The Columbia Law Review website is offline after publishing a story criticizing Israel


The Columbia Law Review’s website is no longer accessible following the publication of an article critical of Israel that the publication’s board of directors believes did not go through the proper review process.

It concerns the publication of an article stating that Palestinians live under a ‘brutally sophisticated structure of oppression’ by Israel.

The board of directors of the Columbia Law Review said in a statement obtained by CNN that the website has been “temporarily suspended” because “the piece was not subject to the usual processes of review or selection for article.” The website has been offline since Monday, with a message stating that it is ‘under maintenance’ when visiting from Wednesday morning.

The Columbia Law Review Association is an independent, nonprofit organization with its own board of directors and is not controlled by Columbia University or its law school.

The board said it asked student editors on Sunday to open up the review of the article so that “all student editors would have an opportunity to read the piece, express any questions or concerns, and otherwise participate.”

“We thought this was necessary in fairness to student editors who were not part of the group working on the piece and were not previously aware of the content or even existence of the piece. Whatever your views on this piece, it will clearly be controversial and may have an impact on everyone involved with the Review,” the statement said.

The piece was published on Monday, despite the board saying it had requested a delay in publication until June 7 pending further review.

“We would also like to have the website back up and running as soon as possible, as being offline is now preventing access to the Review’s stock exchange,” the report said.

The article that sparked the controversy was written by Rabea Eghbariah, a doctoral candidate at Harvard University. He states that this is a new legal concept Nakba is necessary to more accurately describe the current condition of the Palestinians. It is derived from ‘al-Nakba’, which Palestinians have used to refer to the creation of Israel in 1948, and means ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic.

“The attempt to silence my legal scholarship on the Nakba by shutting down the entire Columbia Law Review website not only reflects a pervasive and anti-intellectual Palestinian exception to academic freedom, but is also evidence of a culture of Nakba denial,” Eghbariah said in a statement to CNN.

“The intervention of the CLR Board of Directors once again shows that American academic institutions are in fact a very hostile environment for Palestinian voices and thoughts. What’s so scary about Palestinians speaking their truth?”

It is the latest flashpoint for Columbia University to deal with demonstrations by pro-Palestinian demonstrators who set up camps on the school grounds to protest Israel’s war in Gaza. It’s on Tuesday settled a lawsuit from a Jewish student who said the school failed to provide a safe environment.

CNN’s Matt Egan contributed to this report.

For more CNN news and newsletters, create an account at

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top