In the hours and days after October 7, 2023, the world watched in horror as the realities of Hamas’ terroristic attack on Israeli communities and military bases. Hamas’ actions, which included the murder of 1,300 innocent Israelis, were condemned worldwide, including by a unanimous vote of the House of Representatives on House Resolution 245.
Recently, pro-Palestinian protests and demonstrations have been held on college campus that have condemned Israel’s military response to the Hamas incursion and demanded that colleges divest its investments from companies connected to Israel.
Protests are a common occurrence on college and university campuses, but unlawful actions like the forceful occupations of academic buildings and destruction of college and university property are not protected First Amendment activities. We have no issue with those who protest within the law to make their voice heard. However, unlawful protests that interfere with the right of other students to pursue their education should not be tolerated. The situation has become so problematic that some college administrations have resorted to using force to clear the unauthorized protests and to restore order.
We will be introducing legislation to help underscore the importance of lawful protest activities while addressing those who veer into unlawful activities.