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Tags: mike johnson | columbia | jewish students | antisemitism

Speaker Johnson Backs Jewish Students During Columbia Visit

By    |   Wednesday, 24 April 2024 06:38 PM EDT

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., came to the defense of Jewish students at Columbia University during a visit Wednesday to the private Ivy League school's New York campus.

Columbia has been roiled by pro-Palestinian encampments on campus grounds amid Israel's war against Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip, and there have been reports of antisemitic incidents at Columbia and other college campuses across the U.S.

"In this building behind us, Columbia University once awarded Winston Churchill an honorary degree, and it was Churchill who said it is manifestly right that Jews should have a national home where they may be reunited," Johnson said outside Columbia's Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, where he was booed and heckled throughout his speech. "We believe in that principal, and today, I'm here to proclaim, for 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 stand alone."

Johnson said he intends to call President Joe Biden "after we leave and share with him what we have seen and demand he take action."

"There's executive authority that would be appropriate," Johnson said. "If this is not contained quickly and if these threats and intimidation are not stopped, there is an appropriate time for the National Guard. We have to bring order to these campuses. We cannot allow this to happen. We are better than this. I will ask the president to do that and will tell him the same thing."

Johnson, who reiterated his call made earlier in the day for Columbia President Minouche Shafik to resign if she can't control the situation, said Hamas has endorsed the campus protesters.

"They called them the future leaders of America," Johnson said. "It is detestable. … A growing number of students have chanted in support of terrorists, chased down Jewish students, mocked and reviled them, shouted racial epithets, screamed at those students bearing the Star of David.

"They have told Jewish students to leave the country and shamefully some professors and faculty have joined the mob."

Johnson was joined by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, and New York GOP Reps. Nicole Malliotakis, Anthony D'Esposito, and Michael Lawler. He said, "The virus of antisemitism has spread across other campuses," adding as many as 200 universities have similar forms of protests."

"The madness has to stop," Johnson said. "We left a meeting with students who told us of the heinous acts of bigotry they have experienced simply because of their faith.

"Their bravery is inspiring, much more inspiring than some of the activities we are seeing here. They should never have to confront such hate on an American college campus, such a revered institution. Antisemitism has been growing in America, and it's clear why. Powerful people have refused to condemn it, and some have peddled it themselves."

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., came to the defense of Jewish students at Columbia University during a visit Wednesday to the private Ivy League school's New York campus.
mike johnson, columbia, jewish students, antisemitism
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Wednesday, 24 April 2024 06:38 PM
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