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University antisemitism reaches fever pitch with calls for violence against Jews

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A Jewish Yale student was reportedly stabbed in the eye with a Palestinian flag during a pro-Hamas protest on campus over the weekend, the latest incident highlighting the ongoing tensions on college campuses since the Hamas terror group attacked Israel Oct. 7 and ignited an ongoing war.

Amidst ongoing calls for violence, lawmakers have ramped up calls for accountability for the taxpayer-funded universities as well as groups supporting Hamas, which the State Department has officially labeled a terrorist organization.

“This shouldn’t be complicated,” U.S. Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Britt went on to call for deporting “any non-citizen in the U.S. who supports Hamas” and defunding “any educational institution that authorizes, facilitates, or otherwise supports these pro-terrorist activities.”

The incident came just after Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., blasted Columbia University’s leadership Sunday for allowing pro-Hamas protesters to call for violence against Jewish students on campus.

Videos of the protests went viral online over the weekend, especially for their calls for violence, which are not unique to Columbia, as The Center Square previously reported.

The protest has grown into an occupation of the area lasting several days. Chants at the protests, according to videos of the incident, include:

“We say justice, you say how? Burn Tel Aviv to the ground!””Hamas we love you. We support your rockets too!””Red, black, green, and white, we support Hamas’ fight!””It is right to rebel, let Hamas give them hell!”

Foxx sent a letter to Columbia President Minouche Shafik and members of the board of trustees raising concern about the campus, the latest in a string of similar cases around the U.S. where pro-Hamas protests are held.

“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,” the letter said. “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. If you do not rectify this danger, then the Committee will not hesitate in holding you accountable.”

The letter comes as Jewish students on college campuses grapple with the reality of calls for violence against their own people as the war between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas continues.

Foxx went on to call for expelling students and firing faculty as needed to address the problem.

She pointed out that Columbia’s president testified before Congress last week promising to deal with these kinds of incidents.

“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 letter said. “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.”

As The Center Square previously reported, The Department of Education has opened dozens of investigations into “shared ancestry” violations at schools and universities around the nation just this year.

The Anti-Defamation League released a poll last fall after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack which showed that 70% of Jewish students say they had witnessed or experienced antisemitism already that school year.

While Republicans have led the charge decrying antisemitism, Democrats have been mixed on the issue, though many have also spoken against antisemitism.

“The recent increase in antisemitism is appalling and wrong,” U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wrote on X. “Violence and hate have no place in Massachusetts and the United States. We must stand united against hate and condemn antisemitism.”