'It's about time': US reps spark online debate over bill forcing colleges to appoint third-party antisemitism monitors

'It's about time': US reps spark online debate over bill forcing colleges to appoint third-party antisemitism monitors
Mike Lawler and Ritchie Torres introduced new bill that threatens college to adress antisemitism or risk losing federal funding (@RepMikeLawler, @RepRitchie/X, Screenshot/PBS)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: GOP Congressman Mike Lawler and Democratic Congressman Ritchie Torres, both representing New York, have joined efforts to introduce a law to address the ongoing anti-Israel protests on the campus of Columbia University on Friday, April 26, reported Fox News.

According to the media house, the protests have an anti-semitic tone and are putting the safety and well-being of Jewish students at risk.

Mike Lawler and Ritchie Torres propose COLUMBIA Act

The new legislation called the College Oversight and Legal Updates Mandating Bias Investigations and Accountability (COLUMBIA) Act, would give the US Department of Education the authority to impose a third-party antisemitism monitor on colleges receiving federal funding if passed.

The monitor is to be appointed by the Secretary of Education, who would also set the terms and conditions of their work. However, the expenses for monitorship have to be borne by the colleges themselves.

Responsibilities of the monitor would include creating and publishing an online quarterly report evaluating progress on combating antisemitism at the college or university. It would further include recommendations for Congress, the Secretary of Education and others as required.

The colleges and universities which would fail to comply with the monitorship would risk losing federal funding.


US reps say Columbia crisis 'is the straw that has broken the camel’s back'

"Rising antisemitism on our college campuses is a major concern, and we must act to ensure the safety of students. If colleges will not step up to protect their students, Congress must act," stated GOP lawmaker, Rep Mike Lawler on the bill.

"My office and I have spoken with countless Jewish students from campuses across America who feel deeply unsafe, purely as a result of their religious and ethnic identity. This is a blatant violation of Title VI, and the federal government cannot allow this to continue unchecked," said Rep Ritchie Torres, Democrat.

"This past week’s crisis at Columbia is not an isolated incident — it is the straw that has broken the camel’s back — and I am prepared to do something about it. That’s why I am introducing the COLUMBIA Act today, and I urge all of my colleagues in the House, from both parties, to join me in this crucial action," he added.

Internet asks 'what about freedom of speech?'

The internet was divided in their take on the introduced legislation.

"About time..it’s getting outta hand," wrote a user.


"This is really one of the right steps," stated another.


"That's harsh thou," noted a third.


"Freedom of Speech...?" inquired a fourth user.


"Individuals should have the freedom to hate who they choose. No matter how ignorant it may be," shared a fifth.


"It is not antisemitism to protest against Netanyahu's brutal military attack against Gaza, which has killed over 30,000 people (mostly civilians, including thousands of children). Criticism of Israeli government policies is not the same as racism/antisemitism," read a sixth comment.


This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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