​Jewish Voice for Peace Students Respond to Congressional Hearing on Campus Antisemitism

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Today the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing with the presidents of Northwestern University, Rutgers University, and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) titled “Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos.” This hearing, the fourth of its kind, serves to distract the American public from the Israeli military’s genocidal campaign in Gaza, where every single university is destroyed. Over the past months, thousands of Jewish students have joined their peers on college campuses in calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. In speaking out against the Israeli military’s brutal violence, which has claimed the lives of over 35,000 Palestinians, these students are upholding the most sacred Jewish commandment, pikuach nefesh, the commandment to save lives.

“I joined the protests calling out Northwestern’s complicity in the Israeli military’s destruction of Gaza because as the descendant of people who fled genocide I understand that never again must mean never again for anyone. Despite attacks from counter protests and condemnation from Congress, I will keep calling for an end to genocide. It is what Jewish tradition requires of me.” - Paz Baum, Jewish Voice for Peace at Northwestern University, class of 2025.

"I am a Jewish student at UCLA who proudly participated in the protest calling on our university to divest from genocide. I felt completely safe in the encampment until we were attacked by pro-genocide counterprotesters and the police. These hearings are designed to stoke divisions so that we forget who is actually unsafe–the students of Gaza where every university has been destroyed. " - Benjamin Kersten, Member of JVP at UCLA, fifth year PHD student studying Jewish Art History.

“This hearing has nothing to do with keeping Jewish students on campus safe, and is solely designed as part of a broader campaign to silence anti-war activism and dissent on college campuses. MAGA Republicans are merging attempts to censor students and faculty speaking out for Palestinian rights with a broader culture war campaign against DEI, critical race theory, LGBTQ rights, and more.” - Beth Miller, Political Director of JVP Action

“It is offensive and dangerous that right-wing Republicans are putting on a show hearing under the pretense of protecting Jewish safety when in fact the only thing they are protecting are the profits of weapons companies and ongoing U.S. complicity in Israeli war crimes. Congress is using these hearings to distract from the very point of the principled anti-genocide student movement: the US and Israeli governments continue this genocide despite mass opposition.” -Stefanie Fox, Executive Director Jewish Voice for Peace

For almost eight months, the Israeli military has waged a genocidal campaign in Gaza leading to the deaths of more than 35,000 Palestinians including 13,000 children. The Israeli military has bombed the entirety of Gaza, damaged all universities in Gaza, displaced millions, and catalyzed mass starvation. The United States government gives more than $3.8 billion to the Israeli military every year and approved an additional $14 billion in military funding last February. Polls consistently show that the vast majority of American voters want the Israeli military’s destruction of Gaza to stop, yet most elected officials have failed to call for a ceasefire.

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