Johnson Vows To Investigate College Antisemitism

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said this week that he planned to bring pro-Palestinian student protesters and faculty to Congress for hearings about the growth of anti-Semitism on campus. The effort came as several student encampments have been broken up on the campuses of major universities.

The potential congressional hearings came after earlier testimony from multiple university presidents over alleged antisemitism on campus. This included testimony from former Harvard President Claudine Gay and University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill, who both later resigned.

Johnson visited Columbia and met with college president Minouche Shafik and called for her to resign.

The speaker said during his visit to the college that Shafik had “lost control of this campus.” He also called the president a “very weak, inept leader.” This came after the college moved classes online due to the protests.

“They’re expected to run for their lives and stay home from class? It’s just, it’s maddening,” Johnson said of the campus’ Jewish students.

The speaker said that following his meeting he said that Shafik should not negotiate with the student protesters.

“And that’s not how you handle this. You don’t negotiate with aspiring terrorists,” Johnson said.

The speaker also announced an effort earlier in the week to reduce Hamas’ influence on campus. Republican leaders discussed stopping federal funding for colleges that do not half antisemitism.

The House passed a bill last week codifying an executive order from former President Donald Trump condemning antisemitism.

Johnson said that the college system needs “accountability from top to bottom.”

“The idea that some of these professors would be involved in this is outrageous, and I think they need to be called to account and of course the students as well,” he said.

The protests have already caused the postponement of final exams at Rutgers University, as well as concerns that both the exams and graduation could be delayed.

Student protesters interrupted several commencement ceremonies and waved Palestinian flags.

The student protests and encampment also led to Rutgers disallowing a pro-Israel barbecue and forcing them to have to move the event elsewhere.