Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) expressed outrage over the support for “genocide against the people of Israel” on college campuses, as his resolution against campus antisemitism was blocked by Democratic pushback in what he termed a “revealing moment.”
Hawley addressed the Senate on Thursday, advocating for his resolution condemning Hamas and student groups on college campuses that expressed support for the unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel.
Despite urging fellow senators to back his resolution, it was met with opposition from Democratic members who ultimately succeeded in blocking it.
Hawley expressed deep concern about endorsements of the attack, particularly on college campuses, arguing that supporting violence against Jewish people and applauding attacks on them should be unequivocally condemned by the Senate.
“Almost as disturbing as the facts of these terrible attacks themselves is the response of some people in this country,” he stated. “On our college campuses in this country who promptly took to the streets, to the courtyards of these campuses, the airwaves, to broadcast their support for this genocide against the people of Israel.”
“Calling for the death of Jewish people is not just another opinion,” he added.
The Republican senator explained that “calling for the genocide, celebrating the genocide of Jewish babies is not just another opinion.”
“Celebrating the assaults on Jewish people in this country is not just another opinion, and the Senate should be clear and stand with moral clarity and say ‘this is wrong,'” he stated.
However, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) objected to Hawley’s proposal for unanimous approval of the resolution, arguing that it “smeared” students participating in such protests.
When Hawley questioned Van Hollen’s “legitimate concerns” over the resolution, the latter accused Hawley of “smearing all of the students who engage in these protests — yes, you are — and that is wrong.”
In response, the Missouri Republican expressed outrage over the Democrat senator’s defense.
“It’s hard to believe that we’ve just heard on this floor defense of the most vile antisemitic rhetoric under the excuse that to call out specifically the specific statements and denounce them one at a time and say ‘this is wrong,’ that that is somehow a smear,” Hawley said.
“What that is is a failure of moral nerve; what it is is a failure of moral clarity; what it is, frankly, sympathizing with this rhetoric,” he added.
Hawley concluded by noting that the State of Israel is “under existential threat.”
“We have students in this country who are specifically calling for and celebrating the killing of Jews, and we can’t condemn that on the floor of the Senate?!” he exclaimed.
“To say I’m disappointed is an understatement, Mr. President, but I will say this, it is a revealing moment,” he added.
The matter comes after numerous protests held on college campuses in the U.S. came out to defend Hamas and its massive attack on civilians earlier this month in the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history.
The unprecedented attack saw Hamas terrorists gun down participants at an outdoor music festival, go door-to-door hunting, torturing, and shooting Jews in local towns, and burning homes with families inside while proceeding to murder soldiers and infants alike, all while showering thousands of rockets down on Israeli civilian centers.
Portraits of people killed, missing or abducted during Hamas's surprise attack on southern are placed on the seats of the Smolarz Auditorium at Tel Aviv University. pic.twitter.com/P3emBKo8AL
— TVP World (@TVPWorld_com) October 20, 2023
Since, an anti-Israel protest erupted at the University of Washington last week wherein students were seen waving Palestinian flags and chanting for an “intifada”:
This is currently happening at the University of Washington.
“There is only one solution. Intifada Revolution.”
It’s insane how many college students are waving Palestinian flags while calling for genocide against Jews.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 12, 2023
Meanwhile, the student groups behind Harvard University’s controversial “pro-terror” statement regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict organized a “die-in” Wednesday to protest “genocide in Gaza”:
Activists organized a die in to denounce the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza at Harvard Business School, where President Obama and Harvard President Gay were invited to speak. pic.twitter.com/OgWR3pRP8b
— Kuffiya (@Kuffiyateam) October 18, 2023
Earlier in the week, Hawley appealed to the Department of Justice to examine any connections between pro-Palestinian student groups and Hamas.
Additionally, he asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to investigate “terrorist-linked aliens” at the southern border and sought the dismissal of a DHS employee over antisemitic online content favoring Hamas.