The people's voice of reason

Katie Britt, Tom Cotton, and colleagues call on Biden Administration to protect Jewish students from Pro-Hamas, antisemitic mobs

The nation has been rocked this week by pro-Palestinian protests on the campuses of Columbia, USC, Texas, Emory, Northwestern, and other campuses after the Congress passed and President Joseph R. Biden (R) signed a package of military aid for the nation of Israel.

On Wednesday U.S. Senators Katie Britt (R-Alabama), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), and 24 of their Senate Republican colleagues yesterday sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urging them to restore order to campuses that have been effectively shut down by antisemitic mobs that they claim are targeting Jewish students.

The Senators requested that Attorney General Garland and Secretary Cardona provide an update on efforts to protect Jewish students. This letter comes as Columbia University announced yesterday, they would shift to hybrid learning for the remainder of the semester due to the extreme threats recent antisemitic protests pose to Jewish students.

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

"Rioting violates federal law," the Senators continued. "Violence or attempted violence against anyone because of their Jewish heritage violates federal law. School administrators' failure to protect Jewish students from discrimination or harassment violates federal law and is grounds for those schools losing access to federal funds. Espousing support for terrorists such as Hamas violates federal immigration law and is grounds for deportation."

The riots were so bad at Texas on Wednesday that the President of the University of Texas called the State Troopers and asked for assistance. Massed state troopers wearing body armor and some mounted on horseback cleared out the violent demonstrators on Wednesday. On Thursday the protestors, this time mostly peaceful, were back on campus. There is also a contingent of pro-Israel counter-protestors with Israeli flags standing face to face to the antisemitic mob there.

94 people were arrested at the University of Southern California and the campus was closed on Thursday. The University has asked the police department to clear the area of protestors. The graduation ceremony was canceled.

At Columbia, protestors have set up a tent city and have seized control over a large portion of the campus. Most of these protestors are not students and are actually invaders from outside of the campus, bulking up and in some cases radicalizing the student protests that were already there. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) has urged that the national guard be called in at Columbia due to the lawlessness. The President of Columbia has given the protestors until Friday to clear out their tents.

Ohio State has been rocked by protests. Police arrested over a dozen people after more than six hours of protests.

At UCLA protestors have set up an encampment and announced they are not leaving until their demands are met.

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Jerry Moran (R-Kans.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), John Thune (R-South Dakota), and Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) also cosigned the letter.

President Biden asked for Congress to pass aid for Israel months ago but tied it to aid for Ukraine which is increasingly politically unpopular. Congress had waited to act. Finally, Iran launched a massive strike against Israel on Saturday, April 13. The hundreds of drones, missiles, and cruise missiles were largely shot down by Israeli and American forces, but the attack drew down on Israel's stockpiles meaning the need for the aid became much more urgent. That combined with the deteriorating condition of Ukraine's beleaguered armed forces across the front with Russia forced Congress to act. The bipartisan foreign aid package included nine billion dollars in humanitarian aid for Gaza; but that did little to quell the anti-Israel mood among many on the far left on college campuses.

Senator Britt has been an outspoken and strong supporter of the Jewish community and Israel, traveling with a bipartisan group of her Senate colleagues to meet with leaders across the region and emphasize the United States' unequivocal support for Israel immediately following the unprovoked October 7 attacks.

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