Should US Taxpayers Be Forced To Fund Universities That Allow Pro-Hamas Protesters Who Call For The Genocide of Jews On Their Campuses?

Surging anti-Semitism at elite private universities has captured the media spotlight and Congressional attention, but escalating anti-Israel protests at our nation’s premiere public universities should be of even greater concern because they are taxpayer and government-supported.

Should Jewish children be afraid to walk freely on a college campus in America in 2024 over fears of being targeted by large groups of individuals calling for the genocide of Jews?

Imagine how it must feel to be a young Jewish student who is forced to walk through these protesters, many of them fellow students whom they sit next to in class, who are either fueled by their hatred for Jews or have no idea what they’re protesting, as they openly call for the elimination of the Jewish state of Israel.

Philip Klein of the National Review explains what it means when protesters are shouting the phrase “Free Palestine from the river to the sea” or “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” may seem innocuous to those unfamiliar with the geography of the region, but in reality, it represents calls for genocide against Jews.

Those of us who follow these issues closely have recoiled whenever we hear the phrase chanted at rallies around the world, or, as was the case last night, projected in massive letters on the library of my alma mater, George Washington University. We may take it for granted that everybody else understands why these words are so alarming. But it strikes me that, to the unacquainted, saying, “Free Palestine from the river to the sea” may seem like an innocent call for people to be free. How could that be objectionable?

Well, the issue is that “from the river to the sea” refers to the entire area in between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea — an area that encompasses not just territories captured by Israel in 1967 during the Six-Day War, but the entirety of Israel. Referring to that entire area as “Palestine” is not a call to end the occupation, to create a two-state solution, or even to return Israel to the borders that existed before 1967. It is a call for the elimination of Israel in its entirety. Israel is home to nearly half of the world’s Jewish population. The only way you can eliminate Israel and turn that whole area into Palestine is by killing millions of Jews.

There is simply no way of getting around the fact that anybody who utters the phrase “Free Palestine from the river to the sea” is advocating genocide.

Screenshot

Today, House Republicans stood up to colleges allowing radical anti-semitic protesters on campuses and put American universities and colleges on notice that they will lose their taxpayer funding if officials at these so-called institutions of higher learning don’t put an end to these hateful and, at times, violent protests.

A rabbi at Harvard University explains that the university asked them to hide their menorah at night so it wouldn’t be destroyed on the campus “and it wouldn’t look good.” The rabbi also talks about a Jewish student who admits he looks in the mirror before he heads off to class to make sure there are no outward signs of him being a Jew before he leaves his room.

Would Democrat Party leaders like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortz and Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who have expressed their support for the pro-Palestine/Hamas protests, offer the same support for white supremacists calling for the extermination of blacks on campuses across America?

Screenshot

The Forward, a Jewish publication, ranked the top 18 colleges and universities that scored the best for “The Best Jewish Life” in America.

Let’s examine how great life is for Jewish students at the top 18 colleges and universities in America for “The Best Jewish Life” in the final months of their 2024 academic year:

1) University of Maryland, College Park — 34/34

Pro-Palestinian/Hamas protesters at the Univ. of Maryland are camping out in College Park “for Gaza.” As part of their list of “demands” of the university, the protesters claim the university must denounce the “genocide” in Gaza but don’t ask the university to denounce the violent terror attacks on innocent Israelis by Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023, or the recent rocket and drone attacks by Iran against Israel. The protester’s list of so-called “demands” of the university also includes protecting “Black and brown” students as well as the ridiculous demand to have police removed from campus.

The regurgitation of the demands that Barack Obama encouraged during his reign as America’s first anti-American President should come as no surprise, given that recent reports have revealed that Democrat mega-funder George Soros is behind the funding of these campus protests.

2) New York University — 33/34

Protesters on the New York University campus are seen chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will soon be free!” The genocidal chant, for anyone who doesn’t know, is calling for the elimination of the Jewish state, as it references the land between the Jordan River, on the border of eastern Israel, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. It was first used in the 1960s by Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad, the father of the country’s current dictator, who said: “We shall only accept war and the restoration of the usurped land … to oust you, aggressors, and throw you into the sea for good.”

Hamas is a radical Islamist movement which aspires to impose Islamic law. Hamas is the Arabic acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement” and was founded in 1987, during the early days of the Palestinian Intifada against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The fundamentalist Islamic group won the 2006 elections by an absolute majority and expelled Fatah, the organization that formed the founding core of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). And since 2007 — two years after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza — it has been the de facto ruler of the Gaza Strip.

