U.S. House passes resolution condemning antisemitism on college campuses, 1 Michigan rep. votes no

By: - November 3, 2023 2:37 pm

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib at the “Take on Hate” rally in Dearborn, Aug. 29, 2019 | Allison Donahue

Updated, 6:49 a.m., 11/4/23

The U.S. House passed a resolution on Thursday condemning the support of Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations on U.S. College campuses.

The measure introduced by U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) said those groups have created a hostile environment for Jewish students, faculty and staff. At Cornell University, a 21-year-old student was arrested this week for allegedly making threats to kill Jewish people.

There’s been a rise in incidents targeting Jewish, Muslim and Arab people across the country in recent weeks amid violence in Israel and Gaza.

On Oct. 7, the Islamic militant group Hamas launched surprise terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, brutally killing about 1,400 people. Israel promptly declared war and has attacked Gaza for weeks to root out Hamas officials that have killed thousands.

The GOP-led House passed the resolution on a 396-23 vote. The no votes were all Democrats, except for U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). One lawmaker from Michigan voted against it, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), who is Palestinian American and overcame a resolution this week to censure her for “antisemitic activity.”

“I never thought I’d see American students celebrate a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people,” said Owens in a press release. “Elite institutions have failed their students and alumni by offering inadequate statements of condemnation. This has exposed the deep rot of antisemitism in our higher education system, from statements placing blame solely on Israel for the atrocities of Hamas to demonstrations glorifying mass murder, rape, torture, and kidnapping. It is not nuanced or difficult to stand against terror.”



U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) said the “antisemitic hate toward Jewish students and staff at college campuses is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. We must call out these threats for what they are: hate speech. … The brutal and barbaric actions we have seen Hamas take against Israel and the Jewish people are acts of terrorism — nothing less.”

Tlaib provided a statement to the Advance on Friday aidy about why she voted against the resolution.

“No student should feel unsafe or be subjected to hate at their school, and there is no place for antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, or any form of hate in our communities,” Tlaib said. “We must be intentional in protecting all students by ensuring everyone’s safety, no matter their faith or ethnicity. This resolution fails to acknowledge the rising anti-Muslim hate and intimidation on college campuses. I oppose all hate speech, and unfortunately this resolution is one-sided and part of a concerted effort to smear and silence people speaking up for Palestinian human rights and erode people’s First Amendment protections.”
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) sponsored the resolution censuring Tlaib. It was tabled in a 222-186 vote Wednesday night.

Tlaib called Greene’s censure effort “unhinged” and “deeply Islamophobic.”

A longtime critic of Israel, Tlaib joined most Democrats this week and voted against a $14.3 billion spending bill for Israel that included cuts to the IRS. The bill passed on a 226-196 vote.

In a statement, Tlaib said she didn’t support funding Israeli Prime Minister Bibi “Netanyahu’s genocide” and accused President Joe Biden of “cheering on Netanyahu.” She called for a ceasefire.

Biden officials are alarmed about the Palestinian death toll, NBC News reports, and the president has called for a “pause” in the Israel-Gaza war.


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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 23-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on C-SPAN, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQ people, the state budget, the economy and more. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 100 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive.