April 17, 2024

By Ross O’Keefe


House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) will resume her assault on antisemitism present on college campuses during a hearing on Wednesday. This comes after she relentlessly blasted Ivy League presidents for their treatment of antisemitism in a December hearing that resulted in the resignations of two of the administrators.

Columbia University President Minouche Shafik will be examined by the Education and the Workforce Committee. She cited a scheduling conflict as the reason for her absence from the previous hearing and will now face lawmakers with other members of the school’s board of trustees and a law professor.

“Today, House Republicans led by Chairwoman Foxx will continue our investigation of the heinous scourge of antisemitism running rampant on America’s college campuses,” Stefanik said in a pre-hearing press conference.

“A few months ago, when the university presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT testified, they made history for their morally bankrupt answers as the most viewed testimony in the history of the United States Congress,” she added.

That history put Stefanik in the national spotlight and gained her favor among Republicans as a possible vice presidential pick for former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election.

“Columbia claims to work in God’s light,” Stefanik said, quoting the school’s motto.

“Sadly, for all the Jewish students on their campus, this could not be further from the truth,” she added.

One Columbia student who spoke at the conference said her friend had been held against a wall by demonstrators because he was wearing an item that identified him as Jewish. She said her friend sought help, but public safety officers at Columbia told him not to wear anything identifying him as Jewish.

“Columbia’s leadership refuses to enforce their own policies and condemn Jewish hatred on campus,” Stefanik said.

The student also cited professor Joseph Massad’s comments on Hamas attacking Israel as further evidence of antisemitism at Columbia. Massad called the attack “awesome” in an essay supporting Palestinians.

Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), who is Jewish, told Politico that she expects Wednesday’s hearing to be “very aggressive” but that she would “like to see our committee working together with schools to formulate policies and ways of addressing antisemitism and not just attacking college presidents.”