House education committee chair calls for 'expulsion,' firing of student workers, faculty involved antisemitic campus protests

"If you do not rectify this danger, then the Committee will not hesitate in holding you accountable."

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
On Sunday, the chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, wrote a letter to the president of Columbia University calling for the "expulsion and termination of employment" of students and faculty who have violated university rules by participating in the antisemitic demonstrations and occupation of the campus. 

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sent the letter to Columbia’s President Minouche Shafik and the co-chairs of the university's board of trustees. In the letter, Foxx cited 22 separate incidents of antisemitism and wrote, “I am gravely concerned by the ongoing chaos at Columbia University caused by the radical, unlawful Gaza Solidarity Encampment, which has now entered its fifth day. … Multiple Jewish students have already sought shelter off-campus. Columbia’s continued failure to restore order and safety promptly to campus constitutes a major breach of the University’s Title VI obligations, upon which federal financial assistance is contingent, and which must immediately be rectified.”

She added, "If you do not rectify this danger, then the Committee will not hesitate in holding you accountable."

Foxx continued, “The encampment and related activities have resulted in widespread antisemitic harassment and intimidation, assaults, frequent celebration of terrorism, and major disruptions of Columbia’s learning environment. … The Committee is aware of multiple Jewish students seeking shelter off-campus due to their well-founded fears regarding their physical safety and continuing to be subjected to what is clearly a hostile environment.”

“This situation is unacceptable, and it is imperative that Columbia’s leaders restore order and safety without further delay, in line with their commitments before the Committee at its April 17 hearing. … Columbia is failing to deliver on these commitments, as Jewish students are being harassed, assaulted, threatened, and intimidated to the point where they are departing campus for safer environments. The students, faculty, and staff responsible for this mayhem, including members of the groups Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, Columbia University Apartheid Divest, and Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine, repeatedly and flagrantly have violated multiple University rules, and in many cases, federal law. The University must decisively hold them accountable in a manner commensurate with the severity of their offenses, including expulsion and termination of employment.”

Rep Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who is also a member of the committee, called on Shafik to resign in a post on X late Sunday night, "While Columbia’s failed leadership spent hundreds of hours preparing for this week’s Congressional hearing, it clearly was an attempt to cover up for their abject failure to enforce their own campus rules and protect Jewish students on campus. Over the past few months and especially the last 24 hours, Columbia’s leadership has clearly lost control of its campus putting Jewish students’ safety at risk. It is crystal clear that Columbia University - previously a beacon of academic excellence founded by Alexander Hamilton - needs new leadership. President Shafik must immediately resign. And the Columbia Board must appoint a President who will protect Jewish students and enforce school policies.”

Earlier in the day, one of Columbia University campus Rabbi Elie Buechler warned Jewish students to leave and not return to campus until the anti-Israel student-led protests are resolved, citing fears about "extreme antisemitism" being tolerated at the Ivy League institution.

Video footage taken on campus showed Hamas-supporting activists targeting Jewish students. On Friday, protesters marched in the streets near the university, chanting support for Al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas responsible for the Oct. 7 massacre of over 1,200 Israelis.

Additional video showed a masked extremist holding up a sign calling for Hamas to kill a group of Jewish students standing behind her.

After days of unrest, the White House on Sunday finally condemned the "antisemitic" incidents unfolding at Columbia University in a statement.
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