The Israeli Connection to the Raid on Columbia University

The NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau’s Tel Aviv office coordinates with Israeli security. A Columbia lecturer, heading the NYPD bureau, probed the students, whom the bureau arrested, and is the bridge between Israel and New York, The GrayZone reports.

By Wyatt Reed and Max Blumenthal
The Grayzone

The violent crackdown carried out on Columbia University students protesting Israel’s genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip was led by a member of the school’s own faculty, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has declared. 

During a May 1 press conference, just hours after the New York Police Department [Counterterrorism unit] arrested nearly 300 people on university grounds, Adams praised adjunct Columbia professor Rebecca Weiner, who moonlights as the head of the NYPD counter-terrorism bureau, for giving police the green light to clear out anti-genocide students by force.

“She was the one that was monitoring the situation,” Adams explained, adding that the crackdown was carried out after “she was able to — her team was able to conduct an investigation.”

On April 30, dozens of police in riot gear descended on Columbia’s Hamilton Hall after students seized the building earlier in the day, citing a request from the administration. Several hours later, officers used a heavily armored NYPD BearCat vehicle to enter the building through the window on the second floor and arrested those inside, while another team swept up members of the encampment outside.

Starting on April 17, students at Columbia escalated their ongoing protest against Israel’s genocidal assault on the besieged Gaza Strip. They encamped on school grounds, stating their refusal to leave until the university fully divested from its Israeli-related investments.

That protest model has since spread to over 100 other universities in the U.S., and even been taken up abroad, with similar actions occurring at Leeds University in the U.K. and the Sorbonne in Paris.

Just a few hundred meters from the Gaza protest encampment, Weiner maintained an office at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Her SIPA bio describes her as an “Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs” who simultaneously serves as the “civilian executive in charge of the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau.”

In that role, according to SIPA, Weiner “develops policy and strategic priorities for the Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau and publicly represents the NYPD in matters involving counterterrorism and intelligence.”

The NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau currently maintains an office in Tel Aviv, Israel, where it coordinates with Israel’s security apparatus and maintains a department liaison. Weiner appears to serve as a bridge between the Bureau’s offices in Israel and New York.

A 2011 Associated Press investigation revealed that a so-called “Demographics Unit” operated secretly within the NYPD’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau. This shadowy outfit spied on Muslims around the New York City area, and even on students at campuses outside the state who were involved in Palestine solidarity activism.

The unit was developed in tandem with the C.I.A., which has refused to name the former Middle East station chief it posted in the senior ranks of the NYPD’s intelligence division. 

The “Demographics Unit” appears to have been inspired by Israeli intelligence as well. As a former police official told the AP, the unit attempted to “map the city’s human terrain” through a program “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”

A lawyer by training, Weiner oversaw negotiations between the NYPD and lawyers for local Muslims who had their civil liberties violated by its “Demographics Unit.” 

Weiner is the granddaughter of Stanislaw Ulam, the Polish Jewish mathematician who helped conceive the hydrogen bomb as part of the Manhattan Project. “I’m very proud of that legacy,” Weiner said of her grandfather’s work upon being appointed as NYPD intelligence chief.

During the NYPD’s triumphant May 1 post-raid press conference, Weiner blamed “outside agitators” for triggering the military-style police crackdown at Columbia. However, she refused to name the outsiders supposedly on the scene. 

According to Weiner, the police response was not necessitated by any criminal behavior, but by the radical language and symbols of the students. “This is not about students expressing ideas,” she claimed. The real problem, Weiner maintained, was the alleged “change in tactics” by protesters, which she said represented “a normalization and mainstreaming of rhetoric associated with terrorism.”

Proof of this dynamic, Weiner suggested, could be seen in what she claimed was the “common” trend of wearing of “headbands associated with foreign terrorist organizations” on college campuses; the “reissuing of Osama Bin Laden’s 2002 letter to America” on TikTok; and a brief visit to Columbia by Nahla Al-Arian, who Weiner incorrectly described as “the wife of somebody who had been convicted for material support to terrorism.”

“That’s not somebody who I would want necessarily influencing my child if I were a parent of somebody at Columbia,” Weiner commented.