The 2017 constitution of Hamas, the Iran-funded, unofficial government of the unofficial state of Palestine, states: “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.”

T-3) Brandeis University — 32/34

Seven people were arrested on the Brandies University campus. One of the protesters, who calls Brandeis University a “social justice institution,” assaulted a police officer during a pro-Palestinian protest.

T-3) University of California, Los Angeles — 32/34

Reminiscent of the Black Lives Matter protests, responsible for the burning and looting of cities and towns across America, that began while the far-left agitator-in-chief, Barack Obama, was President, pro-Palestine protesters can be seen shouting in the faces of law enforcement on the campus at the University of CA on April 24.

T-3) University of Pennsylvania — 32/34

Only four days ago, protesters chanted, “The more they try to silence us, the louder we will be!” as they filled the campus with Palestinian flags.

6) Washington University in St. Louis — 30.17/34

Police on the campus of “Wash U,” which has a large Jewish population, have been clearing the anti-Israel encampments and arresting those who assault law enforcement officers or resist removal from the campus grounds.

Two days ago, a third wave of arrests took place on the campus where pro-Palestine protesters set up encampments.

T-7) Boston University — 29/34

This video, which was posted on Twitter yesterday, shows a black woman who is allegedly on the campus of Boston University wearing a Keffiyah (Palestinian scarf) and shouting, “Biggest threat in the world today?” as protesters respond, “Israel and the USA!”

T-7) Emory University — 29/34

The chair of the Philosophy Department at Emory University is seen in zip tie handcuffs as she is being arrested, allegedly for her role in protesting with the pro-Palestinians on campus.

This is what the large protests looked like on the Emory campus only 4 days ago:

9) Barnard College — 28.75/34

Unlike many cowardly colleges and universities across the United States, Barnard has put the students on notice that there will be no pro-Palestine protests on campus or inside campus buildings.

Less than two weeks ago, the daughter of Democrat “Squad” member and anti-Semitic US Rep. Ilhan Omar was suspended from Barnard College over her alleged role in the pro-Palestine/Hamas protests on campus.

10) Northwestern University — 28.67/34

It was just announced that Northwestern University had cut a deal with the anti-Semitic protesters to end their encampment on the campus. The university will allow the anti-Semites to continue with their protests through June 1st.

Here’s a look at the Northwestern University encampment, which is reported to include approximately 600 students. The sign in front of the encampment reads: “From the river to the sea—Palestine will be free!”

T-11) Cornell University — 28.50/34

On March 23, 24 Cornell students were arrested for a pro-Palestinian “sit-in.”

On November 1, Patrick Dai, a Chinese-American student at Cornell University, was federally charged for allegedly making online threats to kill people at a building used by Jewish people. One of his posts mentioned Palestine “will be free” and “by any means necessary.”

T-11) Tufts University — 28.50/34

At Tufts University, signs at a pro-Palestinian protest include at least one sign that blames Jews for the death of George Floyd and others who were the focus of violent BLM protests across America.

Sunita Viswanath, a Hindu parent of a prospective Tufts student, gushes about the anti-Israel encampments he found on the campus. He wrote, “Met the brave students at the Tufts #LiberationZone demanding university divestment from Israel.”

In his profile, the prospective parent proudly boasts about an award he allegedly received tied to Barack Obama: the “Faith Leaders to Watch; 2021; Obama White House Champion of Change” award from America Progress.

Screenshot

T-11) University of Michigan — 28.50/34

Recently, these flyers were reportedly being spread around the U of M campus:

The first flyer talks about the struggle for the liberation of Palestine and warns, “The Third Intifada is beginning,” and warns there is no more time for arguing with zionists or appealing to their liberal-fascist associates.”

The second flyer, which talks about revolutionaries in the United States, boldly proclaims: Freedom for Palestine means Death to America

This video was taken on the U of M campus two days ago. Pro-Hamas protesters shout, “We are all Palestinians! We are thousands, we are millions!” The students at U of M will be graduating this weekend.

On March 26, The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) wrote a strongly worded letter to the University of Michigan President Santa Ono, where they expressed their “deep concern in response to two troubling incidents reported to
ADL.” The left-leaning group, who gave over $14K to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, wrote, “These episodes are just the latest in a string of unanswered incidents of antisemitism on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus, with Jewish students and faculty feeling harassed, threatened and fearful for their safety and wellbeing.”

