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Bipartisan legislation aims to combat rising antisemitism on US college campuses by introducing federal oversight through ‘Antisemitism Monitors’,

By Algemeiner

US Reps. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) and Mike Lawler (R-NY) plan to introduce bipartisan legislation that, if passed into law, could condition federal funding for universities based on their ability and willingness to combat surging antisemitism on their campuses.

The College Oversight and Legal Updates Mandating Bias Investigations and Accountability (COLUMBIA) Act would allow the US Education Department to send a “third-party antisemitism monitor” to any campus receiving federal funding and to revoke that funding for schools that don’t comply with federal monitoring procedures.

The monitor would release a public, quarterly report evaluating “the progress that a college or university has made toward combating antisemitism.”

The legislation was first reported by Jewish Insider.

Torres said in a statement that since the Hamas’ terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, antisemitism on US college campuses has been at “an all-time high,” and the universities “are not capable of handling it when left to their own devices.”

“My office and I have spoken with countless Jewish students from campuses across America who feel deeply unsafe, purely as a result of their religious and ethnic identity,” Torres added. “Jewish students have told my office that they feel completely abandoned by their university administrators and they view Congress as the only avenue for accountability and safety.”

Lawler expressed similar concerns in a statement, asserting that “if colleges will not step up to protect their students, Congress must act.”

Plans to introduce the COLUMBIA Act came amid a wave of anti-Israel demonstrations that has erupted on university campuses across the US over the past week, beginning at Columbia University in New York City.

Since last week, college students have been amassing in the hundreds at a growing number of schools, taking over sections of campuses by setting up “Gaza Solidarity Encampments” and refusing to leave unless administrators condemn and boycott Israel. Footage of the protests has shown demonstrators chanting in support of Hamas, calling for the destruction of Israel, and even threatening to harm members of the Jewish community on campus.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a report last week showing antisemitic incidents rose 140 percent last year, reaching a record high. Most of the outrages occurred after Oct. 7, during the ensuing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

On college campuses specifically, the ADL report found that antisemitic incidents rose 321 percent, disrupting the studies of Jewish students and leaving them uncertain about the fate of the American Jewish community.

[dondate]

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