Consequences are on the Horizon for Protest-Friendly Universities

Bipartisan condemnation of anti-Israel protests will pose significant headaches for universities.

What’s happening: Many Americans have grown tired of the weeks of chaotic pro-Palestine demonstrations at universities across the country. Administrators are likely facing an impending backlash for which they are unprepared.

Bipartisan condemnation: Over the weekend, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle took to the airwaves to voice their displeasure with the protests.

  • Republican Senators Tom Cotton (AR) and Marco Rubio (FL) slammed the universities and called for the visas of foreign students to be revoked if they took part in the protests.

  • Democrat Senator Mark Kelly (AZ) voiced support for the police stepping in when protests become violent, and progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (CA) called out the more radical rhetoric while supporting the students who “simply want the war to end.”

Facing consequences: More college presidents are expected to be brought in by Congress to face searing questions about the conduct on their campuses. Congress has been taking a series of steps to punish universities for their failure to act against what they view as antisemitic behavior.

  • Financial punishment: Congress is considering revoking the tax-exempt status of publicly funded universities that hosted such anti-Israel protests. House Republicans recently launched a probe into antisemitism on college campuses, threatening to withhold federal research grants and other aid.

  • Law school boycott: Over a dozen federal judges signed a letter saying they will no longer hire Columbia students as law clerks.

Why it matters: Major American universities have dug themselves a hole by allowing protests to become violent, chaotic, and threatening to Jewish students. They are likely to soon face retaliation from both the federal government and the general public.

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