This story was updated on Nov. 4.
With strong bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution Thursday that condemned the support of terrorist organizations and antisemitism on college campuses.
The resolution (H. Res. 798) passed on a 396-23 vote. Congresswoman Summer Lee, who represents Squirrel Hill, was one of 22 Democrats who voted against the resolution. The sole Republican vote against the resolution was cast by Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky.
The resolution was introduced by Rep. Burgess Owens, a Republican from Utah, in response to the surge of anti-Israel demonstrations and antisemitic rhetoric surrounding the Hamas-Israel war that began on Oct. 7. The Senate passed a similar resolution last week by voice vote.
The House resolution condemned the support “of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations at institutions of higher education, which may lead to the creation of a hostile environment for Jewish students, faculty, and staff.”
Hamas and Hezbollah are both recognized as terrorist organizations by the State Department.
Several recent incidents of anti-Israel activity on campuses are referenced in the resolution, including the Oct. 9 “day of resistance” declared by the Students for Justice in Palestine, calling on student chapters across the U.S. to demonstrate by ‘‘not just slogans and rallies, but armed confrontation with oppressors.”
The resolution also refers to an Oct. 10 incident in which a Stanford University lecturer justified the actions of Hamas terrorists by calling them ‘‘freedom fighters’’ and asking Jewish students to identify themselves and stand in the corner to illustrate what ‘‘Jews were doing to Palestinians.’’
Also referenced is an Oct. 15 incident, when a Cornell University professor grabbed the microphone at a campus rally and declared that ‘‘Hamas has challenged the monopoly of violence’’ and ‘‘it was exhilarating. It was energizing. . .I was exhilarated,’’ in reference to Hamas’ terror attack on Israel.
Rep. Lee did not respond to the Chronicle’s request for an interview regarding her vote. But in a news release issued Friday evening, she said: “While I condemn antisemitism on college campuses in the strongest possible terms, this resolution as it is currently written misrepresents the events and responses on college students and seeks to restrict Constitutionally-protected free speech.” PJC
Toby Tabachnick can be reached at email@example.com.