Nahla’s husband, Palestinian academic Sami Al-Arian, had been indicted on flimsy terrorism charges in 2003, but a jury refused to convict him. Nevertheless, her brief stop at the Columbia encampment — where she says she did not even interact with any demonstrators — was cited by Adams during three separate media engagements to justify the police repression.

Throughout the press conference, Mayor Adams repeatedly cast the city’s crackdown on student speech as the only possible solution to ongoing campus encampments, citing undefined threats to the minds of impressionable youth.

“There is a movement to radicalize young people, and I’m not gonna wait until it’s done and all of a sudden acknowledge the existence of it,” Adams proclaimed.

“Young people are being influenced by those who are professionals at radicalizing our children,” he insisted, without specifying. “And I’m not gonna allow that to happen as the mayor of the city of New York.”

After angrily proclaiming that his “uncle died defending this country,” Adams declared: “It’s despicable that schools will allow another country’s flag to fly in our country.”

However, as an enthusiastic participant in New York City’s annual Celebrate Israel parade, Adams is no stranger to waving another country’s flag.

Wyatt Reed is the managing editor of The Grayzone. As an international correspondent, he’s covered stories in over a dozen countries. Follow him on Twitter at @wyattreed13.

The editor-in-chief of The Grayzone, Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books, including best-selling Republican Gomorrah, Goliath, The Fifty One Day War, and The Management of Savagery. He has produced print articles for an array of publications, many video reports, and several documentaries, including Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

34 comments for “The Israeli Connection to the Raid on Columbia University

  1. James White
    May 5, 2024 at 22:19

    American Jews who are loyal to Israel while having zero loyalty to the U.S. also run the Democrat party.
    The Democrat party also runs Washington D.C. as most U.S. government workers are Democrat party loyalists.
    Thus, 3% of the U.S. population dominate and control our government, the media, Wall Street and many U.S. corporations.
    The most surprising aspect of this is why the other 97% tolerate it.
    Democrats win by deceiving black voters that Republicans and most white people are racist.
    And by convincing women voters that Republicans are misogynist and want to control women by restricting abortion.
    It would be comical except that so many people are dim enough to believe the lies.

  2. May 4, 2024 at 13:19

    I’m not surprised to hear that the Israelis are involved. I am surprised that they’re so open about it, even naming one of their operatives.

  3. Vera Gottlieb
    May 4, 2024 at 04:18

    Our Western world being infiltrated by US`rael and all in the name of a long vanished ‘democracy’.

  4. gwb
    May 4, 2024 at 00:04

    Rebecca Weiner is identified in the Columbia SIPA tweet and on the School of International and Public Affairs web site as an adjunct professor. In academia, adjuncts are second-class citizens — they get paid squat, and have no job security, unlike tenured faculty. Interesting, that a second-class adjunct is civilian executive in charge of the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau?? Wow, there’s more going on here than meets the eye… Her adjunct status looks like cover for something big.


      May 4, 2024 at 01:23

      People with full-time jobs, such as she has, teach as adjuncts on the side, mostly to share their experience with students, as most adjuncts are poorly paid. The ‘second-class status’ you refer to in this case doesn’t really apply.

  5. May 3, 2024 at 22:24

    56 yrs. ago today at Columbia:

    “..In order to play on 3 May 1968 on a closed campus, The Grateful Dead had to be ‘smuggled’ on campus to Low Library Plaza in the back of a bread delivery truck. Equipment and all. We were already jamming away before the security and police could stop us.” wiki.

    Instead of the Dead, we have Zionist Weiner plants. Surely there’s a Weiner on every major University campus enforcing “intellectual safety” at all times so Seinfeld jr. will never have a thought challenged, never be asked difficult questions, and never ever made to FEEL uncomfortable at the site of a Palestinian flag.

    • Voltaria Voltaire
      May 4, 2024 at 15:38

      So is that pronounced Weiner like the hot dog or male protuberance, or Whiner, like someone who Whines?

      Yep, those headbands sure are dangerous! The headbands actually should be convicted of manslaughter, right? Or even genocide! Genocidal headbands! Boycott those headbands.

      You know someone is acting crazy when the tire is flat and they kick the cat.

