Bernie Sanders shot down Republican attempt to condemn campus anti-Semitism

The Republican-led resolution would have condemned anti-Semitism in colleges and universities, as well as school leaders ‘who have enabled’ this anti-Semitism.

Sen. Sanders, who blocked the resolution, insisted it ‘does not go far enough.’ The Vermont senator also condemned Israel’s counterattack against Hamas and defended anti-Israel students disrupting campuses.

Screenshot on right taken from website of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) recently stopped a resolution by Senate Republicans that would have denounced anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education. 

Sen. Tim Scott (R-.S.C.) introduced the resolution on May 2. The legislation “strongly condemns” the “rise of antisemitism on campuses of institutions of higher education across the United States” and college and university leaders and officials “who have enabled ongoing anti-semitism on their campuses.” 

The resolution also “urges the Department of Education to take necessary actions” to hold colleges and universities accountable to Title VI. 

“We are witnessing antisemitic hate and extremism that threatens the very safety of our Jewish students on college campuses around the greatest nation on God’s green earth,” Senator Scott said. “There can be no equivocating when it comes to the issue of antisemitic violence or hatred. And I – and every single one of us – should just call it out for what it is.” 

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Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that “no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” 

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), one of the 18 Republican senators who joined Scott in cosponsoring the resolution, wrote: “Antisemitism anywhere, especially on college campuses, is absolutely unacceptable. Jewish students should not fear for their safety at school and the antisemitic hate displayed on these campuses cannot continue. I stand by our Jewish friends and will keep working to make sure that antisemitic rioters, and the institutions that allow hate to fester, are held accountable.”

This legislative effort, however, has faced opposition, with Sanders stopping the resolution from moving forward on May 7. 

Sanders alleged that Scott’s resolution “does not go far enough in protecting students from bigotry and violence,” and offered his own resolution that “[s]trongly condemns the rise of antisemitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, anti-Asian, and any other form of discrimination on the campuses of schools and institutions of higher education across the United States” and “[s]trongly supports the right of students and all Americans to peacefully protest.”

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Sanders also condemned Israel’s counterattack against Hamas following the Oct. 7 terrorist massacre of Jewish civilians, and defended the recent wave of anti-Israel protests that have disrupted campuses across the U.S. 

He wrote on X explaining his actions: “Today I offer a simple resolution: NO to antisemitism. NO to Islamophobia. NO to racism and bigotry in all its forms. YES to free speech and protest under the 1st Amendment, whether on a college campus or across our nation.”

Senator Scott puts the issue a different way. 

“The American people, and especially our Jewish brothers and sisters, deserve our moral clarity on this issue,” Senator Scott said.