Web Stories Thursday, July 25

Dozens of protesters swarmed Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s building Monday to rip him for nixing charges against members of the anti-Israel mob that attacked Columbia University — calling the move “a betrayal.”

“What Alvin Bragg is saying to all New Yorkers who follow the law is if you conceal your identity, if you harass Jews long enough, if you break property, if you take maintenance workers hostage, if you do that, you will not be prosecuted,” seethed activist protester and Harvard University grad student Shabbos Kestenbaum.

“That is un-American. That is antisemitic. And that is unacceptable in the great city of New York.”

Protesters outside Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office Monday slam the lawman for letting off most of the anti-Israel mob tied to a violent incident at Columbia University. Matthew McDermott

A Jewish Columbia student, Yola Ashkensasie, said the anti-Israeli encampment on campus had kept many people away from the Ivy League school in Upper Manhattan.

She called Bragg’s decision to cut breaks to many of the protesters who seized a building there in April “a betrayal of the safety and trust of all New Yorkers like myself.

“As a student, I witnessed the chaos and fear that gripped our campus,” said Ashkensasie, who joined Kestenbaumone and about 50 other protesters to converge outside the DA’s office waving US flags, displaying signs with slogans such as, “You can prosecutor Trump but not masked Jew haters?” and chanting, “Bragg, Bragg punish the crime, make these criminals do their mind!”

“Students, especially those who lived on campus, feared for their safety, unsure if they or their dorm rooms were targets,” Ashkensasie said of the crisis. “Personally, I did not return to campus until graduation because of how physically aggressive and completely out of hand this incident became.”

Bragg announced this month that he was dropping charges against 31 of the 46 anti-Israeli protesters busted at Columbia University in April. AP
Monday’s demonstrators included Jewish Columbia students and a professor. Matthew McDermott

Bragg said last week that 31 of the 46 anti-Israeli demonstrators busted by police over the seized building would have their charges dropped — despite the fact that the mob had broken windows and furniture and allegedly threatened people as they illegally stormed historic Hamilton Hall.

Prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to proceed with even criminal trespassing charges against those who got off scot-free.

Monday’s anti-Bragg protesters said that cutting most of the demonstrators loose sends a message to the Jewish community, which has increasingly been the target of antisemitic attacks since Hamas terrorists pulled off a deadly sneak assault on the Jewish state Oct. 7, sparking a horrendous new Mideast war.

How The Post told the story of the anti-Israel mob at Columbia.

“I’m appalled as a father,” Columbia Professor Shai Davidai said of the DA’s actions. “I’m appalled as a Jewish man. And I’m appalled as a taxpayer. This is what we pay for. We pay for that guy to do his job, and he refused to do it.

“It could be one of two things he gets to decide for himself. He’s either a coward or an antisemite.”

Nassau County Legislator Mazi Pilip, who joined the protesters outside the DA’s office, called Bragg’s decision “unbelievable” and “unacceptable.

“In Nassau County we don’t play games,” Pilip told the crowd. “We are holding [people] accountable. We are respecting the law. We are supporting our law enforcement.

Protesters outside Bragg’s office Monday said he did a disservice to New Yorkers by freeing the accused criminals. Matthew McDermott

“Enough is enough,” he added. “Alvin Bragg, shame on you. History will remember this.”

A rep for Bragg’s office said in an e-mail to The Post on Monday, “We bring charges based on the facts, evidence, and what is provable in a court of law, and the Office continues to prosecute an array of cases stemming from campus protests.

“As we said in court, the defendants whose cases were dismissed had no criminal history and there was extremely limited video evidence, which made it challenging to determine specific the actions of each individual.”

Bragg’s office dropped charges due to an apparent lack of evidence against protesters. Getty Images

The representative also noted that Bragg recently attended a Lower Manhattan exhibition on the Oct. 7 massacre commemorating one attack that day, on the Nova Music Festival, in which about 370 innocent people died.

The Columbia encampment was just one of anti-Israel protests throughout the Big Apple and the nation, with mobs also staging rowdy marches that sought to fuel unrest.

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