‘Nothing wrong with being a Hamas fighter.’ What Palestinian radical told Columbia students before anti-Israel protests exploded

Radical anti-Israel activists told Columbia students, “there is nothing wrong with being a fighter in Hamas” — weeks before the campus exploded in pro-Palestinian protests.

In a two-hour tirade to the hardest core of anti-Israeli activists at Columbia and its sister college Barnard, Charlotte Kates, the international coordinator of Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, said, “These are the people who are on the front lines defending Palestine and fighting for its liberation.”

The endorsement of a terrorist organization responsible for the mass murder of hundreds of Israelis on October 7 was by Charlotte Kates who spoke with her husband Khaled Barakat to members of the Columbia University Apartheid Divest Group, in a seminar called “Resistance 101.”

Khaled Barakat, along with his wife, Charlotte Kates, gave a Zoom presentation called “Resistance 101” to Columbia students last month in which they praised Hamas. YouTube/Samidoun Network

Barakat and Kates counseled the Columbia students during the “Resistance 101” presentation to ignore the press and keep demonstrating.

“Every demonstration in New York matters more than all this nonsense that happens in mainstream media,” Barakat told them. “Your work is so important to the resistance in Gaza, more than ever.”

Kates and Barakat represented themselves as speaking on behalf of Samidoun, the “Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity network,” at the meeting.

In reality, Barakat is a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which is a designated terrorist organization responsible for a string of attacks on Israeli civilians and closely allied to both Hamas and Hezbollah.

Charlotte Kates, the international coordinator of Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, told students “These are the people who are on the front lines defending Palestine and fighting for its liberation.” YouTube/Samidoun Network
Pro-Palestinian activist Nerdeen Kiswani, at left, founder of Within Our Lifetime, one of the sponsors of the event, said during the event that she was “sitting in Columbia University.” @thestustustudio/X

Among the outrages for which it has claimed responsibility is a 2014 attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in which attackers armed with meat cleavers killed four rabbis, three of them Israeli-Americans.

The PFLP took part in the October 7 massacres and previously murdered a 17-year-old Israeli girl while she was hiking.

And Samidoun has campaigned for years for the release of Ahmad Sa’adat, the PFLP’s leader who oversaw years of murderous attacks, some of them suicide bombings. 

While lecturing the students at the $60,000-a-year Ivy League college on “resistance,” Barakat and Kates did not discuss the reality of life in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas persecuted LGBT Palestinians and killed its enemies without even the pretense of trials.

Barakat also failed to mention that he was banned from entering Germany for years in 2020 for his anti-semitic rants.

Aidan Parisi, 27, a student at Columbia’s School of Social Work, was suspended after the Resistance 101 event but has remained defiantly on campus, continuing to take part in the protests./ @itsaidanbitch/X
Aidan Parisi, whose mother is longtime State Department officer Elizabeth Daugharty, took this selfie on the Columbia campus. @itsaidanbitch/X

“The Israelis and the Nazis are almost identical in terms of the way they look at the victim,” Barakat said in 2013, according to Middle East Media and Research Institute, a Washington-based think tank, a slur which was followed by the German government’s ban.

Barakat and Kates, an American who now lives in Vancouver, Canada, and who has a law degree from Rutgers, have not just appeared virtually at Columbia.

In November, Kates was part of a “teach-in” at CUNY in which she praised the Oct. 7 pogrom as a “pivotal” moment for Hamas’ military wing, according to a social media post.

The “Resistance 101” session was organized by students who have become key figures in the mass protest which began last Thursday and which has left Jewish students saying they felt unsafe.

Maryam Alwam, 21, who’s studying comparative literature at Columbia, was suspended after the Resistance 101 event and arrested last week. @bluepashminas/X
Alwan wrote on X that “Columbia University may have devolved into a fascist police state, but it cannot arrest our joy,” after being removed from the Columbia lawn by the NYPD last week. @maryamalwan/X

The ubiquitous pro-Palestinian activist Nerdeen Kiswani, founder of Within Our Lifetime, one of the sponsors of the event, said during the event that she was “sitting in Columbia University.”

Within Our Lifetime has officially endorsed the Oct. 7 attack on Israel and vocally supported Hamas at the frequent rallies it has staged in New York City since the attack

The group which invited the terror group member, Columbia University Apartheid Divest, is not officially affiliated with the college.

