Northwestern University Caves To Anti-Israel Protesters, Granting Numerous Demands
Banners hanging from the fence outside Northwestern University during a pro-Palestinian protest, expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Evanston, Illinois, United States on April 27, 2024.
Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu via Getty Images

While many colleges that have been overtaken by anti-Israel demonstrators have begun cracking down on the encampments and violence, Northwestern University has instead caved to protester demands.

In a document released Tuesday, Northwestern has vowed to make concessions to protesters, including five full-ride scholarships for Palestinian students and funding two Palestinian faculty members for two years. The university also said it would commit “to fundraise to sustain this program beyond this current commitment.”

The university will also “provide immediate temporary space for [Middle East and North Africa] MENA/Muslim students.” Following that, Northwestern said it plans to provide and renovate a house for these students “as soon as practicably possible” after it finishes its current renovation project, slated for completion in 2026.

The university will include Jewish students in a “process dedicated to ensuring additional support for Jewish and Muslim students within Student Affairs/Religious & Spiritual Life.”

And while the university did not say it would divest from Israeli companies, it did say it would re-establish its Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility, allowing students, faculty, and staff a say in how the school invests its endowment, opening a door for those who want to divest from Israel.

The university also said it would “answer questions from any internal stakeholder about specific holdings, held currently or within the last quarter, to the best of its knowledge and to the extent legally possible” within 30 days or provide a reason and timeline for a later response.

As for the camp itself, Northwestern said it would permit “peaceful demonstrations” on the campus’ Deering Meadow through the end of the spring semester, provided such activity adheres to university policies. The school said one aid tent would be allowed to remain in the encampment, but all other tents must be removed.

In addition, protesters may not use bullhorns or any other devices that project or amplify sound unless approved in advance. Only members of the Northwestern community will be allowed in the demonstration area unless authorized by the university.


However, the university said it would “publicly condemn the doxing of any community member and will advise employers not to rescind job offers for students engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment.”

In a statement announcing the agreement, Northwestern said the agreement “represents a sustainable and de-escalated path forward, and enhances the safety of all members of the Northwestern community while providing space for free expression that complies with University rules and policies.”

Northwestern also blamed “antisemitic and anti-Muslim/Palestinian” incidents on people not affiliated with the university, and said any members of the community “who can be identified participating in such acts will face disciplinary action.” Most of the anti-Israel protesters wear masks to hide their faces.

The agreement has been met with condemnations from those who support Israel. The Anti-Defamation League called the agreement “reprehensible.”

“The agreement between Northwestern University leadership and encampment organizers is reprehensible, dangerous, and a case study in failed leadership,” the organization’s Midwest division said in a statement posted to X. “For days, protesters violated campus codes of conduct and policies, intentionally fanned the flames of hate and antisemitism, and wreaked havoc on campus life. Instead of holding the perpetrators accountable, the university rewarded them. It would be unbelievable if it wasn’t true.”

Israel’s consulate in Chicago also condemned the agreement in a post on X, saying the university “declared itself a safe space for Antisemitism.”

“We are appalled by Northwestern’s decision to turn its back on Jewish and Israeli students who have been targets of hateful harassment and intimidation. This decision rewards the pro-terror, anti-Israel, and anti-America aggressors on campus,” the consulate wrote. “This appeasement agreement is a dark day in Northwestern history.”

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