    • EnzoVecchiaio
      May 6, 2024 at 10:03

      Arriving without Pigpen’s standard keyboards, they borrowed my Vox portable organ to use for that gig. I was a junior at Columbia College then. Ultimately, they performed on the terrace of the student center, Ferris Booth Hall. Columbia, my alma mater: you suck. Despite my undergrad and three postgrad degrees from you, I will never say another positive word about you — except to praise the courageous pro-Palestinian students, who like the anti-imperialist students in ’68 were treated like scum, like practice dummies for violence by the Fascist NYPD, once again at your invitation, A disgrace.

  6. Valerie
    May 3, 2024 at 20:39

    They’re all off their heads:


    This one talks to god, and god talks back. OMGodzilla.

    (And remember, if you talk to god you are praying. If god talks to you, you are schizophrenic.)

  7. John Z
    May 3, 2024 at 17:07

    So, Weiner’s connections with Israeli intelligence is okay? Since when is it okay for someone with the kind of power she has to drop the hammer on Columbia students to have connections with and be influenced by a foreign government? Sounds like she is the one who should be ousted for clearly flying the flag of a foreign government on the grounds of a United States university. If she is unable to name the names of outside influencers, she may be open to a lawsuit for defamation by the students, as well as should Mayor Adams. He is concerned about undue influence brought to bear on our young people, but the last time I checked, University students are legally adults and responsible for their own actions.

    • Chris
      May 3, 2024 at 18:31

      She is just one fifth columnist with links to Israel in the US. It very reasonable to assume we have hundreds of these Israeli security agents throughout all large US cities, and selected institutions like universities. It would be naive to believe otherwise.

      • Carolyn L Zaremba
        May 4, 2024 at 12:20

        I agree.

    • robert e williamson jr
      May 4, 2024 at 00:28

      JZ they have, what, hundreds if potential operators? Wake up dude, it’s a Pys-Ops attack! Designed to suck up resources. Divert attention and cast the community into chaos.

      Ya’ ll are going to need to understand we are in an open street fight. Direct physical contact, something to be avoided at all costs. A violent response serves no one well. Can you say ambush? Learn your foe and whip them with non-violence

      But what the hell do I know.

      Other than that you are 100% right. We can right, 100%, but when the other is a 100% wrong and T-bones your vehicle, . . . well . . .your vehicle, being 100% in the right, no blame’, position, well it’s still totaled.

      Grumpa , from the “Midlands of the great state of confusion, Illinois !

      Ya’ ll have a good evening.

      • John Z
        May 4, 2024 at 17:39

        I agree completely, Robert, but its a matter of how does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time, brother, one bite at a time.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      May 4, 2024 at 12:18

      Hear, hear.

  8. Tom Hall
    May 3, 2024 at 17:02

    “Outside agitators”- anybody old enough to recognize that phrase and remember the cause it was used to defend?

    • May 3, 2024 at 17:35

      The phrase was used in the 1967 movie The Graduate. Mr. McCleary, the owner or manager of the boardinghouse in Berkeley in which the main character Ben Braddock was getting a room, warned Ben that he would not stand for any outside agitators. The movie came out when I was in high school, and I saw it when I was in college.

      The protests against the Vietnam war were getting going right at that time.

      • bobok
        May 3, 2024 at 20:56

        I think the term “outside agitators” refers to white southerners descriptions of people, particularly northerners, who travelled throughout the south in the era of the civil rights movement. The northern people were seen as foreign, coming from outside the American south, in order to change a racial system they were not able to understand. It seems that Rebecca Weiner, a duel intelligence agent of the US and Israel, has warmed up to her, er, mission of supporting the racist, Zionist state of Israel, and would feel at home with some of the basest, bigoted citizens of the USA. In fact, she is the outsider here; but maybe, just maybe, she is at home here precisely because, in some perverse way, the zionists are now occupying the power centers of the US government.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      May 4, 2024 at 12:18

      Yes, indeed. As Yogi Berra famously said, “It’s deja vu all over again.”

    • Bob Gardner
      May 6, 2024 at 08:25

      Of course, it was used by people like Ross Barnet, Lester Maddox and Bull Connor against anyone supporting black suffrage. It was a common trope used by white sheriffs, a slightly less offensive term that was a substitute for ” n**lover.” Everyone knew what “outside agitator” meant. Either Adams is ignorant, or he wants to go back to those times.

