Lloyd Smucker

11/16/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/16/2023 12:24

Smucker Comments on Rise of Antisemitism in Education

Washington-Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) is speaking out against the rise in antisemitic acts witnessed across America at colleges and universities, as well as in middle and high schools. Smucker reiterated his support for Israel and its right to defend itself from the barbaric terrorist actions of Hamas, and asked witnesses about antisemitism during recent committee hearings.

The Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee of the Education & the Workforce Committee, held a hearing on Tuesday entitled "CONFRONTING THE SCOURGE OF ANTISEMITISM ON CAMPUS."

Click here to
watch Rep. Smucker's comments and questions from the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee hearing.

Rep. Smucker said "It is shocking to see what's happening in our society, what's happening on our campuses. There's something wrong with the moral fabric of our society when you have antisemitism rising in the way we are seeing today."

Smucker asked Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union, "what is going wrong beginning in our K-12 system that we are at the point we are today?"

Rabbi Hauer responded: "what we have seen very clearly is that the kinds of behaviors and the kinds of environments that have been created on university campuses, which until very recently we only found in university campuses, we are now finding in K-12 or specifically middle school through 12th (grade) environments." Rabbi Hauer noted how incidents of antisemitism have impacted Jewish Student Union clubs in middle and schools across the country.

The House Ways & Means Committee held a hearing on Wednesday entitled: "From Ivory Towers to Dark Corners: Investigating the Nexus Between Antisemitism, Tax-Exempt Universities, and Terror Financing."

Smucker began his comments, stating: "There is no equivalency between what Hamas did, the horrific attacks and Israel defending itself. And I think it is important that is said… And so we stand with Israel and Israel's right to defend itself." In his comments, Smucker mentioned a recent antisemitic vandalism which occurred at Millersville University in Lancaster County.

Smucker asked Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, Senior Vice President of Research, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), if Congress should be concerned about foreign investments in universities from nations who don't share our democratic values and what steps we should take to ensure college endowments aren't investing in countries which actively oppose the United States.

Dr. Schanzer responded by noting instances of significant direct investment in colleges from foreign nations and said "we don't know what the countries are receiving in return. And that's a huge problem. We need to see the contracts, we need to see what the universities agreed to in order to receive those funds. And it's not happening. The Department of Education is actually woefully behind in tracking these disclosures."

Click here to watch Rep. Smucker's comments from the Ways & Means Committee hearing.