NEW ROCHELLE, NY (October 15, 2023) — New Rochelle Mayoral Candidate Yadira Ramos-Herbert was recorded at a pro-HAMAS rally at Columbia University on Thursday.
Protesters can be heard chanting a slogan adopted by HAMAS, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” A man, apparently a Jewish student is objecting to the message of the protesters. Ramos-Herbert appears to get between the pro-Israeli student and a group of pro-HAMAS supporters, saying to them “don’t engage, don’t engage.”
The video was posted on TikTok by nyc001.
The New York Times reported on the rally:
Hundreds of protesters gathered at Columbia University on Thursday for competing pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrations that earlier in day led school administrators to take the extraordinary step of closing the campus to the public.
Students waving banners and flags faced off across hedges dividing the Manhattan campus, one day after an Israeli student there was assaulted. Other campuses around the city also erupted with rallies on Thursday following the Hamas attack on Israel over the weekend and the Israeli military response in Gaza.
UPDATE: We asked the Ramos-Herbert campaign for a statement about the video. The campaign issued the following statement.
I am a staff member at Columbia University and in that capacity, I can clearly be seen attempting to de-escalate a tense incursion between two different groups of student protestors.
UPDATE: Yadira Ramos-Herbert was interviewed for a package on News12.
The candidate told News 12 that she’s seen the TikTok video. She explained that she’s been trained to de-escalate volatile situations on campus and mentioned that this wasn’t the first time that she’s been involved at a student protest.
In a statement issued to News 12, a spokesperson from the law school’s Public Affairs Office said in part that they “can confirm that Yadira Ramos-Herbert provided staff support in her capacity as associate dean of student and registration services.”
“It’s a little sad to me that someone’s trying to politicize what’s a humanitarian crisis through this post that was made, and I’ve made my position supporting Israel very clear on both my Instagram and Facebook pages,” Ramos-Herbert said.
Asked if she would intervene at a future protest, she said she would have to think about it, if her institution asks her.