Robert Kraft’s Fight Against Antisemitism Began Long Before Oct. 7

Protests at Columbia University have attracted national headlines, prompted congressional hearings and led to the arrest of more than 100 students. This week, the New England Patriots owner, Robert K. Kraft, one of the school’s most famous and wealthiest graduates, stepped into the fray.

Mr. Kraft, who graduated from Columbia in 1963 and has donated millions of dollars to the university, said he would stop giving money to the school until it took action to curtail the hate speech that had been directed at some students and staff members.

“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,” Mr. Kraft said in a statement on Monday.

Protests have roiled the campus in Upper Manhattan this month, with students arrested after refusing to leave a pro-Palestinian encampment and crowds of protesters outside the school gates at times harassing Jewish students or shouting antisemitic comments.

Mr. Kraft’s attempts to fight antisemitism have become increasingly public in recent years, well before the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas on Israel and the war in Gaza. In 2019, Mr. Kraft, who was alarmed by attacks on Jews and synagogues in Pittsburgh, Poway, Calif., and elsewhere, created the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, a nonprofit group trying to counter the surge in violent language on social media.

The foundation is in the midst of a $25 million television campaign that has included running ads during the Academy Awards telecast on ABC this year. Similar ads were played during the N.F.L. season and the Super Bowl.

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