The House to ensure Columbia faces consequences for its campus antisemitism

The world witnessed a horrifying event as Iran unleashed over 300 missiles and drones in a shocking attack on Israel over the weekend.

After years of proxy warfare, the Iranian regime is now directly targeting our key ally.

This comes after the heinous events on Oct. 7 when Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists invaded Israel, committing unspeakable atrocities against innocent civilians, resulting in the deadliest day for the Jewish community since the Holocaust.

The relentless attacks on Israel’s existence have deeply troubled the world.

They have also exposed the widespread antisemitism that exists in our society, with America’s colleges and universities being no exception.

Last December, I brought attention to the prevalent antisemitism at America’s prestigious institutions of higher education during a congressional testimony questioning the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and UPenn. The video became the most-viewed congressional testimony in history.

These presidents’ attempts to downplay my simple question — “Does advocating for the genocide of Jews go against your university’s code of conduct?” — revealed the moral decay and dangerous groupthink present in American academia.

As a result of this hearing, two presidents were removed from their positions, and an investigation into antisemitism at colleges and universities was launched by the House Education and the Workforce Committee under Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC).

Columbia University President Minouche Shafik declined an invitation to the December hearing, citing a scheduling conflict.

Since the horrendous Oct. 7 attacks, instances of antisemitism at Columbia have been frequent.

Shafik and the co-chairs of the Columbia board of trustees will appear before the committee to address their failures in ensuring a safe environment for Jewish students.

Over 150 Columbia faculty members signed a letter justifying Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack as part of resistance against an occupying state, while Columbia’s Students for Justice in Palestine expressed solidarity with Hamas.

Despite the troubling incidents, Columbia University continues to employ a professor who praised the Oct. 7 attack, and events like Resistance 101 led by an individual with alleged ties to a terror group continue.

In February, students from various schools shared their experiences of antisemitism at an Education Committee roundtable, including a Columbia student who highlighted the lack of enforcement against groups targeting Jewish students.

Our investigations have shown the necessity for meaningful change and action at these institutions. Implementing half-hearted measures is insufficient.

Although Columbia suspended Students for Justice in Palestine, it has failed to enforce its rules on demonstrations.

Like many universities, Columbia established a task force but failed to define antisemitism and did not condemn chants of “Death to the Zionist State.”

We are committed to bringing Columbia leadership before Congress to address these incidents and their inadequate responses.

It is the responsibility of universities to ensure the safety of their students.

When they fall short, Congress must conduct thorough oversight of the billions of taxpayer dollars supporting these institutions.

We will continue our efforts until this unchecked antisemitism is eradicated.

Elise Stefanik chairs the House Republican Conference.

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