House passes resolution disavowing antisemitism, support for Hamas on campuses

House lawmakers approved a resolution condemning the support of terrorist organizations and antisemitism on college campuses on a 396-23 bipartisan vote Thursday.

The resolution — H. Res. 798— is Congress’ latest response to the rise in pro-Palestinian student demonstrations on campuses around the Israel-Hamas conflict that started Oct. 7. Senators last week passed a similar resolution, S. Res. 418, by voice vote.

College leaders have struggled with their responses to campus protests and the ongoing war and are grappling with an uptick in reports of antisemitism and Islamophobia. The resolution calls out college leaders for not speaking out in support of Jewish and pro-Israel students. It urges them to condemn all forms of antisemitism on their campuses and ensure Jewish faculty and students can exercise free speech without intimidation.

The House resolution was introduced by Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah), who heads the House Education and the Workforce’s subcommittee on higher education.

“Hateful acts of antisemitism are spreading like wildfire across American college campuses,” Owens said on the House floor during Wednesday’s debate on the resolution.

His resolution denounced several demonstrations held in support of the Oct. 7 attack, including the ‘‘Day of Resistance’’ organized by National Students for Justice in Palestine and “pro-Hamas statements” issued by their chapters. He also said students protesting on campuses were chanting “Glory to our Martyrs,” which he called an “explicit antisemitic call for violent eradication of Jews and the State of Israel.”

“These hate-filled college students have no shame and no fear,” Owens said. “Imagine the accountability they would face if they were chanting murder to the Blacks or murder the trans.”

The resolution lists condemning support for Hamas and Hezbollah on campus, “which may lead to the creation of a hostile environment for Jewish students, faculty and staff.” The State Department has recognized both Hamas and Hezbollah as foreign terrorist organizations. The resolution also calls for the enforcement of federal civil rights laws to protect Jewish students from antisemitism.

Rep. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.), who spoke on the floor Wednesday in support of the resolution, said antisemitism has “no place on college campuses.”

“It is also deeply disturbing to witness student-led demonstrations and rallies excusing and glorifying … foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, groups whose driving ideology is antisemitic,” Manning said. “College and university leaders have a moral responsibility to make clear that they reject hatred, violence and antisemitism; to hold those responsible for these acts accountable; and to prevent a hostile and intimidating environment for Jewish students, faculty and staff.”

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