House Speaker Mike Johnson Calls on Columbia University President to Resign

House Speaker Mike Johnson called for Columbia University President Minouche Shafik to resign over her handling of anti-Israel demonstrations on campus during an April 24 interview.

House Speaker Mike Johnson called for Columbia University President Minouche Shafik to resign over her handling of anti-Israel demonstrations on campus during an April 24 interview.

While speaking to radio host Hugh Hewitt, Mr. Johnson called Ms. Shafik a “very weak” and “inept” leader, when announcing that he and his colleagues would be holding a press conference at Columbia University later that day.

“They cannot even guarantee the safety of Jewish students? They’re expected to run for their lives and stay home from class? It’s just, it’s maddening,” Mr. Johnson said.

“What we’re seeing on these college campuses across the country is disgusting and unacceptable, and we have to—every leader in this country, every political official, every citizen of good conscience has to speak out and say that this is not who we are in America. And we got to have accountability, and that’s what my colleagues and I are going to be working on.”

Encampments have emerged on the campuses of numerous universities as a result of pro-Palestinian demonstrations sparked by Israel’s military retaliation against Hamas in Gaza. On April 17, the demonstrations broke out at Columbia University before spreading to Yale University, New York University, and other institutions.

More than 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested by New York police on the Columbia University campus on April 18. The following day, protesters resumed their activities in spite of widespread arrests and suspensions.

When asked if there were any similar demonstrations or violence at schools in Mr. Johnson’s home state of Louisiana, the House speaker responded, saying “No, and I don’t believe we tolerate that.”

Mr. Johnson further reinforced his frustration with the issue saying, “If it happened at my alma mater, which is [Louisiana State University], I’d be down there myself to stop it.”

GOP Demands Action

In the U.S. Senate, Republicans have demanded that the Biden administration safeguard Jewish students and restore campus order in the face of ongoing anti-Israel demonstrations at multiple universities.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and 26 other Senate Republicans demanded in a letter dated April 23 that Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Attorney General Merrick Garland take action to secure the safety of Jewish students.

“You need to take action to restore order and protect Jewish students on our college campuses. President Biden issued a statement on Sunday, purporting to condemn the outbreak of anti-Semitism. If that statement was serious, it must be accompanied by immediate action from your departments,” the letter read.

The senators used Columbia University as an illustration in their letter, referencing an incident in which a Barnard College and Columbia University Orthodox rabbi sent nearly 300 Jewish students a WhatsApp message on Sunday, pleading with them to return home for their own safety.

Concerned about anti-Semitism on college campuses, the senators implored Mr. Garland and Ms. Cardona to act quickly in order to address these issues.

“The Department of Education and federal law enforcement must act immediately to restore order, prosecute the mobs who have perpetuated violence and threats against Jewish students, revoke the visas of all foreign nationals (such as exchange students) who have taken part in promoting terrorism, and hold accountable school administrators who have stood by instead of protecting their students,” the senators wrote.

The office of Ms. Shafik did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment before press time.

Aaron Pan contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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