It grew out of Students for Justice in Palestine, which was suspended by the college in November last year. 

Unlike many colleges, Columbia’s student groups do not require sponsorship by a member of the faculty. 

Samidoun has campaigned for years for the release of Ahmad Sa’adat, the PFLP’s leader who oversaw years of murderous attacks, some of them suicide bombing.  ASSOCIATED PRESS

However the college did — at least initially — act against some of the organizers of “Resistance 101,” suspending them for holding an unauthorized event after turning down permission for it to be held at the Barnard Center for Research on Women.

It is unclear whether the student group acknowledged they were inviting a member of a proscribed terrorist group.

Three of the suspended students can be named by The Post as postgraduate social work student Aidan Parisi, 27; senior Maryam Alwan, 21, who is studying comparative literature; and Cameron Jones, 19, of Jewish Voice for Peace, who will graduate in 2026. 

There is uncertainty on the exact number of students who were suspended. The Columbia Spectator said that six had been disciplined but four had been re-admitted, but on Tuesday a lawyer for the students, Stanley Cohen, told The Village Sun the total was 16, of whom 12 had the suspensions lifted.

The radical Columbia students heard from Barakat about “resistance,” but not about his ties to Hamas and the reality of life under its regime, including persecution of LGBT people. Getty Images
This was the scene inside Columbia Tuesday where Palestinian symbols are at the center of the anti-Israel protest, despite Hamas’ record as mass murderers. AFP via Getty Images

Parisi, who uses they/them pronouns, is from Washington DC and previously studied at the University of California, San Jose.

Their mother is Elizabeth Daugharty, 60, a veteran US State Department official who is one of three officers who coordinate the government’s efforts on the safe use of nuclear energy around the globe.

When The Post contacted Parisi for comment Parisi called back to say we had no right to contact them and accused The Post of “stalking.” Parisi declined to comment on supporting the Palestinian movement even though it is not kind to LGBTQIA people.

“What these universities don’t understand is that you can suspend us, evict us, fire us, arrest us, do whatever to us, but we will not stop fighting for Palestine,” Parisi posted on X — where their handle is “It’s Aidan bitch” Monday. “Your repression has only made our commitment to liberation stronger. With Palestine as our compass, we will never fail.”

Alwan, who could not be reached for comment, is Palestinian-American, was also unbowed, despite being arrested.

Cameron Jones, 19, is a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace and says he will fight to his “dying breath” for the Palestinians. He appeared in a video on Al Jazeera earlier this year. Al Jazeera English / Instagram

“Columbia University may have devolved into a fascist police state, but it cannot arrest our joy,” she posted after being removed from the Columbia lawn by the NYPD last week.

Jones, a sophomore in history and urban studies, calls himself a “lead organizer” with the Jewish Voice for Peace. He went to the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan and was among the students arrested last week.

 “As a Jewish person, I have immense privilege,” Jones told Al Jazeera earlier this year. “So even though I may be sacrificing my future, if I know I’m making even a tiny tiny percent difference in the lives of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, I will continue fighting until my last breath.

Other key organizers of the group behind “Resistance 101” were Catherine Elias, a graduate student at the School of International and Public Affairs, who told Hyperallergic last week as the NYPD moved in on the Columbia campus and arrested more than 100 protesters, that “we have created this encampment in honor of the martyrs in Gaza, following in the footsteps of all those before us.”

It is unclear if she was suspended.

Columbia graduate student Layla Saliba was also an organizer of the Columbia University Apartheid Divest group. @itslaylas/X

A second social work postgraduate, Layla Saliba, was also an organizer of the Columbia University Apartheid Divest group.

Despite Jewish students describing their fear at the anti-Israel protests she posted on X, “like I’m not even scary i’m just a tired grad student.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

How Justin Jefferson trade ‘buzz’ at NFL draft nearly had major Giants impact

There was at least one scenario in the 2024 NFL Draft where…

Josef Newgarden wins second straight Indy 500 with dramatic finish after lengthy rain delay

INDIANAPOLIS — Josef Newgarden put his cheating scandal behind him to become…

How cops tracked suspects in Aussie surfer killings

The suspects accused of gunning down three surfers in Mexico were reportedly…

Hunter Biden's Laptop Is SO REAL It Will Be Used as Evidence in His Gun Trial

My, we have come such a long way when it comes to…