ADL blasted the University of Michigan over reports of how students and their guests were prevented from celebrating their successful academic achievements of the Honors Convocation at Hill Auditorium by Anti-Israel protestors, calling the actions of the protestors “appalling” and accusing U of M of sitting back and allowing the open hostility toward the Jewish students to happen. “It is astonishing that hundreds of students and their parents were prevented from being honored and celebrated because of disturbances caused by anti-Israel hatred.” They continued, “We are trying to understand why the University appears to have allowed the demonstrators to shut down the event rather than having security remove those disrupting the event from the premises.”

The ADL asked U of M why one of their students, Salma Hamamy, who was recently given the Martin Luther King Jr. award, has not been arrested or charged for writing, “Until my last breath I will utter death to every single individual who
supports the Zionist state. Death and more. Death and worse!” on her Instagram account.

“Clearly, your Administration understands the severity of these threats as according to the email the Vice Provost for University Life sent on the evening of March 24, the University “increased security patrols on and around campus” in response to this threat. Yet it appears that no further action has been taken, and Ms. Hamamy is still part of the campus community. We assure you that calling for the death of Jews does not “depend on the context.” In their letter to the president, the ADL asked if Hamany’s “vile and inciting hate speech” has been referred “to the FBI for criminal investigation.

The ADL assured President Ono that the “two incidents are not outliers” and that students at U of M have “in some instances led by SAFE UMich – stormed the administration building, run for student government on platforms of intense anti-Zionism, and disrupted classes by marching through the Ross Business School multiple times. And those are just a few examples of very public behavior. We have not even discussed the personal attacks aimed
at Jewish students themselves.

The lax response by the university is in stark contrast to the proclamation of its credo, published on its website, to “build a safe and respectful community.”  Students, parents, alumni, taxpayers, and concerned citizens have complained that their communications to the university have fallen on deaf ears.

14) University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign — 28.42/34

Four days ago, the annual marathon on the campus of the Univ of IL at Urbana-Champaign was canceled due to pro-Palestine protests.

15) Columbia University — 28.08/34

Late last night, Pro-Palestine protesters busted windows with a hammer and seized Hamilton Hall at Columbia University, and barricaded themselves inside.

The move came just hours after the school began suspending students over the protests.

The protesters draped a banner after taking over the building that read “Intifada,” which means uprising.

Columbia officials now advise members to avoid the main campus because of the protest.

According to CNN, about 200 people barricaded the doors, and about a dozen people are inside the building.

The House GOP Oversight Committee promised to investigate the funding for these radical protests “threatening violence against Jews.” House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-FL) called the failure of Columbia University to address these radical protests “appalling” and called out the same “global elites” and groups who fund these hate-filled protests, promising they will investigate who is funding the “pro-Hamas mobs” and hold them accountable.

16) Rutgers University — 28/34

Rutgers’ program coordinator for The Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities, Silismar Suriel, was removed from running the Center for Latino Arts and Culture’s Instagram page after posting Pro-Palestinian Content.

At a protest, she states, “Under the guise of unprofessionalism, I’ve been reprimanded. Now they’re keeping records so they can fucking get rid of me.”

These pro-Palestine/Hamas protests have morphed into protests for a variety of leftist initiatives, like protections and full rights for illegal aliens, Black Lives Matter activism, and climate change action. This angry former Rutgers administrator is a perfect example.

Watch these two Jewish students who are forced to endure radical pro-Palestinian/Hamas thugs who broke into a classroom and chant, “From the river to the sea,” and “Intifada, revolution!”

17) American University — 27.92/34

18) Yeshiva University — 27.50/34

Call us crazy, but the majority of these 18 universities recommended for Jewish students, don’t seem to be doing too much to protect or defend the Jewish students on these campuses.

The University of Michigan heralded as the Ivy of the Midwest, is among the largest and most prestigious public universities to have effectively ceded control of its campus to an increasingly menacing mob.  Demonstrators there, as at Columbia, NYU and other colleges, have set up a tent encampment on the Diag, the central intersection of the Ann Arbor campus.

A “surveillance network” that exposes antisemitism on social media shared images of propaganda that are reportedly being shared on the campus of the Univerisity of Michigan:

Only last month, following a blanket death threat to Israel-supporting students on campus and the defacement of the local Hillel chapter with swastikas, protestors disrupted and shut down the spring Honors convocation ceremony.  Now facing rising tensions on campus and trying to head off the cancellation of the May 4 commencement in its iconic Big House stadium, UM just released its commencement policy:

“The University of Michigan does not attempt to prevent peaceful protests or other speech protected under the First Amendment. Many ceremonies will have a designated area for protests outside the venue.
Our goal is to limit substantial disruption, ensure safety, and support a successful and celebratory event worthy of the achievements of our extraordinary graduates.”

