Mike Johnson threatens to withhold federal funds from Columbia U over Gaza Camp while protesters scream 'Free Palestine'

"If these campuses cannot get control of this problem, they do not deserve taxpayer dollars."


House Speaker Mike Johnson visited Columbia University on Wednesday to meet with Jewish leaders amidst ongoing chaos from pro-Palestinian protestors on campus. There, he stated that if universities like Columbia cannot take control of the violence and anti-semitism on their campuses, then they do not "deserve" federal funding.

Addressing the crowd, Johnson stated, "Today I'm here to proclaim to all those who gnash their teeth, and demand to wipe the State of Israel off the map, and attack our innocent Jewish students this simple truth: Neither Israel nor these Jewish students on this campus will ever stand alone.”

“As Speaker of the House, I am committing today that the Congress will not be silent as Jewish students are expected to run for their lives and stay home from their classes hiding in fear," he continued. While Johnson was speaking, chants of "free Palestine" broke out.

"Antisemitism has been growing in America and it's clear why. Powerful people have refused to condemn it, and some have even peddled it themselves,” Johnson added.

In response to hecklers at Columbia University, Johnson quipped, "Enjoy your free speech."

Johnson expressed his intention to call President Biden after the meeting to share their observations and demand action.

“The House has been investigating a number of these campuses,” he said. “There is a nexus to federal funding. If these campuses cannot get control of this problem, they do not deserve taxpayer dollars.”

Johnson's visit to Columbia University comes amid a surge of antisemitism and pro-Palestinian activist violence on campus. The university was recently forced to cancel all in-person classes temporarily and switch to virtual learning as anti-Israel protests continue unabated.

Last week, Pro-Palestine activists created a “Liberated Zone” on campus to protest Israel’s actions in the recent conflict with Hamas. The students said the zone was a "Gaza Solidarity Encampment" and would remain on the university’s main lawn until the university agreed to divest finances from companies that work with Israel.

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