‘I Am Just A Dad’: Israeli-American Prof Explains Why He Risked Columbia Firing Him Over Stance On Hamas
A Barnes & Noble Education location on the Columbia University campus in New York, US, on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. Barnes & Nobles Education Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on March 9. Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Israeli-American professor Shai Davidai took to X on Monday to double down on a recent video calling out his own university’s president and others for failing to condemn the horrific attacks committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians on October 7.

Davidai, an assistant professor at Columbia University’s School of Business, went viral when video of his impassioned call to action — wherein he demanded accountability for university presidents who had so far refused to condemn the pro-Hamas student groups on their campuses — spread across social media platforms. He conceded, in a lengthy thread shared to X on Monday, that the university could fire him for taking a stand — but he had felt compelled to do so anyway.

“I am an assistant professor at Columbia Business School. I am a father, a husband, an uncle, and a son. I am a forty-year-old man, and last week I found myself crying in front of a group of complete strangers,” he began, saying that his goal had been to spur university leadership to take a stand against the actions of Hamas terrorists — and to protect Jewish students from students and groups on their campuses that openly supported Hamas’ actions against Israeli civilians.

“I pleaded with the presidents of colleges and universities all around the country to take a clear moral stance against rape and torture and the kidnapping of helpless civilians,” he continued, adding, “I pleaded with colleges and universities to live up to their stated mission of humanism and enlightenment. I pleaded—and still plead—because the silence of college presidents all across the country is deafening.”

“I am not tenured. I could be fired for this,” he said, but he went on to say that he was willing to take the chance.

“If my research into behavioral psychology has taught me anything, it’s that looking back on my life, I am more likely to regret not taking a stance,” he said. “I can’t afford not to take a stance. Not when students’ lives are on the line. Not when my children’s lives are on the line.”

Davidai went on to explain that he took a stand because, as a father, he could not stand by while student groups on his own campus were allowed to push the message that said his own children were the “legitimate targets” of “resistance” simply because they were Jews.

Davidai pointed to other recent events, noting that the university probably would have responded very differently if students had rallied to celebrate the death of George Floyd while he was in Minneapolis police custody.


He went on to say that he believed it was possible to support the rights and safety of innocent Palestinian people while still calling out the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas — and that it was possible to “be a lefty and a softy who can’t fathom why we can’t just end this senseless cycle of violence yet still shout at the top of your lungs that shooting babies in their cribs and burning their corpses is just plain evil.”

If more people were willing to take that stand — and encourage or even pressure organizations, businesses, and universities to do the same — the message might get through, he said.

“This is not about me. I’m not some leader. I’m just a dad,” he said. “I’m just a dad who is scared and who is willing to put EVERYTHING on the line to protect his children.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘I Am Just A Dad’: Israeli-American Prof Explains Why He Risked Columbia Firing Him Over Stance On Hamas