6-year-old saves NYU Law commencement after anti-Israel protesters refuse to leave stage

A 6-year-old child taught thousands of adults this week a lesson in love and respect.

NYU School of Law’s commencement Thursday in Madison Square Garden was marred by hateful chants and Palestinian flag-waving protesters who refused to leave the stage, but there was one shining light during the chaotic ceremony — little Eden Rose Neiger.

She bravely walked on stage with her graduating mom and raised a picture of a heart she drew while sitting in the crowd amid the despicable din. 

The daughter of Devorah Neiger, flanked on stage by her two siblings, then handed the heart — drawn in the school color, purple — to law school Dean Troy McKenzie.

“The mood and energy completely changed – she got the biggest applause of the whole ceremony,” said proud dad Edward Neiger.

After hearing about her “brave” student, Eden Rose Neiger, kindergarten teacher, Julie Thaler, presented the youngster with a “Purple Heart Award” along with a copy of the famous drawing in class the day following commencement. FaceBook NYU School of Law

“There was tension in the room – you didn’t know what was going to happen next. While some students disrupted the ceremony with symbols of hate, Eden drew a purple heart as a symbol of love,” added the dad, whose family is Jewish and pro-Israel. 

The 10:30 am ceremony included keynote speaker, ex-Twitter exec Vijaya Gadde – who reportedly played a key role in censoring The Post’s Hunter Biden story before the 2020 election — and was plagued by disruptions as soon as grads from the 900-student class filed into the 5,570-capacity Theater at MSG.

Some hoisted signs such as “NYU funds genocide.”

Other chanted “Disclose, divest – we will not stop, we will not rest” and “Over 40,000 dead, NYU, your hands are red.”

Others refused to shake hands with the dean.

The anti-Israel antics were a continuation of the controversy that dogged the elite school since Oct. 7, when the president of the school’s student bar association said that Israel “bears full responsibility” for the savage Hamas attack.

She was booted from the post in November.

NYU School of Law’s commencement Thursday in Madison Square Garden was marred by hateful chants and Palestinian flag-waving protesters. X @OldRowOfficial
Palestinian flag-waving protesters refused to leave the stage. Obtained by the New York Post

At one point, McKenzie pleaded with a defiant student holding an oversized Palestinian flag to leave the stage.

“You made your point,” said the dean.

With that backdrop, Neiger whisked his kids, Eden, 6, Alexandra, 3, and son Elisha, 1, to the back of the hall “out of earshot” and busied them with paper and magic markers.

He told them to draw, hoping to “distract” them from the “hateful chanting and displays so as not to traumatize them.”

That’s when Eden began crafting her message to the dean, who had refused to bow to the anti-Israel bullies.

“She got such resounding applause” in a day that was dominated by “darkness,” said the mom, noting that the politically charged acts were “really jarring and shocking.”

“You just have to sit there and take it – you don’t want to stoop to that level, even though every part of your body wants to stand up to them,” said Devorah Neiger, who added that the artistic gesture was her daughter’s decision alone.

“We did not put her up to this.”

“We were worried going in that the kids would be scared” if protests arose during the ceremony, said the mom, who in 2022, successfully fought to bring her “banned” baby to campus for breastfeeding.

“We did not put her up to this,” said Devorah Neiger, Eden’s mother. Courtesy of the Neiger family

A rep from the law school declined to disclose whether there was any disciplinary action or arrest of the rogue grads, who violated MSG’s rules prohibiting signs, banners and flags.

“It’s regrettable that at yesterday’s JD graduation, a handful of protesters saw fit to interfere with and delay the progress of the ceremony. They were asked to refrain from their activities, and when they did not, they were escorted from the stage, allowing the ceremony to proceed as planned,” the school said.

As her children walked off the stage, little Eden told her mom, “That was kind of brave of me.”

Judy Kane, a Westchester teacher in attendance, was in full agreement.

“All of a sudden, this little girl gets up on the stage with her mother holding a piece of paper with a big heart,” recalled Kane, who said it elicited standing ovations. “It was very powerful to me – the innocence of a child is all you want in this world. It was beautiful – children don’t know about hatred. That picture is sort of the answer to all of this hate.”

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