams said, “Individuals unaffiliated with these schools had entered these different campuses and, in some cases, were even training students in unlawful protest tactics.”

New York University Board Vice Chairman Bill Berkley says these occupations appear to have been orchestrated by external groups. He wants the FBI to investigate

Where is the FBI, as these groups seize control of our universities?

Director Christopher Wray says the bureau does not directly track college protests but will provide information to campuses if the agency becomes aware of a specific threat.

Huh? The FBI should be proactively identifying and heading off campus terrorists.

Where is the Department of Justice?

Two weeks ago, 27 Republican senators sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking for the DOJ to investigate how students’ rights are being violated on campus. Radio silence.

Where is Joe Biden? When the president was asked if he would use the National Guard to restore order, he emphatically said, “No.”

Why not? The National Guard was deployed in 1962 to protect the right of black students to attend the newly integrated University of Mississippi. 

Students of all races and religions who want to go to class or attend their graduation deserve protection.

The Biden administration is MIA.  Is it because the same big Democratic donors supporting Biden — the Pritzkers, Soroses, Rockefellers — also support pro-Palestine groups orchestrating campus protests?

Meanwhile, images of campus invaders in head scarves are not winning over Americans.

The latest Harvard CAPS-Harris survey shows that 80% of Americans want a cease-fire only after Hamas is removed from power and the hostages captured on Oct. 7 are released.

The public also knows what they are seeing on campuses is not freedom of expression — a sacred American right — but lawlessness and dangerous disorder.

Universities need to be evenhanded, guaranteeing that all sides get to speak and that students can attend class.

Columbia’s students were heckled and threatened, had their classes canceled and now are robbed of the grandeur of a university graduation.

It’s a slap in the face to them, and to their families, who sacrificed to make college possible.

Colombia’s motto is: “In thy light we shall see light.” 

Truth is, darkness has descended on Columbia and most elite college campuses.  

Alumni and taxpayers alike should withhold their support until these institutions see the light and prioritize their students. 

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.