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Speaker Johnson calls on Columbia University president to resign and threatens federal funding for colleges

By 37ci3 Apr24,2024

After meeting with Columbia University President Minouche Shafik on Wednesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson called on him to resign unless he can pressure him. Gaza war protests at school and threatened federal funding to colleges that did not create a safe environment for Jewish students.

“We simply cannot allow this kind of hatred and anti-Semitism to flourish on our campuses. And it should be prevented. The perpetrators of this violence must be arrested,” Johnson, R-La., said on the steps of Columbia’s Lower Library, flanked by several fellow Republicans.

“I join my colleagues here today in calling on President Shafiq to resign unless he can immediately sort out this chaos,” he said. students are expected to run for their lives and stay home from classes hiding in fear.”

The appearance of the speaker was greeted with excitement and hecky by the public. After finishing the press conference, someone shouted: “Get out of here!”

Protesters chanted “We can’t hear you” and “Mike, you’re evil!”

Students also chanted slogans of “Free Palestine”. From where Johnson stood, he could look out over the crowd of student protesters and see the tent camp.

At one point, Johnson nodded and said, “Enjoy your free speech.”

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House Speaker Mike Johnson arrives to speak to the media after meeting with Jewish students on April 24, as pro-Palestinian students and activists continue to protest the Israel-Hamas war on the Columbia University campus in New York. , 2024.Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

Johnson’s comments came after his delegation met with Shafiq and senior university officials, urging them to do more to end the harassment of Jewish students at Columbia and stop the pro-Palestinian camp that has sprung up on campus. Similar demonstrations against Israel’s war in Gaza have been held on other college campuses across the country.

Johnson said in an interview with NBC News after his speech that he respected the right to protest, but that he thought students on campus were being harassed.

“Governing students to allow a free market of ideas and to allow that to be unfettered is always nuanced, and that’s the role and responsibility of a public institution and even a private institution,” he said. “But in this case, the reason we’re here today is because it crossed the line. I think almost every honest and sincere American understands that.”

Earlier this week, a Columbia-affiliated rabbi called on Jewish students to leave campus during protests, and the university soon followed suit. transition to hybrid learning to ensure the safety of students. Students described being harassed and bullied as they tried to cross campus.

Asked by a reporter if he agreed with some Republicans calling for the National Guard to dismantle Camp Columbia, Johnson said he plans to call President Joe Biden after his visit and “share with him what we saw with our own eyes. and ask him to take action.”

“If this is not prevented quickly and these threats and threats are not put an end to, the time is right for the National Guard.” We have to create order in these campuses,” said the speaker.

He later issued this threat to colleges: “If these campuses can’t control this problem, they don’t deserve taxpayer dollars,” he said, adding that House Republicans will work on legislation to address the situation.

The demonstrations in Columbia followed Shafiq’s testimony last week before the House Education Committee about anti-Semitism on campus. On Wednesday, the committee’s leader, Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, RN.C. Shafiqi also threatened to take measures in the Congress.

“I have a message, President Shafiq, and a message to all of you: The inmates run the asylum. Take back control of this once great institution,” Foxx said in Columbia. “You took action last week. It’s time to take action again. If not, the committee will seek every possible way to create a safe learning environment for Jewish students.”

Members of New York’s Republican delegation — Reps. Mike Lawler, Nicole Malliotakis and Anthony D’Esposito — also joined Johnson in Columbia. Lawler said that Shafiq should resign.

“It is time for President Shafiq to resign in disgrace. He has lost control of this campus. He has lost control of this institution. And after listening to his internal comments, it is clear that he has no intention of taking control of this university and ensuring the safety and well-being of every student.” , – Lawler told reporters.

“This is the right of the students studying at this institution,” he said. “If students are not safe, if the institution is not going to act, Congress has an obligation to do so, and we will.”

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By 37ci3

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