House To Vote On Antisemitism Bill Amid Campus Protests

While college campuses continue to see intense protests against the Israeli military response in the Gaza Strip, the United States House of Representatives is preparing to vote on an antisemitism bill.

On Monday, April 29, the Rules Committee is expected to consider multiple pieces of legislation, including the 2023 Antisemitism Awareness Act. The vote will come shortly after the latest violent protest against Israel, which took place last week on Columbia University’s campus in New York City.

Tensions have run high in America since the tragic massacre of more than a thousand innocents in Israel on Oct. 7, 2023. In response, the Jewish nation has continuously struck Palestine with counter offenses, killing and displacing thousands more civilians as it carries out its promise to eliminate the terrorist group Hamas.

Even after more than a hundred demonstrators were arrested for unlawful encampment on the Ivy League university’s campus, the protests have continued in the Big Apple, sparking public criticism and action from federal lawmakers.

Bill sponsor Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) joined House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) at the university on April 24 to publicly condemn the antisemitism within the protests and called for President Minouche Shafik “to resign in disgrace.”

According to the Antisemitism Awareness Act, the Department of Education would be required to utilize the definition of antisemitism established by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance when implementing federal anti-discrimination laws at American universities.

The bipartisan bill has gained 42 co-sponsors, including 12 Democrat representatives, two of whom were among the group of legislators who went to Columbia University earlier this week.

The visit and criticism from lawmakers follows one week after the lower chamber approved a controversial foreign aid package designed to support American allies. As part of the bill, Israel was awarded $26.38 billion. Johnson, who is facing calls for his resignation amid his support for giving funds to Ukraine, has been outspoken in his criticism of antisemitism on college campuses.

Additionally, Rep. Lawler has introduced another bill that would establish so-called “antisemitism monitors” to be enforced at certain college campuses known for backlash against the Jewish population. The bipartisan effort has already been nicknamed the Columbia Act.