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Lawmakers call for accountability over violence on Pro-Hamas campus

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Lawmakers call for accountability over violence on Pro-Hamas campus

Screenshot: Cam Higby

By Casey Harper (Het Middenplein)

Pro-Hamas demonstrations on college campuses have become increasingly intense and even violent in recent days, prompting lawmakers to call for change.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent a letter to the Columbia University Board of Trustees this week with an ultimatum: “take action on anti-Semitism or lose federal funding.”

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“The anti-Israel mobs that have taken over Columbia University in New York City are as disturbing as they are un-American,” Scott said in the letter. “Jewish students no longer feel safe on Columbia’s campus given the ongoing threat of violence. One student was attacked by a pro-Hamas protester this weekend. This is not a peaceful demonstration in support of a social or civil cause.”

Scotts letter comes after a Jewish student on Yale’s campus was reportedly stabbed in the eye by a Palestinian flag during a pro-Hamas demonstration. Students and faculty at New York University staged a walkout to protest the pro-Hamas protests. According to media reports, police arrested approximately 150 pro-Hamas protesters at NYU and Yale.

Robert Kraft, team owner of the New England Patriots, publicly announced that he was ending his donations to Columbia due to the anti-Semitic protests.

The campus protests began after the Hamas terror group invaded Israel on October 7, killing more than 1,000 people, including many civilians, some of whom were also raped, as well as children killed by Hamas. Israel has responded with a sustained bombardment of Gaza, targeting Hamas members. But now Iran and Israel have exchanged fire, escalating tensions in the region.

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As before The Center Square reportedVideo of the protests on Columbia’s campus shows demonstrators shouting calls for violence.

  • “We say justice, you say how? Burn Tel Aviv to the ground!”
  • “Hamas, we love you. We also support your rockets!”
  • “Red, black, green and white, we support the struggle of Hamas!”
  • “It’s right to rise up, let Hamas give them hell!”

Scott, along with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., introduced the Stop Antisemitism on College Campuses Act, which would end federal funding for colleges and universities “that support, authorize, or facilitate events that promote antisemitism.” ”

“As members of the Columbia University Board of Trustees, you must use the power of your position to demand action from the administration, or remove the current leadership and create an administration that will ensure the safety of your students. If you fail to do so, Congress will take action,” the letter said. “We will not sit idly by while American students are threatened by terrorist sympathizers who call for the extermination of the Jewish people and the destruction of Israel.”

In a similar move, a coalition of senators sent a letter to the Biden administration calling on the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education to remedy the situation. order on campuses.

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“You must take action to restore order and protect Jewish students on our college campuses,” the letter said. “President Biden issued a statement on Sunday claiming to condemn the outbreak of anti-Semitism. If that statement was serious, it must be accompanied by immediate action from your departments.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson called on the president of Columbia University to resign for suspending classes after allowing pro-Hamas protests to spiral out of control, the latest development in the chaos unfolding nationwide campuses.

Johnson joined Jewish students on Columbia’s campus in calling on Columbia University President Minouche Shafik to resign, calling her a “weak leader.”

“They can’t even guarantee the safety of Jewish students?” Johnson said on the Hugh Hewitt show. “They’re expected to run for their lives and stay home from class? It’s maddening. …

“What we are seeing on these college campuses across the country is disgusting and unacceptable, and every leader, every political official, every citizen of good conscience must speak out and say this is not who we are in America, and we have to accountability, and that is what I and my colleagues are going to work on.

Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called out anti-Semitism on American campuses.

“Anti-Semitism on campuses in the United States is reminiscent of what happened in German universities in the 1930s,” he said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The world cannot stand idly by.”

Columbia University did not respond to a request for comment.

Syndicated with permission from Center Square.