Anti-Israel protesters briefly derailed a House Judiciary Committee hearing on free speech and antisemitism on college campuses Wednesday morning.
The protester shouted something about “genocide,” adding, “Over 10,000 people have been killed, and you’re trying to silence the free speech of students.”
The protester interrupted Connor Ogrydziak, a recent graduate of the University at Buffalo and former chairman of the University at Buffalo’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.
“We appreciate people being here, but the committee has to be in order,” Jordan said as authorities escorted the protester out.
Another protester shouted that House Republicans “tried to silence [Rep.] Rashida Tlaib.” Twenty-two Democrats joined Republicans in voting to censure Tlaib, Michigan Democrat, for her comments condemning Israel.
“We will remove every single person who disrupts the committee,” Jordan replied.
The second protester shouted, “Palestinian and Israeli apartheid, which has existed longer than what has happened on October 7th.”
“End the siege on Gaza now!” she continued. “End the occupation! You will not silence us!”
A third protester shouted, “Cease-fire now! Cease-fire now! Cease-fire now!”
The House Judiciary Committee convened the hearing, it said, to “examine the current state of the First Amendment on the campuses of American colleges and universities. The hearing will also examine the rise in antisemitism, anti-Israel sentiment, and violence towards students supporting Israel.”
Since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist massacre of 1,400 Israeli civilians, the Anti-Defamation League (often an ally of the Southern Poverty Law Center) has recorded a spike in antisemitic incidents across the U.S. The ADL Center on Extremism reported that incidents of harassment, vandalism, and assault increased by 388% over the same period last year.
ADL counted 312 antisemitic incidents between Oct. 7 and Oct. 23, 190 of which were linked to the war in Israel and Gaza. During the same period in 2022, ADL counted 64 incidents, four of which involved Israel. ADL has also found that at least 109 anti-Israel rallies since Oct. 7 included explicit or strong implicit support for Hamas and/or violence against Jews in Israel. These rallies are included in the 312-incident tally.
A Jewish man, Paul Kessler, 69, died Monday after sustaining injuries amid an altercation with a pro-Palestine protester Sunday.
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