Rep. Lawler Calls for Accountability for Antisemitic Protesters

New York Republican lawmaker Rep. Mike Lawler stressed the importance of holding participants in the antisemitic protests at Columbia University accountable.

During an interview on NewsNation’s “The Hill,” Lawler said, “You can’t call for the eradication of Jews and expect everything to be fine just because you have free speech.”

The ongoing protests, now in their sixth day, have attracted hundreds of students advocating for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict and an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.

Lawler’s comments come amid escalating tensions at the campus, resulting in student arrests and suspensions.

Columbia University administrators, led by President Minouche Shafik, authorized the NYPD to arrest protesting students, further inflaming tensions.

Lawler, along with 10 House Republicans, called for Shafik’s resignation, claiming that the campus has descended into chaos and urging her immediate removal.

“Threatening people is not acceptable, which is why Columbia’s president must resign immediately,” Lawler added.

The protests have raised concerns for the safety of Jewish students, leading Columbia to shift classes online ahead of Passover.

Although some protesting students deny hateful motives toward Jews, Lawler argues that antisemitism is widespread on college campuses, particularly following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

“The terrorist attack on October 7 had a single root cause. In Gaza, they are indoctrinated to hate and kill Jews,” he explained.

In response to criticism, Shafik expressed “sadness” over the protests, attributing the tensions to external parties exploiting the situation.

“These tensions have been exacerbated by individuals not connected to Columbia who have come to campus to push their own agendas,” she stated in a statement on Monday.

Meanwhile, House leaders have initiated investigations into responses to antisemitism on college campuses, focusing on Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“We are witnessing a rise in antisemitism on campuses across America, particularly at Columbia University,” Lawler remarked. “These institutions have permitted this to occur. If this was a protest against any other group, swift action would have been taken.”

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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