New York City Mayor Eric Adams has strongly condemned the antisemitism and hate speech witnessed during ongoing protests at Columbia University, expressing his horror and disgust at the incidents in a statement released on Sunday. The protests, which began on April 17 following Columbia University President Minouche Shafik's testimony to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce about antisemitism on college campuses, have led to the arrest of over 100 people, according to police.

In his statement, Mayor Adams called out specific examples of hate speech, such as "a young woman holding a sign with an arrow pointing to Jewish students stating 'Al-Qasam's Next Targets,' or another where a woman is literally yelling 'We are Hamas,' or another where groups of students are chanting 'We don't want no Zionists here.'" He emphasized that he condemns this hate speech in the strongest of terms and has instructed the NYPD to investigate any reported violations of the law.

The mayor acknowledged that the ongoing conflict in the Middle East has left many people grieving and angry but stressed that this heartbreak does not give anyone the right to harass, threaten, or physically harm others. He also noted the heightened tensions in New York City as the Jewish community prepares to celebrate the beginning of Passover on Monday.

"As Mayor of the city with the largest Jewish community in the world outside of Israel, the pain these protests are causing Jews across the globe is not lost on me, especially as we start Passover tomorrow evening," Adams said. "I also see and hear the pain of those protesting in support of innocent lives being lost in Gaza."

Mayor Adams clarified that Columbia University is a private institution on private property and that the NYPD cannot have a presence on campus unless requested by senior university officials. However, he stated that the NYPD has an increased presence of officers situated around the campus to protect students and all New Yorkers and is ready to respond if Columbia makes another request for their presence on campus.

The mayor's statement comes amidst growing calls for Columbia University President Minouche Shafik's resignation. New York Rep. Elise Stefanik accused the university of failing to enforce its own campus rules and protect Jewish students, saying, "President Shafik must immediately resign. And the Columbia Board must appoint a president who will protect Jewish students and enforce school policies."

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, who represents the Staten Island and Bay Ridge areas of New York City, also called for Shafik's resignation and raised the possibility of pulling federal funding from universities that "blatantly allow antisemitism." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Malliotakis wrote, "The gross antisemitism being displayed against Jewish students at Columbia University is horrific, unacceptable and the reason I introduced legislation to strip federal funding from colleges that blatantly allow antisemitism & don't hold those responsible accountable."

Rep. Ritchie Torres, who represents much of the Bronx borough, emphasized the need for moral clarity against antisemitism, stating, "College administrators should start defending their Jewish constituents and students and stop pandering to the antisemites who seek their destruction."