Republicans Shut Down Anti-Israel Protest Immediately

Ingfbruno, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) extended his commendation to House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) for effectively pressuring Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to authorize police intervention against anti-Israel protesters at George Washington University. This action led to the eviction of protesters from a pro-Palestinian tent encampment that had been established on the university’s campus.

The encampment was cleared early Wednesday morning by police, shortly after a significant number of demonstrators vacated the area and participated in a march to the residence of the university’s president, Ellen Granberg. The protest had been a focal point of tension on campus, with the demonstrators expressing pro-Palestinian sentiments.

Initially, Mayor Bowser and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Pamela Smith were scheduled to testify about their handling of the protest in a session before the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability. However, Chairman Comer decided to cancel the hearing in light of the police’s successful clearance of the protest site.

In his public statement, Speaker Johnson linked this action to a broader legislative initiative. “Last week, we announced a House-wide crackdown on antisemitism on college campuses,” Johnson stated. “This week, Chairman Comer and the Oversight Committee delivered results by compelling Mayor Bowser to order police to clear the weeks-long, pro-Hamas and illegal encampments around George Washington University’s campus.”

Johnson expressed a certain frustration that extreme measures seemed necessary to ensure safety on campus. “While it should not require the threat of hauling D.C.’s mayor before Congress to keep Jewish students at George Washington University safe, I applaud Chairman Comer’s steadfast leadership in this regard,” he said.

He elaborated further on the intent behind the House’s actions, explaining that through the ongoing efforts to curb antisemitism, they aim to scrutinize and understand the apparent reluctance of security forces and campus administrators in fulfilling their primary duty to safeguard students. This initiative is part of a broader, concerted effort to address safety and antisemitism across college campuses nationwide. Johnson’s remarks underscore a commitment to ensuring that educational environments remain safe and supportive for all students, addressing any form of bias or threat that could compromise student welfare.

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