EXCLUSIVE – Columbia Business School assistant professor and Israeli-American Shai Davidai again called on Columbia's leadership to condemn the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel and spoke out against what he views as biased media coverage of the war. "I woke up on October 7th to see 1,400 of my countrymen massacred and more than 200 kidnapped, including babies, and stories and videos of teenage girls [being raped]," he told Fox News Digital in an interview. "And I was just in complete grief. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that a day after, a university would not take a stand against that and then, three days after or four days after, student organizations would be celebrating this kind of terrorism on campus." Davidai went viral after he called Columbia University President Minouche Shafik a "coward" for remaining silent on "pro-terror" groups at school and said he "didn't expect" the video of his passionate speech to become as popular as it did. He said he has received thousands of supportive messages from Columbia graduates, students, faculty and even strangers. But what Davidai was more concerned about than internet fame was the silence from the administration. JEWISH COLUMBIA STUDENTS FACED WITH THREATS, ATTACKS SPEAK OUT, SAY SOME PROTESTERS AREN'T FULLY EDUCATED "The fact that the leadership of Columbia University has been so quiet about this," Davidai said, was "beyond" him. "I was ashamed of the leadership because I love Columbia. My family's history is deeply intertwined with Columbia," explaining that his wife and multiple members of his family have either graduated from the institution or served as professors. Columbia is one of many elite institutions across America that is being rocked by accusations of excusing antisemitism as the debate over the Israel-Hamas war continues. "I see myself as fighting for the reputation of Columbia University and not letting the leadership tarnish that beautiful reputation. And then all of a sudden, I realize this is much bigger than Columbia. This is happening in universities all over the country." Davidai also called out some of the media coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, which he said was too quick to move on from Hamas' crimes. "The media has moved very quickly on from the massacre," he said. "And it's a massacre. It's not an attack. It is, for the Israeli people, for the Jewish people, it's a second Holocaust. And to see your Holocaust being covered for 48 hours and then being moved on [from] is painful." THE MOST EXTREME ANTI-ISRAEL, HAMAS-SYMPATHIZING MOMENTS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES SINCE THE OCT. 7 ATTACKS "The media [are] journalists," Davidai added. "Where do these journalists come from? Where were they educated? They were educated at the exact schools that are now not taking a moral stance." He cited The New York Times "[blaming] the bombing of the Gaza hospital on Israel's government," referring to a headline The Times issued an editor's note on just a few days later. "But where did they put the correction? Under the fold, not of the main headline." "I think there's a huge moral hypocrisy by the media when they're quick to denounce something. And yet when they find out that they were wrong, they kind of hide it." He added he was a "privileged White male who is extremely progressive and liberal" and likely shares New York Times values. Davidai said the message being sent to him by the silence of university leadership after the Hamas terror attacks speaks loudly. "They're saying when it comes to Jewish lives, it's OK to rape as part of the resistance," he said. "When it comes to Jewish lives, Jewish babies, it's OK to murder them and behead them because that's a military operation. And to me, that is the most dumbfounding thing of all." But the professor made clear that he had "nothing personal against the president of Columbia University" and instead felt a responsibility to not "accept her moral cowardice." Since then, more than 100 Columbia University professors have signed a letter defending students who supported what they referred to as Hamas’ "military action" in Israel on Oct. 7, according to the New York Post. Davidai emphasized that he considers himself "pro-Palestine," adding that "there is a rational case for a free Palestinian state [which] will be, in the long run, good for Israel. But I also think there's a moral case for a Palestinian state." "You can be pro-Palestine and anti-Hamas," Davidai said. The professor rejected claims that students who have demonstrated radical views on Israel's existence, even in the face of atrocities by Hamas, are victims of cancel culture. "Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from accountability," he said. "You signed on to public statements. This is not doxxing," he said. "No one is looking for what you said in the dark web. No one is stalking you. You put your name out there. So why are you all of a sudden so afraid to have your name even more publicized?" When asked about the recent Columbia faculty letter that placed blame on Israel and the U.S. for the Oct. 7 attack, Davidai said he was shocked. "It literally broke my heart," he said, noting the letter made not one mention of Hamas. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP "These so-called enlightened professors are unable to even say that this is Hamas," he said. "Who are you siding with exactly here? Cold-blooded murderers and rapists? I don't understand it. It's completely beyond me. I don't know how we move forward from that." "My message is not one of hate," Davidai said. "It really is one of love. I really do think that Columbia University and many of these universities are great institutions that have the potential to do a lot of good in the world. And all I'm trying to do is hold them accountable to their own mission statement and actually do what they say that they want to do. I'm trying to make the world a better place, not a darker place." Columbia University did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion, and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media.
02 Kasım 2023 - 10:40
Viral Columbia professor who condemned campus inaction on antisemitism says he's 'ashamed' of elite school
Columbia professor Shai Davidai discussed the viral video of his condemnation of campus antisemitism and why he, as someone who is "extremely progressive," supports Israel.
02 Kasım 2023 - 10:40