Sen. Capito Condemns Anti-Semitic Incidents on College Campuses, Urges Action from Education Secretary Cardona

U.S. Education Secretary condemns rising antisemitism on college campuses, vows action to protect Jewish students under Title VI.

Bijay Laxmi
New Update
U.S. Education Secretary Condemns Antisemitism Against Jewish Students at Columbia University and Other Colleges

U.S. Education Secretary Condemns Antisemitism Against Jewish Students at Columbia University and Other Colleges

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona strongly condemned the rising antisemitism against Jewish students at Columbia University and other colleges nationwide during a Senate hearing. Cardona described the hate and harassment faced by Jewish students on campuses as "abhorrent" and emphasized that it has no place in educational institutions.

The Education Department is currently investigating whether Columbia University violated Title VI with its handling of an on-campus encampment over the war in Gaza. Cardona stressed that protecting students is the department's top responsibility and that the antisemitism seen on campuses is unacceptable.

Sen. Capito (R-WV) raised the question, “Do you believe what is happening to Jewish students at Columbia and other colleges ... across this country is okay?”

Education Sec. Cardona responded to that by saying, “Absolutely not. I think what's happening on our campuses is abhorrent. Hate has no place on our campuses.”

House Republicans have vowed to use their oversight powers and the power of the purse to pressure universities to protect Jewish students and crack down on anti-Israel protests disrupting college campuses. The House will vote on legislation requiring the Education Department to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism in enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws.

Republican lawmakers criticized university leaders for failing to address rising antisemitism on campuses and called for the resignation of Columbia University's president over her handling of protests. The Education Committee has invited presidents of Yale, UCLA, and the University of Michigan to testify about their efforts to stop antisemitism.

Why this matters: The rise of antisemitism on college campuses has become a pressing issue, with Jewish students reporting feeling unsafe and harassed. The federal government's response and the actions taken by universities will have significant implications for ensuring a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students.

Cardona acknowledged that phrases like "from the river to the sea" and telling Jewish students to "go back to Poland" are unacceptable rhetoric that make Jewish students feel unsafe on campus. The Education Department has increased Title VI investigations and has a draft letter addressing the issues at Columbia University. "Hate has no place on college campuses," Cardona stated, emphasizing the department's commitment to enforcing Title VI and protecting students from antisemitism.

Key Takeaways

  • Education Sec. Cardona condemned rising antisemitism on college campuses.
  • The Education Dept. is investigating Columbia Univ. over Gaza protests.
  • House GOP vows to use oversight to protect Jewish students on campuses.
  • Lawmakers criticize universities for failing to address antisemitism.
  • Cardona: Phrases like "go back to Poland" make Jewish students unsafe.