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Trump Says Police Raid On Columbia University Protesters Was ‘Beautiful to Watch’

Former president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the police raid on pro-Palestinian students on the Columbia University campus was a “beautiful thing to watch.” The students were housed in a building on the campus when the police broke in through a window and arrested them.

“New York was under siege last night,” Trump told supporters at a campaign rally in Wisconsin, praising the police officers for arresting about 300 protesters at Columbia and City College of New York whom he referred to as “raging lunatics and Hamas sympathisers.”

Trump’s comments are likely to further inflame the issue of growing pro-Palestinian protests across US universities. The issue has divided the nation and put great pressure on university administrators. Republican lawmakers have accused some university administrators of ignoring antisemitic rhetoric and harassment.

Many student organisers have countered by saying that the protests are peaceful and have widely disavowed violence against pro-Israel counter-protesters. However Jewish students have said they feel unsafe on campus and unnerved by chants they say are antisemitic.

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Student encampments have come up in many Ivy League universities and negotiations are going on with student protesters and university administrators on their removal. The protesters say that they will only vacate the encampments till the universities divest from businesses or companies that do business with Israel.

“I say remove the encampments immediately, vanquish the radicals, and take back our campuses for all of the normal students who want a safe place from which to learn,” Trump said.

The former president has also sought to blame President Biden for the protests by stating that the country is going out of control under his watch. Election observers believe that this is a move to counter the assertion by the Democrats that Biden has provided more competent and stable leadership than Trump did as president.

(With inputs from agencies)