Congressional Committee Targets Pro-Palestinian Groups with Investigation

by | May 15, 2024

Congressional Committee Targets Pro-Palestinian Groups with Investigation

by | May 15, 2024

u.s. treasury department building, washington, d.c lccn2011635063.tif

A House committee announced it was launching an investigation into 20 groups it claims are behind the campus protests against US support for Israel’s war in Gaza. In a letter to the Treasury Department, the members of Congress requested documents on the organizations while smearing them as antisemitic and pro-Hamas. 

On Tuesday, The Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the Committee on Education sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen requesting “All Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) generated in connection to the following organizations, or any known officer or employee thereof.” 

The list of 20 groups includes Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, IfNotNow, Open Society Foundations, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and People’s Forum. Some of the organizations are Jewish-led. 

The letter says the Committee is investigating “the sources of funding and financing for groups who are organizing, leading, and participating in pro-Hamas, antisemitic, anti-Israel, and anti-American protests with illegal encampments on American college campuses.” It continues, “This investigation relates both to malign influence on college campuses and to the national security implications of such influence on faculty and student organizations.”

The protest movement across college campuses has carried an overwhelming pro-Palestinian message. The students’ main demands have been a call for a ceasefire, an end to US arms shipments to Tel Aviv, and that their institutions divest from Israel. 

Still, the authors of the letter claim there are more nefarious forces at work. “It’s no coincidence that the day after the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack, antisemitic mobs began springing up at college campuses across the country,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said. “These protests have been coordinated and well organized, indicating that outside groups or influences may be at play. American education is under attack.” 

The protests have been peaceful, with most of the violence originating with the police or the pro-Israeli counter-protesters. 

Still, the college students exercising their First Amendment rights have been smeared and targeted by Congress. In a speech last week, Biden called the protesters antisemitic. “On college campuses, Jewish students [are] blocked, harassed, attacked while walking to class,” Biden said. “[There’s] Antisemitism — antisemitic posters, slogans calling for the annihilation of Israel, the world’s only Jewish State.”

Members of Congress have introduced a series of bills that seek to financially punish students joining the protests. However, a bill introduced by Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) takes the punishment further and is designed to send college protesters to Gaza.

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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