After an initial wave of disruptive demonstrations and subsequent abrupt termination of the honors convocation, the UM administration disclosed that it was considering a “disruptive activity” policy that provided for the suspension and expulsion of students, which was found to violate the policy. UM’s leadership has yet to move forward with implementing any visible, substantive changes.

“We all must understand that, while protest is valued and protected, disruptions are not,” UM President Santo Ono wrote in a letter to the community following the shutdown of the honors convocation. “One group’s right to protest does not supersede the right of others to participate in a joyous event.”

“It was painful for everyone who had gathered, and especially so for members of our Jewish community,” Ono added.
There is no doubt a growing climate of fear for Jewish students on campus.  Many news accounts have detailed the intimidation, harassment, and violent rhetoric spiraling out of control at UM.  Just this year alone, two federal complaints have been filed against UM for violating the civil rights of Jewish students under Title VI protections. The Anti-Defamation League gave the university a failing grade for its unwillingness to enforce policy safeguarding the security and well-being of Jewish students on campus and in the classroom.

No Arrests For Hateful Hamamy…

Salma Hamamy, a senior and president of SAFE (Students Allied for Freedom & Equality, an offshoot of SJP – Students for Justice in Palestine) posted on her Instagram (which has since been deleted), “Until my last breath, I will utter death to every single individual who supports the Zionist State, Death and more. Death and worse.”

Hamamy appears to have deleted her post, but a post showing her leading students in a chant demanding the University of Michigan divest from Israel can be seen here, as the students shout at President Santa Ono:

Screenshot

According to a top official at U of M, Salma Hamamy has not been investigated for hate crimes by the FBI. The university has not revoked the radical student’s Martin Luther King award, and she is still enrolled as a student at U of M. To date, Ms. Hamamy has not been arrested for hate speech. 

“Ono, Ono, you can’t hide! You are funding genocide!” the protesters chant as they fill the hallways of a University of Michigan building.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Salma Hamamy (@salmahmy_)

The University of Michigan is among the top five public universities with the largest Jewish enrollments, with an estimated 6,500 Jewish students, or nearly 15 percent of its total undergrad and graduate population. Those students come not just from Michigan but from all over the country, seeking the reputed educational and career cache of this top-tier university.

Several of its buildings, its world-class medical center, cardiovascular center, and academic departments are emblazoned with the names of Jewish alum and donors from suburban Detroit and elsewhere across the nation.

Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Regarded as the country’s foremost public research institution, the university is also among the leading recipients of federal grant monies.  According to a 2022 recap, the University reports it was ranked No.1 in research volume among US public universities for 11 consecutive years. The total value of UM research expenditures exceeded $1.86 billion in Fiscal Year 2023, with more than $1 billion or 56% of its total research volume coming from the federal government, its single largest sponsor of this activity.

The university’s operations as a public state university are also bankrolled to the tune of $357 million by Michigan taxpayers.

Boasting the country’s second-largest alumni network amongst all public and private universities, UM’s endowment was valued at $17.9 billion as of June 30, 2023, ranking it third among all public universities.

The university’s largest single donor is New York real estate magnate Stephen Ross, founder and chair of Related Companies.  A graduate of the U of M’s undergraduate business school, which now bears his name, the billionaire has given, in aggregate, close to half a billion dollars.  Unlike his heavy-hitting counterparts at other colleges and universities engulfed in anti-Semitic furor, Ross has yet to publicly speak out and demand the university take decisive action to check the spiraling Jew-hatred on campus.

Billionaire U of M donor Stephen Ross

Just days ago, Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and a graduate of Columbia, announced that he is withholding his giving to Columbia until the climate there is safe for Jewish students.

Former Columbia Univestity donor and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

 Kraft pulled support for his alma mater because of the antisemitic violence and protests on campus, wrote in the newspaper that the focus of the demonstrations should shed light on what professors have taught those students.

“Today, the attention and visuals surrounding the hateful protests taking place on Columbia’s campus have been focused on the students, but the students have been taught and empowered by faculty more focused on politics than they are on education,” Kraft wrote.

“These are not the professors I had who exemplified the fundamental principles underpinning the mission of higher education in the United States.”

He added, “I do not recognize my alma mater.”

Kraft wrote to his astonishment over the signs on campus which read, “Go Back to Poland,” and chants of “Kill all the Jews” and “October 7th 10,000 more times.”

