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Both Columbia University president and anti-Zionist protesters have ties to elite-backed socialist movements

Banners hang on the hedge in front of the encampment in front of Columbia University's Butler Library. (Photo: Syndi Pilar/SOPA Images via Reuters)

Though many are paying attention to the anti-Zionist protest at Columbia University and the nationwide protests it has caused, fewer have noticed the socialist ideology that motivates the movement.

Even fewer are aware of the Columbia University president’s socialist sympathies.

The focus of the protests is to pressure universities into joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, by causing chaos and disruption, accusing the State of Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza, and accusing supporters of Israel of being complicit in this genocide.

Yet it is apparent that the groups leading the protests are pushing an ideological vision that goes far beyond their opposition to the current war, or even their opposition to the State of Israel.

A brief survey of their websites and public statements makes it clear that these groups are motivated by a radical worldview rooted in socialist ideology.

Socialist groups leading the anti-Zionist protests at Columbia

The most prominent group organizing the protests is National Students for Justice in Palestine (National SJP).

National SJP states on its website that “the struggle for a free Palestine is also the struggle for Black liberation, gender and sexual freedom, and a livable and sustainable planet.”

It goes on to include “capitalism” in a list of evils to struggle against in “all of their forms.”

“All pursuits for freedom, justice, and equality are materially connected and require us to struggle against state violence, colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism, in all of their forms.”

Another group helping to lead the protests is Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

JVP says one of its core values is “collective liberation,” and considers itself in the tradition of “Salonican socialists”—a group of anti-Zionist, socialist Jews in Salonica that organized during the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

Like National SJP, JVP includes “capitalism” in a list of ideas which it opposes and believes are together “intertwined at the roots.”

“As a diverse, multiracial, cross-class, intergenerational movement of Jews,” their website states, “we also understand that white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, patriarchy, colonialism, militarism, and capitalism are intertwined at the roots, and that we can’t fully address any of them without addressing all of them.”

Though painting itself as a grassroots movement, activist organizations leading these socialist, anti-Zionist protests have received funding from some of the world’s most powerful foundations.

According to a report from the New York Post, “the SJP parent organization has been funded by a network of nonprofits ultimately funded by, among others, Soros, the billionaire left-wing investor.”

JVP has also received significant funding from Jewish billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, which is well-known for funding left-wing, socialist causes around the world.

“Between 2017 and 2022,” the NY Post reported, JVP received “$650,000 from Soros’ Open Society.”

The NY Post additionally reported that “the Rockefeller Brothers Fund also gave cash to JVP.”

Columbia University President Minouche Shafik, a “custodian” of the Fabian socialist “inheritance”

Interestingly enough, the protestors are not the only ones at Columbia University who have aligned themselves with influential financiers and socialist ideology.

Columbia University President Minouche Shafik was for many years the president of the London School of Economics (LSE), an institution that was founded in 1895 by the radical socialists of the Fabian Society.

The Fabian Society itself was founded in 1884, with the goal of steering society towards socialism by permeating the democratic system, rather than by engaging in violent revolution.

Its original coat of arms depicted a wolf clothed in the carcass of a dead sheep, planting a red flag.

From its inception, Fabians were involved not only in trying to drive economic change, but cultural change. Several of the earliest intellectual proponents of so-called “sexual liberation,” such as Havelock Ellis and Edward Carpenter, were Fabians.

Occultist Annie Besant, who was an influential figure in theosophy, early feminism, and the defense of birth control, was also a Fabian.

Another of the Fabian Society’s most influential early members was writer H.G. Wells, who, according to the LSE’s website, assisted fellow Fabians George Bernard Shaw, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and Graham Wallas in founding the London School of Economics.

Expressing his Fabian views, Wells’ book The New World Order argued in favor of the establishment of socialist global governance. The book was one of several documents used in the formation of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Wells wrote that there is a “necessity for some collective world control to eliminate warfare,” and a “necessity for a collective control of the economic and biological life of mankind.” He argues for global collectivization, which he defines as “the handling of the common affairs of mankind by a common control responsible for the whole community.”

While the Fabian-founded London School of Economics has produced influential capitalists as well – including the famous F.A. Hayek – Shafik has publicly identified herself with the school’s Fabian roots.

In a 2021 speech, Shafik characterized the Fabian Society as “a collective of intellectuals and activists devoted to achieving and advancing socialist causes in Britain, through peaceful and democratic means.”

She went on to say that she considers herself a “custodian” of the “Fabian inheritance,” and of the “legacy” of Fabian socialist Sidney Ball.

In addition to embracing the Fabian socialist roots of the school she ran for six years, Shafik has also publicly aligned herself with Soros’ Open Society Foundations, and counts its president as a friend.

Open Society Foundations’ President Lord Malloch-Brown, Shafik’s longtime friend

As recently as 2022, during her time as president of the London School of Economics, Shafik invited Open Society Foundations’ President Lord Mark Malloch-Brown to speak about “Today’s Fight for Open Society.”

Though Malloch-Brown has spent much of his career in internationalist organizations (he even served for a time as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations), he told Shafik that he “spent earlier parts of [his] life as a political consultant to many, sort of, insurgent, progressive campaigns around the world.”

During his speech, Malloch-Brown stated that “the concept of Open Society– and indeed, the foundations which carry that name – began here at the LSE. George Soros is an alum of here [sic].”

He went on to say that “the formation of [Soros’] academic ideas here at the LSE” was one of the main things that “led to Open Society.”

Malloch-Brown also expressed his gratitude for his and Shafik’s “friendship over many years,” and their “collaboration and cooperation on so many things.”

In her introduction, Shafik lauded Lord Malloch-Brown for his work “to advance human rights, justice and development,” and noted that they were “vice presidents together at the World Bank.”

Shafik also praised Malloch-Brown for “doing a brilliant job as a political strategist” during his time at the World Bank.

“Whenever you’re around Mark, good things happen, things get better, and it’s also fun,” Shafik said of her Open Society friend.

As the university over which Shafik presides has become the subject of international attention – due to the chaos caused by the socialist organizations her friend helped fund – one wonders if Shafik might be reconsidering this last remark.

Jacob Leonard Rosenberg is an American-Israeli, an Evangelical Christian and the son of the founder of ALL ISRAEL NEWS. He writes about the intersection of science, technology, individual liberty and religious freedom.

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