State officials are sounding the alarm over the continued unrest at college campuses in New York and nationwide.

Today, April 22, officials from Columbia University announced classes would be held virtually due to ongoing pro-Palestinian protests at the campus. Protests have been going on for six days straight and it's likely they will continue.

Students have been sleeping outside in sleeping bags and are demanding the school divest from companies that they say profit from Israel's violations of international law and the rights of Palestinians.

These demonstrations have attracted hundreds of protestors.

Student Activists At The New School Set Up Encampment In Solidarity With Columbia Protesters
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

While the college says it supports students' First Amendment rights to protest, some of these gatherings have not been peaceful and that is why campuses across New York and the country are on high alert.

Over a hundred people were taken into custody last week after clashing with police officers on the college campus.

Read More: Gov Hochul Calls out "Deeply Disturbing" Anti-Semitism in NY

Jewish students and leaders have reported an increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric and incidents. The situation has a rabbi from Columbia urging Jewish students to leave the campus and "remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved."

Governor Kathy Hochul condemned the threatening actions of some protestors and tweeted out on Sunday, "Students also have a right to learn in an environment free from harassment or violence."

The chaos at college campuses also attracted the ire of President Joe Biden, who issued a strongly-worded statement about the anti-Semitic incidents, especially ahead the holy Jewish holiday of Passover.

He called the October 7 attacks carried out by Hamas "the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust," and condemned those who voice support of the terrorist organization.

We must speak out against the alarming surge of Antisemitism – in our schools, communities, and online. Silence is complicity. Even in recent days, we’ve seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews. This blatant Antisemitism is reprehensible and dangerous – and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country.

Passover is set to begin a sundown tonight, April 22. The holiday commemorates the Israelites escape from slavery in Egypt.

With protests already into their sixth day with no end in sight, Columbia's president Minouche Shafik is calling the current situation a crisis.

Protesters In Los Angeles Strike For Ceasefire In Gaza
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, is also enduring similar protests where  students there are demanding the school divest in companies that provide weapons to Israel.  One of the rallies became tense when over 3 dozen people were arrested.

Over 400 people gathered during a Friday rally, where students pitched tents and refused to leave. Yale is threatening disciplinary action if the encampment doesn't move.

Students there have also engaged in hunger strikes. So far Yale President Peter Salovey is refusing to meet their demands.

The main concern of these demonstrations is that they could potentially encourage more violence toward Jewish students, teachers, and officials. This already happened at Cornell University, when a former student identified as 21-year-old Patrick Dai threatened to shoot up the Kosher dining hall in October.

Dai also wrote that he'd "slit the throat' of any Jewish men he sees on campus, and throw Jewish women off a cliff.  Dai was arrested and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and fines. He is due back in court for a sentencing hearing on August 12th.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said cases of antisemitism have tripled since the Hamas attack on Israel October 7th. The FBI issued an alert about the ongoing threats against the Jewish community, which has prompted cities across the U.S. to increase security for the beginning of Passover.

The FBI said they are most concerned by lone actors with ill intentions, as evidenced by a recent incident in Pennsylvania.

The FBI is seeking a suspect that spray-painted the phrase "for blood and soil," which references the Aryan movement in Germany, outside a home owned by a Jewish family in Pittsburgh. That same family said they have been dealing with increasing vandalism and harassment.

While everyone is entitled to their own opinions regarding Israel and Palestine, threatening the health and safety of a person because of their race, ethnicity, and religion is illegal.

Also, saying anti-Semitism is bad is not turning your back on Palestine. You can be against Jewish hatred and support Palestinians at the same time - one doesn't cancel out the other.

Biden Administration Addresses Rising Antisemitism On College Campuses
Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

To date, more than 34,000 Palestinians have died since the October 7 attack by Hamas. An additional 77,000 have been wounded.

Conversely, roughly 1,500 Israeli citizens have died since the Hamas attack.

What is happening in the Middle East is a tragedy. What is also a tragedy is people using this war to justify their hatred against a certain group of people.

A recent survey by Siena College found anti-Semitism and Islamophobia is surging in the Empire State.

It is horrendous to see growing tolerance for anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. It is hateful and, frankly, un-American.

Students Spread Kindness Not Hate at Elementary School in Rome

Students at Ridge Mills Elementary School in Rome, New York are spreading kindness not hate.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

The FBI's 5 Most Dangerous Hometowns In New York State

These five places from New York State are among the 22 most dangerous cities in the Northeast.

4 New York Small Towns Named Best To Live In & Visit In US

New York may be best known worldwide for the Big Apple, but here in the Empire State we know small-town life is just as rich. New York has a long list of amazing small towns to call him or visit across the state. Several of those towns are getting some sweet recognition as the best in the nation in Far and Wide's 100 Best Small Towns In America To Live In Or Visit. Check out the 4 New York locales that made the list!

Gallery Credit: Matty Jeff

More From Big Frog 104