McConnell: Restore Order On Campus, Protect Jewish Students, Withdraw Radical Nominees

‘Anti-Semitism is not a nuanced academic theory… It is not justified by political disagreements with Israel and its government. It is not entitled to take over campuses and make life miserable for Jewish students. Luckily some reasonable observers are getting mugged by reality. Just as a growing number of Democrats are rejecting Mr. Mangi’s nomination, a growing number of prominent Ivy League alumni are rejecting the surging radicalism of their alma maters. But that will only go so far.'

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding higher education and judicial nominations:

“For months, the most elite corners of American higher education have made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, they’re still finding new ways to embarrass themselves with vile, anti-Semitic radicalism.

“Beginning, of course, with yet more alarming declarations, like:

“‘Burn Tel Aviv to the ground.’

“‘Freedom for Palestine means death to America.’

“‘The 7th of October is going to be every day for you.’

“The student radicals behind hateful chants like ‘from the river to the sea’ have proven to be incoherently ecumenical:

“They’ve chanted ‘Long Live Hamas’ – a Sunni terrorist group – and waved flags supporting the Shi’a terrorist group, Hizballah, and the secular, Marxist-Leninist terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

“They’ve been joined on the picket lines by faculty members for whom radical anti-Semitism is merely an extension of their day jobs in post-modern indoctrination.

“Last week, Columbia’s encampment was even visited by a Member of Congress, who accused some Jewish students of being, ‘pro-genocide’.

“It’s unclear whether the student radicals or the shadowy groups organizing these disruptions are actual ‘fifth columns’ for adversaries trying to corrode American society from within or just unwitting pawns.

“What is clear is that basic comprehension of history, theology, and geography is in very short supply in the Ivy League.

“But so-called elite universities aren’t just in the news for a well-documented decline in academic rigor.

“They’re not drawing the nation’s attention just because another generation of students has decided to test the limits of the First Amendment with grotesque hate.

“No – they’re in the news because weakness and inaction from campus leaders has allowed universities to become cauldrons of criminal chaos.

“In recent days, an Orthodox Jewish student at Yale was assaulted by organized hate-mongers.

“At MIT, there is a so-called ‘liberated zone’ of radicals occupying the center of campus.

“At UCLA, aspiring commissars have blocked Jewish students from walking to class or entering the library.

“Another California school is reporting millions of dollars in damages after radicals vandalized campus buildings.

“And last night brought yet more evidence that administrators at Columbia have utterly failed to bring order to their Manhattan campus.

“In the wee hours of the morning, the mob that has disrupted daily life from a tent encampment on the quad broke into a campus building with hammers and has barricaded itself inside.

“Not long ago, Columbia’s president was sensibly calling in the NYPD to disperse and arrest these disruptors.

“This was a responsible thing to do, because the vast majority of students at Columbia want to go to class, study for exams, and lead productive lives.

“But then, her resolve appeared to give out.

“A minority of radicals and their faculty allies have used continued threats and intimidation to maximize the disruption and extend the reach of an odious ideology.

“The administration caved. The campus is now closed. But law enforcement remain outside the gates. And it remains to be seen whether administrators’ latest threats of expulsion will actually be carried out.

“The situation at Columbia is so bad that a prominent rabbi urged Jewish students to leave campus out of fear for their physical safety.

“This is particularly discouraging at a university that for decades has been known as a welcoming home for Jewish students—even when the rest of the Ivy League systematically discriminated against them.

“Yesterday, a member of Columbia’s Jewish community filed a class action lawsuit against the University, alleging sustained harassment and incitement of violence against Jewish students.

“In the absence of leadership from administrators, the community has had to take protection of their basic rights on campus literally into their own hands.

“Of course, today’s campus radicals did not invent this brand of aggressive lawlessness.

“Here in the United States they trace their roots back to the 1960s. Other countries, too, have their own infamous histories of student intimidation and violence—most notoriously the student Nazis of Weimar Germany.

“Education never has anything to do with it; it’s about dangerous, radical politics.

“But just as the roots of this hate are not a mystery, neither is the way forward for college administrators.

“Leaders at Columbia might do well to note the approach of the administration over at Princeton, which has upheld clear prohibitions on activity like forming encampments and responded swiftly and severely to an attempt last night to occupy a campus building.

“They might also take a cue from our former colleague Ben Sasse.

“Thus far, radicals at the University of Florida have largely heeded his prohibition against unlawful disruptions because they know he means it.

“And last night, those who failed to obey repeated warnings from campus police were promptly arrested.

“As an official statement put it, ‘the University of Florida is not a daycare, and we do not treat protesters like children – they knew the rules, they broke the rules, and they’ll face the consequences.’

“It’s not enough for administrators to lament campus disorder. Strongly-worded warnings only carry weight when they’re backed up by action.


“The hateful ideas pouring out of campus encampments are not new to America’s universities.

“The world’s oldest form of hate has been alive and well in higher education for quite some time now.

“From the vile ‘boycott, divest, and sanction’ movement that began over a decade ago to the establishment of outfits like the Rutgers Center for Security, Race, and Rights, the forces of bigotry have been on the move.

“And these forces have powerful friends: President Biden’s nominee for the Third Circuit, Adeel Mangi, has long been a patron of the Rutgers center.

“In fact, as new evidence indicates, he’s played a much more active and enthusiastic role than he described to our colleagues on the Judiciary Committee.

“Apparently, every progressive organization in the country is furious that my colleagues and I have dared to call attention to these disqualifying facts.

“So let’s get it straight: Radicalism has no place in higher education or on the federal bench.

“Unfortunately, the President doesn’t seem to agree. While he defends Mr. Mangi and his radical associations, he refuses to render an unqualified rejection of campus anti-Semitism.

“In fact, when asked about it, he seemed to say – well, there are good people on both sides.

“It’s hard not to see this mealy-mouthed equivocation for what it is: a President prioritizing the feelings of his political supporters over moral clarity.

“Anti-Semitism is not a nuanced academic theory. It is not just one of many ‘difficult viewpoints’, as the White House Press Secretary seemed to suggest yesterday in reference to campus disruptions.

“It is not justified by political disagreements with Israel and its government. It is not entitled to take over campuses and make life miserable for Jewish students.

“Luckily some reasonable observers are getting mugged by reality. Just as a growing number of Democrats are rejecting Mr. Mangi’s nomination, a growing number of prominent Ivy League alumni are rejecting the surging radicalism of their alma maters.

“But that will only go so far.

“Leaders must lead.

“Administrators must take charge of their institutions.

“The basic objectives here couldn’t be clearer:

“On campus, protect Jewish community members.

“Clear the encampments.

“Let students go to class and take their exams.

“And allow graduations to proceed.

“Here in Washington, withdraw radical nominees.

“And force the Departments of Justice and Education to investigate civil rights violations.

“If moral clarity does not prevail – in the ivory tower and in the Biden Administration – this could go down as a particularly shameful moment in our history.”


Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Education