Barnard College Student Arrested at Columbia Over Israel Stance

Barnard College Student Arrested at Columbia Over Israel Stance

A Barnard College student, Marie Adele Grosso, found herself in the spotlight after being among the many arrested during the recent NYPD raid at Columbia University. The purpose of the raid was to disband student protests, yet Grosso’s response to a crucial question has drawn attention. Grosso, a 19-year-old sociology and human rights student, has been arrested twice in the past month for trespassing during ongoing student protests urging the school to divest from Israel-associated companies.

During an interview with Ben Kentish from ‘Leading Britain’s Conversation,’ Grosso was asked directly if she believed Israel has a right to exist. Her response was evasive and marked by hesitation. She emphasized the rights of Palestinians to equality and to return to their homeland, stating that they had been displaced over the past 75 years. However, when pressed again by Kentish on whether Israel should exist, Grosso struggled to provide a clear answer, indicating the complexity of the issue.

Kentish’s persistent questioning led Grosso to express her belief that supporting a Jewish state like Israel could foster discrimination against Jewish individuals in other countries. She highlighted the presence of Jewish Palestinians and raised concerns about separatist states potentially exacerbating biases. Despite this, Kentish challenged her views by comparing Jewish, Christian, and Muslim nations, prompting Grosso to distinguish between a country with a predominant population and one identifying solely as a Jewish state.

Grosso’s activism has not been without consequences. Following her initial arrest on April 18 during the NYPD’s operation to clear out the campus encampment, she faced suspension and restrictions from student housing and meal plans. Despite these obstacles, Grosso remained resolute, determined to pursue her advocacy efforts.

The second arrest came amidst a chaotic scene on the Columbia University grounds. Law enforcement officers intervened as protesters barricaded themselves in Hamilton Hall, resulting in over 100 arrests, including Grosso, who was charged with trespassing. Her commitment to the cause remained unwavering, with Grosso emphasizing the moral imperative to continue their protests.

The events at Columbia University and Grosso’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reflect the complexities surrounding activism and differing perspectives on contentious global issues. As the debate continues, Grosso’s case serves as a focal point for discussions on freedom of speech, activism, and the right to dissent within academic institutions.


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