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Pro-Palestinian protesters walk from Columbia University down to Hunter College as protests at area universities and colleges continue on May 06, 2024 in New York City. Across the nation, students and activists angered by Israel’s war in Gaza have been building encampments, taking over buildings, disrupting graduations and demanding that their schools divest from Israel. Columbia University announced today that they are canceling the group graduation ceremony and will instead hold numerous smaller ones outside of the main campus. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
2:42 PM – Monday, July 8, 2024

Three Columbia University deans have been “permanently removed” from their positions for sharing “very troubling” texts that “disturbingly touched on ancient anti-Semitic tropes,” university officials said on Monday.

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The three administrators, Susan Chang-Kim, Matthew Patashnick, and Cristen Kromm, have been on leave since last month. It was revealed that they had been involved in the hate-filled text exchange that unfolded during a panel discussion about anti-Semitism on campus. 

“This incident revealed behavior and sentiments that were not only unprofessional, but also, disturbingly touched on ancient anti-Semitic tropes,” Columbia president Minouche Shafik said in a statement.

“Whether intended as such or not, these sentiments are unacceptable and deeply upsetting, conveying a lack of seriousness about the concerns and the experiences of members of our Jewish community that is antithetical to our university’s values and the standards we must uphold in our community.”

Provost Angela Olinto said that “the three staff members involved have been permanently removed from their positions at Columbia College and remain on leave at this time.”

Meanwhile, Josef Sorett, another dean who was also involved in the anti-Semitic text messaging exchange, will remain in his position but will issue a public apology for his role in the matter, Shafik added. 

The firings come weeks after images of the group chat emerged publicly after being captured by an alumnus sitting in the crowd during the May 31st panel about Jewish life on campus.

In some of the exchanged texts, the administrators accused Jewish students of asserting their “privilege,” and they also mocked them for wanting a place to “huddle” to avoid anti-Semitism and harassment on campus. 

“Laying the case to expand physical space! They will have their own dorm soon,” said Patashnick, associate dean for student and family support, in one text, prompting Chang-Kim, vice dean and chief administrative officer of Columbia College, to respond: “Comes from such a place of privilege.”

Chang-Kim texted the others “I’m going to throw up” at one point in response to one parent, Orly Mishan, who was a Holocaust survivor. She expressed fear regarding her daughter “hiding in plain sight” while student protesters applauded Hamas after the terrorist attack against Israel on October 7th

The messages, first reported on by the Washington Free Beacon, were released in full by the House Education Committee in late June. 

The messaging thread transpired during the same time on campus when anti-Israel protests were taking place, prompting the police to be called, to disperse the crowds. 

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