April 22, 2024

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. 
The White House 
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 
Washington, DC 20500



Senator Hawley Letter.pdf

Mr. President:

On college campuses across the United States, Jewish Americans are at risk. Most alarmingly, in-person classes at Columbia University have been cancelled today—on the Jewish holiday of Passover—in response to a dayslong, illegal pro-Hamas demonstration. You must immediately mobilize the National Guard and any other authorities necessary to ensure the safety of Jewish American students and citizens.

Over the past several days, a coordinated, anti-Israel action has erupted at Columbia. Demonstrators have illegally established a “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” on the university’s campus and engaged in shocking displays of antisemitism—assaults on Jewish students, the theft and attempted burning of an Israeli flag, and violent, genocidal rhetoric such as “Never forget the 7th of October. That will happen not 1 more time, not 5 more times, not 10 more times, not 100 more times, not 1,000 more times, but 10,000 times.”

Campus police and local law enforcement have failed to secure the campus. On Sunday, Rabbi Elie Buechler, the Director of the university’s Orthodox Union-Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, stated that these authorities “cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety” and recommended that Jewish students “return home as soon as possible.” And today, on Passover, Columbia University President Minouche Shafik cancelled in-person classes, citing “too many examples of intimidating and harassing behavior on our campus.”

In your statement on Passover, you stated that “in recent days, we’ve seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews. This blatant Antisemitism is reprehensible and dangerous – and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country.” Now, you must take action to match those words. 

In 1957, pursuant to Executive Order 10730, President Dwight Eisenhower deployed the National Guard and 101st Airborne Division to ensure the safety of black students attending Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas. I urge you to similarly mobilize the National Guard and other necessary authorities to protect Jewish American students on Columbia University’s campus, and any other campus where Jewish students are at risk. “Never again” means never again.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.


Josh Hawley
United States Senator

Original Text Source: hawley.senate.gov

Page Updated: 4/25/24

U.S. Copyright Status: Text = Public domain.

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