Washington—— Today, U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), hosted a bipartisan roundtable investigating rising rates of anti-Semitic harassment and violence in colleges problem campus. Cassidy with U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ted Budd (R-NC), Bob Casey (D-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Tim Kaine (VA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Mark Wayne Mullin (R-OK), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).
Since Hamas launched terror attacks on Israel, there has been a disturbing increase in anti-Semitic incidents targeting Jewish students on college campuses, including a Jewish student at Drexel University who had his dorm door set on fire and in a bathroom Painted with a swastika. Where Jewish students lived at American University. During the roundtable, senators and panelists discussed the Biden administration’s legal responsibility to protect Jewish students from discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Since last month’s Hamas-led pogrom against Israel, there has been a disturbing increase in anti-Semitic incidents targeting Jewish students on college campuses, including targeted harassment and violent attacks,” Dr Cassidy says. “It’s not just students who create these incidents. Teachers also have a responsibility to ensure students’ academic success.”
“Threats and violence against Jewish and Israeli students are despicable. No student should fear coming to school.” Dr. Cassidy continued..
“The outrage over these recent incidents should be unanimous. There is no reason for a nuanced response when students are harassed or assaulted on the way to class simply because of who they are.” Dr. Cassidy continued.. “There is no justification and no sliding scale of tolerance for bigotry and racism. This is the wrong full stop, full stop, wrong end of sentence.”
“As the lead committee charged with overseeing the Department of Education, we have a responsibility to understand the true severity of this trend and ensure that the Department holds these taxpayer-funded institutions accountable for handling these incidents appropriately and not condoning discrimination on campus.” Dr. Cassidy continued..
Panelists for today’s roundtable include:
- Julia Steinberg, student at Stanford University
- Eli Shmidman, Columbia Law School student
- Jonathan Sarna, Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Shusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University
- Kenneth Marcus, President and Founder, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Legal Human Rights
- Rabbi Yudi Steiner, Executive Director, Rohr Chabad Center, George Washington University
Click here to watch the full roundtable.
Last week, Cassidy joined U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Mike Braun (R-IN), Roger Marshall, MD (R-KS), Mitt Romney ( R-UT), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Mark Wayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Ted Budd (R-N.C.) urged HELP Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I -VT) hold a full HELP hearing on this issue.
Additionally, Cassidy urged the Biden administration to use its enforcement powers under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure colleges and universities meet their responsibilities to maintain safe learning environments for Jewish students. While the administration has since announced new initiatives to address anti-Semitism on campus, it has done nothing to ensure universities handle these incidents responsibly and work to prevent them from happening in the first place.
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