Rep. Burgess Owens introduces resolution condemning campus anti-Semitism, pro-Hamas rhetoric

The resolution 'condemns the support of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations at institutions of higher education.'

Utah Congressman Burgess Owens (R) proposed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism on college campuses.

Owens, the Chairman of the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee, drafted the bill in response to the continuing trend of pro-Hamas and anti-Israel rallies and statements on campuses across the country. The bill comes after Missouri Senator Josh Hawley had a similar resolution blocked.

Chairman Burgess Owens (UT-04) introduced a resolution condemning support for Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations at American universities, which have created a hostile environment for Jewish students, faculty, and staff.

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”It is disturbing to see Hamas apologists rallying on American college and university campuses,” Owens said in a statement to Campus Reform. With the support of over 60 colleagues, I introduced a resolution condemning the repugnant actions of these student organizations and the terrorists they support. There is no moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. It is time for Congress to stand united against the creeping scourge of antisemitism in academia and denounce their failure to ensure the safety of Jewish students on campus.”

“Condemning terrorism should not be a controversial position to take,” Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Dr. Virginia Foxx added in a press release announcing the bill. “Hamas slaughtered innocent men, women, and children because they were Jewish. It’s appalling that some higher education faculty and students have the gall to defend these despicable actions. I thank Congressman Owens for introducing this resolution to condemn the support of terrorist organizations at colleges and universities that places the safety of Jewish students, faculty, and staff at risk.”

The resolution notes that both Hamas and Hezbollah are recognized terrorist organizations in the United States, and that Hamas’s stated goal is the destruction of the State of Israel and its Jewish citizens.

It also notes a large number of student groups at colleges and universities that blamed Israel for the attack, glorified the violence and the attackers and used anti-Semitic rhetoric; it said that such rhetoric creates a hostile environment for Jewish students. The resolution took higher education institutions to task for abandoning the principle of institutional neutrality and frequently making statements about public issues, but failing to speak out after the October 7 attacks, which “exposed their lack of regard for their Jewish and pro-Israel students.”

The resolution “condemns the support of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations at institutions of higher education, which may lead to the creation of a hostile environment for Jewish students, faculty and staff.” It then urges the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to investigate and take action where appropriate.

[RELATED: Dem senator blocks Hawley bill condemning campus anti-Semitism. Hawley flattens him.]

Senator Josh Hawley attempted to pass a similar resolution by unanimous consent in the Senate, but that bill was blocked by Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen.

”It’s hard to believe what we just heard on this floor,” Hawley said at the time. “Defense of the most vile anti-Semitic 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. What that is is a failure of moral nerve. What it is is a failure of moral clarity. What it is, frankly, is sympathizing with this rhetoric.” 

Campus Reform reached out to Owens’s office for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.