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GOP lawmakers demand major donors pull funding from Columbia over 'antisemitic incidents'

FIRST ON FOX: House Republican lawmakers are urging major Columbia University donors who are outraged at the anti-Israel protests on campus to speak out with their wallets. 

“As Members of Congress, we urge donors and individuals affiliated with Columbia University to condemn the antisemitic incidents occurring on the university’s campus by pulling donations and support for the university until there are demonstrable changes in leadership, including the resignation of Columbia University President Minouche Shafik,” House Republicans, led by Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., wrote in an open letter to the Ivy League’s vast and influential alumni and donor network.

For days, students at Columbia and its sister school, Barnard College, have camped out on the Upper Manhattan campus while holding demonstrations in protest of Columbia’s investments in companies with ties to Israel. It’s part of a wider progressive backlash against Israel’s response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attacks against the Jewish state.

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But that protest and similar ones cropping up at colleges around the country are now facing bipartisan backlash and accusations of having waded into antisemitic territory. 

Social media videos from the anti-Israel tent encampment on Columbia’s campus show activists cheering on the deaths of Israeli soldiers and showing support for Hamas. Jewish students have reported feeling unsafe on campus and shared stories of being verbally and physically assaulted.

“They were pushing and shoving me… They threw rocks at my face. At that moment, my life was totally threatened. And there was no safety authority on campus,” one student told NY1 over the weekend.

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Columbia University anti-Israel protest

In their open letter, the House GOP lawmakers urged donors to follow the example of Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, who pulled his support earlier this week in response to the protests.

“We encourage all supporters of the university to do the same and call for the resignation of President [Minouche] Shafik,” they wrote.

“The university should also provide a thorough review of all school funding and investigate the outside forces influencing students and agitators to participate in these disruptive and violent incidents that target and intimidate Jewish students on campus,” they continued.

“Additionally, we urge all individuals affiliated with the university to call for a transparent and thorough audit of all university funding concerning the anti-Israel movement on campus, and what outside groups are contributing and influencing students and agitators to participate. ”

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Robert Kraft in January 2022

It comes a day after Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., traveled to Columbia with House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., and three New York Republicans, where he denounced the protests and reiterated his earlier call for Shafik to resign.

“I’m here today joining my colleagues in calling on President Shafik to resign if she can not immediately bring order to this chaos,” Johnson said as students heckled. “As Speaker of the House, I have committed today that the Congress will not be silent as Jewish students are expected to run for their lives and stay home from their classes hiding in fear.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Columbia University for comment.

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