Billionaires Led by Robert Kraft Stop Donations to Columbia University as Other Donors Call Anti-Israel Protests 'F***ing Crazy'

According to estimates, Cooperman, Blavatnik, and Kraft collectively contributed nearly $100 million to Columbia University.

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Columbia University faced a wave of fury from wealthy donors over antisemitism on campus, with one donor calling pro-Palestinian mobs on the campus "f***ing" crazy. Billionaire Robert Kraft, a Columbia alum and owner of the New England Patriots, announced an immediate halt to his donations, accusing the university of failing to safeguard its Jewish students.

Leon Cooperman, a business school graduate and billionaire investor, affirmed his decision to continue withholding donations, a stance he adopted shortly after the October 7 Hamas attacks. Sources told the New York Post that other billionaires like businessman Len Blavatnik would think twice before retreating after pro-Hamas demonstrations shook the campus and scared Jewish students.

Stop the Funding

Anti-Israel protest
Students taking part in an anti-Israel protest on Columbia University campus X

"The school I love so much – the one that welcomed me and provided me with so much opportunity – is no longer an institution I recognize," The New England Patriots' owner and Columbia graduate said on Monday.

"I am deeply saddened at the virulent hate that continues to grow on campus and throughout our country."

Robert Kraft
Robert Kraft X

"It is my hope that Columbia and its leadership will stand up to this hate by ending these protests immediately and will work to earn back the respect and trust of the many of us who have lost faith in the institution," he added.

"Columbia University's leadership must take immediate steps to ensure that Jewish students are protected from threats and intimidation, and that those who violate their policies are held to account," Blavatnik, the founder of Access Industries, told the New York Post.

According to estimates, Cooperman, Blavatnik, and Kraft collectively contributed nearly $100 million to Columbia University.

The money has facilitated the construction of various campus buildings, supported scholarships for engineering students, and a center specifically for Jewish students.

As of now, none of the donors have publicly advocated for the replacement of Columbia University's president, Nemat "Minouche" Shafik.

Anti-Israel protest
Anti-Israel protests going on Columbia University campus X

However, pressure has mounted on Shafik from Republican members of Congress, spearheaded by Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking member of the House majority, as well as from the Columbia Jewish Alumni Association, urging her to step down.

The sight of students erecting a large encampment of tents in the heart of campus, chanting pro-Hamas slogans, and mistreating Jewish students deeply angered Cooperman, the founder of Omega Advisors, whose parents immigrated from Poland.

He told CNN, "These kids are f***ing crazy. They don't understand what they're doing or what they're talking about."

Revolt and Counter Revolt

On Monday, several staff members at Columbia University participated in a walkout to protest the involvement of the NYPD in managing anti-Israel demonstrations the previous week. Staff members displayed signs during the walkout bearing messages such as "Hands off our students" and "End students' suspension."

Leon Cooperman
Leon Cooperman X

On Monday, Kraft announced on X and Instagram that he was stopping donations for the school, "I am deeply saddened at the virulent hate that continues to grow on campus and throughout our country.

"I am no longer confident that Columbia can protect its students and staff and I am not comfortable supporting the university until corrective action is taken."

An increasing number of members of Congress, including Republican senators Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley, have begun addressing the situation at Columbia University. They called on President Joe Biden to deploy the National Guard to Columbia to manage the demonstrations.

Isra Hirsi
Ilhan Omar's daughter Isra Hirsi looks distressed as she is arrested from her college campus during anti-Israel protests X

Also, all ten of New York's Republican representatives in Congress penned a letter to President Minouche Shafik, asking her to resign. They claimed that "anarchy has engulfed the campus of Columbia University."