Rep. Mike Lawler (R – NY) introduced an amendment to the 2024 Labor, HHS and Education bill barring taxpayer funding of campus antisemitism.
The really simple amendment stated that, “none of the funds made available by this Act may be made available to an institution of higher education that authorizes, facilitates, provides funding for, or otherwise supports any event promoting antisemitism (as such term is defined by the working definition of anti-semitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance on May 26, 2016, including the contemporary examples of antisemitism cited by the Alliance.) on the campus of such institution.”
The amendment passed the House 373 to 54.
Republicans voted for it 218-1 (Rep. Massie) while Democrats voted for it 155-53. That means a third of the House Democrat delegation voted against an amendment barring campus funding of antisemitism.
Who voted against? The Squad is no surprise. There’s the usual collection of leftists and Islamist-friendly types, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Jayapal, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Marc Pocan, and then there’s the J Street crowd, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Sara Jacobs and Rep. Jerry Nadler.
That’s right. Jerry strikes again.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, a guy who balances a district with a lot of Jews, with a lot of anti-Israel votes, put up a tendentious statement attacking the amendment.
“To be clear, I am deeply concerned about rising incidents of antisemitism in our nation’s institutions of higher education,” Rep. Nadler began. Beginning with “to be clear” rarely leads to clarity or honesty.
Rep. Nadler attacked House Republicans for banning taxpayer funding of antisemitism instead of funding the “Office of Civil Rights” which has been largely useless.
He claimd that banning raxpayer funding of campus antisemitism was a “meaningless gesture” and “wildly counterproductive”. (If something is wildly counterproductive, it’s probably not meaningless.)
“Threatening to pull federal funding from the universities and college campuses that need our help the most is, at best, wildly counterproductive. Moreover, the amendment is so broad that it threatens to defund institutions that are working in good faith to fight antisemitism on campus. Under Representative Lawler’s construction, a university might lose its funding if a single student showed up to a single event with a single antisemitic sign—even if that student had no affiliation with the school. It should also be noted that Congress doesn’t cut funding to universities when individual students on campus use vile racist or homophobic speech. The scourge of antisemitism is real, and we have real work to do. Draconian measures like the Lawler Amendment are a step in the wrong direction.”
If you break down that flailing word salad of gibberish, Rep. Nadler is arguing that pulling funding for campus antisemitism would be counterproductive because colleges that platform antisemitism need help.
He falsely contends that “a university might lose its funding if a single student showed up to a single event with a single antisemitic sign—even if that student had no affiliation with the school”. The amendment states that the event itself has to promote antisemitism.
But that’s where Rep. Nadler shows his true colors.
He worries that an event might be wrongly characterized as antisemitic. An interesting concern for a supposedly Jewish politician who claims to be concerned about antisemitism, but is actually more concerned about antisemites.
Rep. Nadler argues that it’s unfair because Congress doesn’t cut off funding to colleges that platform homophobia, so why should it cut funding for antisemitism. Jewish constituents of Rep. Nadler must find the “why focus on antisemitism” argument very comforting.
Then he attacks a ban on funding campus antisemitism as “draconian”. Who thinks fighting campus hatred of Jews is “draconian”? Jew-haters and their political allies.
Allies like Rep. Nadler.
Nadler shows he cares more about antisemites than antisemitism.