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Mobile billboard at Columbia University shows names and faces of students allegedly linked to anti-Israel statement

By Matt Egan and Reid Champlin, CNN

New York (CNN) — A mobile billboard truck drove outside the entrance of Columbia University on Wednesday displaying the names and faces of students that a conservative nonprofit responsible for the truck says were linked to a statement blaming Israel for the Hamas terror attack.

The arrival of the “doxxing truck” at Columbia is the latest example of a dangerous trend of college students being named and shamed as tensions over the Israel-Hamas war remain high.

Photos viewed by CNN showed Columbia students following the truck and blocking it with balloons and posters.

The mobile billboard arrived just as a pro-Palestinian protest was taking place on campus.

The truck was sent by the same group that sent a billboard truck earlier this month near Harvard displaying the names and faces of Harvard students linked to an anti-Israel letter.

The group said the students whose names and faces were displayed on the Columbia truck were linked to a statement published earlier this month by Palestinian solidarity groups.

That statement called for Columbia to “end its ties” with “apartheid Israel.”

“The weight of responsibility for the war and casualties undeniably lies with the Israeli extremist government and other Western governments, including the U.S. government, which fund and staunchly support Israeli aggression, apartheid and settler-colonization,” the statement said.

Multiple Columbia students told CNN on Wednesday they were alarmed by the “doxxing truck.”

“I was at once heartbroken and infuriated. I saw a number of names and classmates of friends, and I cried with anger,” said a student named Lily, who asked only to be referred to by her first name out of concern for her own safety.

Lily argued that the conservative nonprofit has falsely argued students are antisemites by taking excerpts of student statements out of context.

“Most (if not all) students I’ve spoken to understand very well that many things can be true at once – that Jewish and Israeli lives have been lost or harmed due to Hamas terror, while the state of Israel (not to be equated with its civilian people) is committing war crimes against people in Gaza,” Lily told CNN via messaging app Signal. “Humanity is losing on all sides.”

Columbia did not comment but referred CNN to an earlier statement by the school’s president, Minouche Shafik .

“Some students, including at Columbia, have been victims of doxing,” Shafik said last week. “This form of online harassment, involving the public posting of names and personal information, has been used by extremists to target communities and individuals. This kind of behavior also will not be tolerated and should be reported through appropriate school channels. When applicable, we will refer these cases to external authorities.”

University leaders also issued a statement condemning “disturbing antisemitic and Islamophobic acts, including intimidation and outright violence.”

That statement came after a Columbia student who was hanging up posters on campus in support of Israel was assaulted.

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