Robert Kraft yanks support for Columbia as Israel-Gaza protests intensify

  • Robert Kraft, NFL owner and Columbia University donor, is pulling his support for the university.

  • Columbia is being divided by protests over Israel's war in Gaza.

  • Kraft said he is "no longer confident that Columbia can protect its students and staff."

Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the NFL's New England Patriots and a Columbia University alumnus, has pulled his support for the university, which has been racked by unrest and protests over Israel's war in Gaza.

In a statement through his organization the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, Kraft said that Columbia is "no longer an institution I recognize," adding that he is "no longer confident that Columbia can protect its students and staff."

"I am not comfortable supporting the university until corrective action is taken," Kraft said. Columbia's Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life is named after him.

In an interview with CNN, Kraft said he will continue to support the Kraft Center, which hosts a variety of cultural and religious events and has been described by Kraft as "a haven of safety."

Students and faculty have been arrested at the school after occupying the campus to protest the Israel-Gaza conflict. Demonstrators have called on the school to divest from Israeli businesses and institutions affiliated with the war, which has killed thousands of civilians.

Jewish leaders on campus, meanwhile, have said that protesters have shouted offensive rhetoric at Jewish students, with one rabbi at the school recommending Jewish students stay off campus.

The university said Monday that all courses on its main campus would be hybrid through the end of the spring semester, with some exceptions.

Columbia is not the only university embroiled in protests. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested at NYU and Yale on Monday, Reuters reported.

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