Recently, Sen. Tim Scott spoke out against rampant antisemitic sentiment appearing across America’s college campuses. Scott suggested cutting off Pell Grant funding for students who attend such institutions where antisemitism is prevalent.
“Those universities and colleges that will not hold them accountable should lose their Pell Grant funding,” Scott stated. The Pell Grant was created as a part of the Higher Education Act in 1965 as an initiative to provide access to higher education for financially underprivileged students.
Scott adamantly maintains that he will “absolutely” combat antisemitism on college campuses. He pointed out that this is an issue he has prioritized for years, stating, “One of the things I’ve been saying since 2016 is we needed to codify a definition of antisemitism for our college campuses.”
The Republican senator and GOP presidential candidate condemned the attitudes of anti-Israel students, claiming they are supporting “Jewish genocide,” reaffirming how deplorable the nature of the sentiment is. “Now we see ourselves with foreign students on college campuses, and our own students, joining together calling for Jewish genocide,” he added. “They’re actually advocating for mass murder and they’re encouraging genocide.”
Sen. Scott and Congressman Mike Lawler recently introduced legislation aimed at combating antisemitism within the American higher education system following incidents after the violent attack on Israel. The initiative seeks to direct the Department of Education to investigate acts of antisemitism on college campuses utilizing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism.
“Our nation’s institutions of higher learning have become hotbeds of antisemitism, especially in the wake of the brutal Hamas terror attacks against Israel and innocent civilians,” said Sen. Scott. “It’s critical the Department of Education has the tools and resources it needs to investigate antisemitism and root out this vile hatred wherever it rears its ugly head.”
In the wake of the anti-Israel demonstrations that occurred nationwide, the Antisemitism Awareness Act seeks to fight instances of anti-Jewish expression that goes beyond the freedom of speech granted by the First Amendment. According to data from the Anti-Defamation League, violent rhetoric and threats against the Jewish community skyrocketed after the deadly Hamas attack that claimed thousands of lives.
“The amount of antisemitism we consistently see on college campuses is disturbing and unacceptable,” stated Rep. Mike Lawler. “Colleges and universities have long been breeding grounds of antisemitism and the recent Hamas attack has taken it to the next level. Now, more than ever, it’s critical that we crack down on antisemitic hate within our own country. The Antisemitism Awareness Act is a strong step in the right direction on this front, providing the Department of Education with a clear definition of antisemitism in order to combat this scourge on college campuses. The fact is, antisemitism is rampant in our country and we must quash it as quickly as possible. I’m thankful for the bipartisan support of the Antisemitism Awareness Act and for the support from a wide range of Jewish organizations that are standing up, endorsing this legislation, and saying enough is enough. We must confront antisemitism at all times, unequivocally.”
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