“The Columbia I loved is no longer a place I know,” he added in the New York Post.

Similarly, hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman withdrew his support from his alma mater, Harvard University, in the wake of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic protests on campus.

Former Harvard donor Bill Ackman

Former US Ambassador Jon Huntsman, a Mormon and a long-time University of Pennsylvania donor and former trustee, said his foundation would “close its checkbook” to UPenn in response to UPenn’s “moral relativism” and “silence” in the face of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

Former UPenn donor Jon Huntsman Jr. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Ross’s silence is even more notable because his giving far eclipses the donations of his peers and because he has been involved in Jewish philanthropy.  Ross is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins and is the nephew of the late Max Fischer, a Detroit industrialist and icon in the Michigan Jewish community.

Recently, protestors entered the eponymously named Ross School of Business, disrupting classes and making it impossible for students to concentrate on their lectures. No action has been taken against the disrupters to date, even though one professor had to cancel class.

The University of Michigan is governed by its Board of Regents, 3 of whom are Jewish – Ron Weiser, Jordan Acker, and Mark Bernstein.   None of them has been vociferously outspoken against the violent rhetoric and militant anti-Semitism on campus and in the classroom.

Screenshot

In March, the CSG (Central Student Government) elected “Shut It Down” on a BDS platform to a majority position. Shut It Down professes to “take decisive action to disrupt the status quo.” They also profess that “we will halt CSG activity and funding disbursal until the University of Michigan divests (from Israel). We will Shut It Down!”

Watch the video of small children joining in the hateful protest against Israel on the University of Michigan campus. A young girl can be seen chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” into a megaphone.

Given UM’s status as the nation’s top-government-funded public research institution and its tolerance of an alarmingly hostile and hate-inciting environment on campus, the actions, or lack thereof, of its administration warrant Congressional scrutiny. Congress needs to haul in the university’s leadership team and hold their feet to the fires of anti-semitism they are fanning by failing to reassert authority over the campus.

The U of M Hillel Rabbi David Rosen has written a letter to the Jewish U of M students after he went to administration and asked for a large “Infitata” banner calling for violence against Jews that is hanging from one of the buildings on campus. U of M officials refused to remove it.

From the U of M Hillel rabbi:

Dear Jewish Wolverines,

I hope that everyone has had an inspirational start to Passover. On campus, Hillel supported more than 1,000 students participating in seders – some at our building and ones students hosted in their apartments. As we come out of the first days of Passover, I wanted to send you an update about where things are on campus.

Like on many campuses, there’s an encampment of about 20 tents on the Diag. Blocking one of the entrances to the Diag is a giant banner that reads “LONG LIVE THE INTIFADA”.

As you may know, the Intifada was a violent uprising that included terrorists bombing buses, pizza parlors, and Passover Seders. Before Passover began, I told the University that a sign calling for violence against Jews has no place on campus and must be removed immediately. The banner remains. And it’s more than this sign: students have consistently been sharing with us their concern about language used on signs and in chants that call for violence against Jews. This is not about free speech. This is intimidation and harassment.

I would hope that such hate would not be tolerated anywhere, especially at the University of Michigan — a place of learning and free inquiry open to all and funded by taxpayers from across the state. Make no mistake: this is dangerous language calling for violence. As we discussed at our Seder tables earlier this week, the Jewish people have endured so much more over the millennia. But when we sense a canary in the coal mine, we know that we must act. Messages of hate must not be tolerated. The University must intervene, enforce its own policies, and take down signs that call for violence.

Finals have begun. Finals are stressful enough in a typical year, and this has been far from a typical year. If you are a parent, friend, or loved one of a Jewish student at Michigan, call them, check in, ask how they are doing, listen, and let them know that they are loved. Let them know that Hillel is here for them. Our building remains open for those looking for a safe and quiet place to study, schmooze, eat Kosher for Passover snacks, and get support. And tomorrow, we will be hosting our final Shabbat of the semester, yet another time for the community to come together, proud to be Jewish.

There is a long, proud history of Jewish students at the University of Michigan. For nearly 100 years Michigan Hillel has been here to cultivate and support a thriving Jewish community. We are determined that Michigan must remain a great place to be a Jewish student.

Go blue.

This piece was co-written by me and two of my very dear Jewish friends, Linda Brenners and Sue Kahn. A special thank you to both of them, who have been friends of mine for over a decade and, most of all, friends of Israel forever.

 

Thanks for sharing!