Photo Credit: Capitalism and Slavery
Pro-Hamas rally on Harvard’s campus, October 14, 2023.

Universities, traditionally regarded as bastions of knowledge, diversity and inclusivity, should be spaces where students feel safe to express themselves without fear of discrimination. Unfortunately for many Jewish students today, attending institutions of higher education looks very different.

On October 25, 2023, a group of Jewish students studying in Cooper Union’s library were locked in by staff as pro-Palestinian protesters aggressively chanted and banged on the library’s windows and doors.


Five days later, Jewish students at Columbia University detailed horrific antisemitic attacks across campus, including being spit on for speaking Hebrew and swastikas drawn on school property. One Jewish student was also beaten with a stick outside the school’s main library after he witnessed a girl tearing down flyers with the names and pictures of Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas.

The next day, a 21-year-old junior at Cornell University was arrested for making a slew of online threats toward Jewish students, including threatening to bring a gun to school to “shoot up” a campus building, “stab” or “slit the throat” of Jewish men, rape or throw Jewish women off a cliff, and behead Jewish babies.

This is just a sad sampling of what Jewish students in the United States have been forced to experience since the October 7 attacks in Israel, and it’s completely unacceptable.

In the three months following the October 7 attacks, antisemitic incidents in the U.S. have increased 360 percent to 3,283, averaging 34 incidents every day. Of these incidents, 505 occurred on college campuses and 246 in K-12 schools. Nearly 75 percent of Jewish college students in the U.S. have experienced or witnessed antisemitism on their campuses since the current school year started, ranging from vandalism to physical violence.

One would think that academic leaders would take proactive measures to combat antisemitic behavior and protect Jewish students, given these alarming numbers, but many have done the opposite. Shortly after the October 7 attacks, a Cornell University professor was caught on camera telling students he found Hamas’s attacks to be “exhilarating” and “energizing.” More than 100 professors at Columbia University also signed onto a letter defending students seeking to “recontextualize” Hamas’s attacks.

In December, Congress was stunned when three prestigious university presidents sat in front of the House Committee on Education and The Workforce and told Rep. Elise Stefanik that calling for the genocide of Jews only constitutes bullying and harassment “depending on the context,” and when “the speech turns to conduct, it can be harassment.” Thankfully, two of the three have been rightfully removed from their positions.

Leaders who fail to enforce strict policies against abhorrent antisemitic rhetoric and to hold antisemitic professors and students accountable are condoning and encouraging this hate to continue.

That’s why I’ve introduced two pieces of legislation to hold the academic community and perpetrators of antisemitism accountable – the ‘Combatting Antisemitic Messaging & Promoting Unity in School (CAMPUS) Act,’ along with the ‘No Visas for Antisemitic Students Act.’

Under my CAMPUS Act, federal funding would be prohibited from going to institutions of higher education that provide funding, tuition assistance, support or a platform to an organization that engages in antisemitic behavior or fails to hold a faculty member who promotes antisemitism accountable, after being given a period to promptly investigate and appropriately address reported incidents.

Additionally, my second piece of legislation would revoke student visas of foreign students who engage in antisemitic activities or behavior. Our country, which affords its citizens the freedom of speech, has the highest-ranked education system in the world. Foreign students who wish to further their education here must understand the fine line between protected speech and threatening hate speech that can have deadly consequences for their peers and beyond.

Our universities should be safe places for ideological debate, fostering academic thought and promoting diversity – not a laboratory for professors and university leadership to brainwash students into spewing hateful rhetoric against the Jewish people. It’s my hope that schools will wake up to these blatant antisemitic acts and that Congress will take bipartisan action to pass my legislation so we can eradicate antisemitism and create a safer learning environment for all.


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Nicole Malliotakis is a member of the bipartisan House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group, and has voted for, introduced and cosponsored several pieces of legislation to provide critical military assistance to Israel, restore maximum pressure on Iran, crack down on rising antisemitism on college campuses, and secure federal security grants for her district’s Jewish community.