Senate Resolution Condemns Explosion of Anti-Semitism on Campus

University encampments 'have been a hotbed of blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric and action,' Sen. Tim Scott says

Anti-Israel protesters at Northwestern (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
May 2, 2024

A coalition of nearly 20 Republican senators on Thursday introduced a measure blaming university leadership across the country for an explosion of anti-Semitic violence on campus that has endangered Jewish students and put the nation on edge.

The resolution, led by Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.), signals mounting congressional concern over a deluge of anti-Israel campus protests that the lawmakers say "have been a hotbed of blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric and action," according to a copy of the measure obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The 19 senators blame university leadership for these increasingly violent protests and call on the Education Department to investigate any school that fails to protect its Jewish population. Many of the schools experiencing unrest receive millions of dollars in federal grants, with the lawmakers laying the groundwork to slash these funds if universities fail to stem the growing wave of violence.

"Anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head at college campuses across our nation," Scott told the Free Beacon in a statement. "Jewish students are being targeted with violence and harassment, and the university presidents and administrators, who should be defending them, are caving to the radical mob and allowing chaos to spread."

"Every Jewish student has the right to attend class, study, and walk campus safely," the senator said. "The ‘adults’ who refuse to uphold that right must be held accountable."

The resolution—which could also draw support from moderate Democrats who have raised concerns about the devolving situation on America’s campuses—blames "administrators of institutions of higher education who have enabled ongoing anti-Semitism on their campuses."

This includes Columbia University, Harvard University, Princeton University, New York University, and Stanford University, among others, where pro-Hamas protests have become particularly problematic during the past week.

The resolution comes just a day after the House approved legislation that defines anti-Semitism as set forth by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and provides a framework for the federal government to enforce anti-discrimination laws.

Hillel International, an organization that supports Jewish life on campus, has documented a 700 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents during the past year.

Scott’s measure notes that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act "requires that institutions of higher education receiving Federal financial assistance ensure that students are not subject to discrimination based on race, color, or national origin." Protests targeting Jewish and Israeli students on campus would violate that law.

The measure also classifies a series of campus encampments that have sprouted across the country as repositories for pro-Hamas sentiment.

"Many protesters participating in these encampments have expressed explicit support for Hamas terrorism and urged Hamas to commit further violence against Israel," the resolution states. "Some protestors in these encampments have directly confronted Jewish students on or near campus and used anti-Semitic rhetoric."

School administrators, the resolution adds, "have allowed these encampments to continue on their campuses and enabled these activities."