Johnson Threatens To Withhold Federal Funds From Columbia University

During a visit to Columbia University on Wednesday, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) threatened to withhold federal funding from the Ivy League university if college officials cannot regain control over the radical anti-Israel protests that have devolved into violence and antisemitism.

Soon after the horrific events of Oct. 7, 2023 — where Hamas terrorists invaded Israel, massacring more than 1,000 innocent Israelis and tourists, brutally assaulted women, injured thousands and kidnapped hundreds — anti-Israel and pro-Palestine demonstrations broke out at colleges across the United States. Many of the radical activists openly expressed support for Hamas after the horrific terrorist attack, while others simply expressed support for the Palestinian people and opposition to the retaliation of the Israeli government.

Students at Columbia University took the Hamas support to another level this week, as they were heard chanting for Hamas’ military wing “al-Qassam” to burn Israel to the ground and declaring their support for the terrorist group’s rockets killing Jews.

“Al-Qassam, you make us proud, take another soldier out,” the students chanted. “We say justice, you say how? Burn Tel Aviv to the ground.”

Hamas, we love you. We support your rockets too,” the chant continued.

One Columbia University student even held up a sign advocating for al-Qassam to kill a group of Jewish students who were counter-protesting at the university.

Johnson, like many other conservatives, specifically called out the antisemitic rhetoric and support for violence — not the support for the Palestinian people or the opposition to the Israeli government.

The House Speaker’s comments came while speaking outside of the “Liberated Zone” where pro-Palestine activists had seized land for a “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” — protesting against Israel and demanding that Columbia University divest any financial ties to the Jewish nation.

After meeting with Jewish leaders on campus, Johnson told a crowd at the university: “Today I’m here to proclaim to 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 ever stand alone.”

“As Speaker of the House, I am committing today that the Congress will not be silent as Jewish students are expected to run for their lives and stay home from their classes hiding in fear,” he added, as chants of “Free Palestine” broke out among the crowd.

“Antisemitism has been growing in America and it’s clear why. Powerful people have refused to condemn it, and some have even peddled it themselves,” Johnson continued.

As hecklers continued to try to disrupt his speech, Johnson responded: “Enjoy your free speech.”

The House Speaker also noted that he intends to call President Joe Biden after he left the university to demand action be taken against schools that allow anti-Israel activists to intimidate and threaten Jewish students and faculty.

“The House has been investigating a number of these campuses,” he said. “There is a nexus to federal funding. If these campuses cannot get control of this problem, they do not deserve taxpayer dollars.”

As these radical demonstrations continue to flourish at universities across the country, it is essential that conservatives maintain their convictions about free speech — while also advocating for action to be taken to stop the calls for violence and consequences for individuals who express legitimate support for, or belonging to, a terrorist group.

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