  9. mary-lou
    May 3, 2024 at 16:58

    big TQ for posting this, The Grayzone is brilliant. the whole situation surrounding the student protests, the outrageous degree of violence, subterfuge and mealy-mouthed officials is eerily reminiscent of J6. untill…. – hxxps://

  10. Guy St Hilaire
    May 3, 2024 at 16:55

    Many thanks for the good reporting .As usually happens ,the truth of the matter has now had light shed on it .Also thanks to CN for this report .

  11. May 3, 2024 at 16:08

    The monumental bullshit about terrorism is simply an excuse to suppress all opposition to a foreign policy of belligerence and aggression conducted at the expense of US taxpayers. The lion’s share of terrorism in the US is being conducted by US authorities.

  12. Michael McNulty
    May 3, 2024 at 16:07

    Israel still faces several problems and they are big ones. The protests against it reflect only what it has done so far, and as it promises to continue its cruel assaults so the protests against it will intensify. Then it has the problem of what the irregular Muslim forces standing against it and the Arab states surrounding it may do if its inhumanity becomes intolerable. Then it has to consider what the west may no longer be able to do for it when Russia and its allies have finished with us.

    Zionism is in peril and its unacceptable cruelty no longer to be tolerated has caused it.

    • Em
      May 4, 2024 at 09:41

      By your Western assessment, it sounds like the pivotal point for intolerable is “until the last non-Jewish Arab Palestinian”!
      How many premeditated murders of innocents’ of nJAP’s (reminds one of the ghosts of Nagasaki and Hiroshima) are tolerable in Palestine, between cause and effect?
      Thinking ’out loud’ is yet to be prohibited?

  13. May 3, 2024 at 15:40

    It should be noted that Mayor Eric Adams is a religious kook. Yes that is what he is.

    New York City Mayor Eric Adams had made it clear that he’s no fan of separation of church and state.

    During an interfaith event last year, Adams recycled the hoary claim that a lack of mandated prayer in public schools is the source of many problems, remarking, “When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools. Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state. State is the body, church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body – the body dies.”

    Adams went on to assert, “There is a demonic energy that has engulfed our globe. And we are so ashamed to talk about it. We’re seeing it in front of us, and we say if we mention it, people are going to say, well, why are you talking about these spiritual things? It is the spiritual things that got us here. It’s going to be the spiritual things. Things that’s going to sustain us while we’re here.”



    • Bob Martin
      May 4, 2024 at 00:19

      Adams is a nut in more ways than one. Horrible, horrible mayor.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      May 4, 2024 at 12:19

      The Mayor is indeed a religious kook. He should not be in public office.

  14. BigOG
    May 3, 2024 at 15:28

    Wow. I followed one of the Twitter links and learned that the NYPD has outposts in Tucson AZ and Bogotá Colombia to “monitor the situation at the border.” OK, didn’t know that was under NYPD purview. They also have a liaison with the Israeli government. If this happens in a city police department with limited reach, I shudder to think what the Feds – with their multi- billion $ black ops budgets -are doing here and abroad.

  15. Rafael
    May 3, 2024 at 15:23

    “It’s despicable that schools will allow another country’s flag to fly in our country.”

    So much for freedom of speech.
    (Madly waving Ukrainian flags in Congress is fine, of course.)

    • Bob Martin
      May 4, 2024 at 00:21

      Ah, but Ukraine Israel are seemingly part of the US now. They’re not foreign countries at all. Add two more stars to the flag.

      May 4, 2024 at 15:56

      When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent.
      Isaac Asimov

      • Joy
        May 5, 2024 at 12:48

        I long ago changed that saying “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,” to “the one-eyed man is a freak.”
        Now I know better, the “one-eyed man is a threat.”

  16. Drew Hunkins
    May 3, 2024 at 14:35

    The Zionists who basically run the show in Washington are really taking the mask off, they’re ruling directly and openly now, shredding the First Amendment and exposing themselves to the normies in Peoria.

    The eventual backlash against them will be inevitable.

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