Voz media US Voz.us

Amid tensions over antisemitism on campus, Mike Johnson to visit Columbia University to meet with Jewish students

The speaker of the House of Representatives is expected to give a press conference after the meeting.

Mike Johnson

Wikimedia Commons

Published by

House Speaker Mike Johnson confirmed he will visit Columbia University amid tensions over antisemitism on campus. The Republican will speak with Jewish students to hear their first-hand experiences after the demonstration that led to more than one hundred arrests.

According to the House Speaker’s office, he will use the visit to address the “troubling rise of virulent antisemitism on America’s college campuses.” He is also expected to hold a press conference after the talk with students.

Johnson will be the fifth member of the House of Representatives to visit Columbia, following a delegation of Jewish members of Congress made up of Dan Goldman, Kathy Manning, Jared Moskowitz and Josh Gottheimer, who later spoke to the press.

“We are all standing here today as Jewish members of Congress to make one thing clear, Jewish students are welcome here at Columbia. And while the leadership of Columbia may be failing you, we will not,” Gottheimer said after the visit.

“We will do everything in our power to keep you safe and do everything in Washington we can to make sure that you feel welcome at this university or any university across the United States of America. And Columbia University, if they don’t follow through, will pay the price,” he added.

Following Hamas’ attacks on Israel on October 7, 2023, Gottheimer was one of the Democrats most critical of The ‘Squad’s’ “antisemitic” rhetoric, which he called “disgusting.”

The antisemitic protest at Columbia

On the morning of Wednesday, April 17, dozens of anti-Israel activists protested on the university campus, creating a camp on the main lawn to demonstrate against the war between Israel and Hamas. The event continued late into the night, with calls for an intifada and even the death of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

New York Police officers finally arrested some protesters on Thursday morning, which led to a statement from the university to clarify the situation of its students, among whom is Ilhan Omar’s daughter.

“This morning, April 18, we began placing identified Barnard students remaining at camp on interim suspension, and we will continue to do so. Before noon on April 17, Columbia made multiple requests for students participating in the unauthorized camp to leave the lawn. Several members of Barnard’s senior staff also went to the lawn to ask Barnard students participating in the camp to leave and to warn Barnard students that they would be subject to sanctions at Barnard if they did not leave the camp,” the statement said.

Josh Hawley asked Biden to deploy the National Guard to Columbia

The Republican senator wrote a letter to the president asking him to send the National Guard to protect Jewish students at Columbia.

“I urge you to similarly mobilize the National Guard and other necessary authorities to protect American Jewish students on the campus of Columbia University and on any other campus where Jewish students are in danger. ‘Never again’ means never again,” Hawley said.