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WASHINGTON – Majority Whip Tom Emmer sent a letter Thursday to the University of Minnesota inquiring about their plan to protect Jewish students on campus, in light of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (MN-05) recent visit to the university where she applauded the pro-terrorist, antisemitic protests happening at colleges across the country. In a statement to the Daily Mail, Whip Emmer said, “Jewish students at the U of M deserve to know they will be safe on campus, which is why I am making sure the university is doing everything in its power to keep from turning into the next Columbia.”

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Top Republican swipes at 'pro-terrorist' Ilhan Omar after Squad member rallied anti-Israel students at the University of Minnesota and demands information on school's protocol to protect Jewish students

Daily Mail
Morgan Phillips
April 26, 2024

Whip Tom Emmer wrote a letter to the University of Minnesota demanding the administration explain how it will protect Jewish students from a rush of pro-Gaza protests that have at times turned antisemitic. 

Demonstrations of fiery young progressives have swept across the nation this week, including at the University of Minnesota, where Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., appeared in solidarity with the protesters. The House GOP whip took a swipe at his Minnesota colleague. 

'Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent remarks at the University of Minnesota should be seen for what they are: The total embrace and encouragement of pro-terrorist, antisemitic protests nationwide,' Emmer said in a statement to DailyMail.com.

Jewish students at the U of M deserve to know they will be safe on campus, which is why I am making sure the university is doing everything in its power to keep from turning into the next Columbia.'

Omar was kicked off the Foreign Affairs Committee last year for posts on X that invoked anti-Semitic tropes. Earlier this year Emmer called for an Ethics investigation into Omar over her disputed 'Somalia first' comment.

Emmer accused Omar of 'publicly prais[ing] the actions of the students who created a hostile and antisemitic campus for Jewish students.'

'We are seeing students justify their unlawful and non-compliant campus activity as an exercise of their First Amendment rights, which is not the case,' Emmer went on. 

Omar represents Minnesota's fifth district, where the university is located in Minneapolis.  

The House's number three Republican noted that protests at Columbia had at times turned violent, and some students chanted 'Jews, Jews go back to Poland' and 'Hamas we love you. We support your rockets too.'

'Unfortunately, students at the University of Minnesota have taken inspiration from the protests at Columbia University and have replicated similar antisemitic activity,' Emmer said. 

Students at Minnesota have shouted pro-Palestinian rallying cry 'From the river to the sea Palestine will be free' and carrying a flag for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a U.S.-designated terror group. 

Emmer asked the university to reveal its protocol for protecting Jewish students from a rise of antisemitism since October 7, its tools to 'deescalate' if protests turn violent and what the disciplinary measures will be for students who were arrested at the encampment. 

He said he was 'pleased' to see the university 'not taking this unlawful conduct lightly,' but noted 'this has not deterred protestors, and the threat of escalation still exists.'  

'Columbia University allowed their 'Gaza Solidarity Encampment' to escalate to the point where they had to move to hybrid classes. Does the University of Minnesota envision taking drastic measures, like online learning, if things continue to escalate?' he asked.  

Omar appeared at Minnesota on Tuesday night, hours after university police had arrested nine who had set up camp near the campus library and ignored police warnings to disperse. Hundreds had rallied to demand their release. 

The Minnesota Democrat praised the student activists for 'putting your bodies on the line to end the genocide in Gaza.' 

She tore into President Joe Biden and all elected leaders who have condemned antisemitism at such protests for not focusing more on the now-300 Palestinian bodies now found in a mass grave at a hospital in Khan Younis. 

'It's been incredibly painful for last five days to see the discovery while there is a discovery of a mass grave ... that our media, our elected politicians our president every single elected leader is spending time and energy in talking about the protests as if you all are not here to give voice to the genocide that is taking place in Gaza.' 

The congresswoman then made her way to the University of Columbia in New York City, where her daughter, a 21-year-old student there, said she had been left homeless and without food after a suspension and an arrest for her involvement. 

Omar's daughter Isra Hirsi, 21, was among 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators arrested at Columbia University on Thursday. 

Omar praised the protesters who were arrested along with her daughter as 'brave and patriotic students 'who stood up not on my time are you going to invest in state complacency and genocide not on my watch are you going to forget 34,000 people in Gaza have been massacred ... to allow highest number of children killed in a war in 10 years to take place with our tax dollars.'

The congresswoman was one of 37 Democrats to vote against Israel aid over the weekend, as the Palestinian death toll in Gaza since October 7 has surpassed 34,000.

In an appearance at her daughter's campus in New York, Omar toured Columbia's Gaza encampments that have become the epicenter of a nationwide movement. 

'I had the honor of seeing the Columbia University anti-war encampment firsthand,' Omar posted on X after her visit. 

'Contrary to right-wing attacks, these students are joyfully protesting for peace and an end to the genocide taking place in Gaza. I'm in awe of their bravery and courage.'

The students are largely demanding their universities divest from weapons manufacturers that supply arms to Israel. 

Protests at other institutions have devolved into such chaos that the University of Southern California canceled its 'main stage' commencement ceremony and arrested 97 demonstrators. 

Around 108 were arrested Wednesday night at Boston's Emerson College and protest encampments have sprung up at universities including Harvard, Brown, the University of Michigan, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt.

On Wednesday, a group of New York House Republicans led by Speaker Mike Johnson traveled to Columbia's campus in solidarity with Jewish students - and issued a call on President Minouche Shafik to resign if she cannot reestablish order on campus. 

Johnson was met with jeers and boos of 'go home Mike!' and 'Mike you suck.' 

The speaker railed against 'antisemites' who 'gnash their teeth and demand to wipe the State of Israel off the map and attack our innocent Jewish students.' 

Over outcry of the student activists, Johnson pressed on. 

'Things have gotten so out of control that the school has canceled in-person classes and now they've come up with this hybrid model, where they will discriminate against Jewish students. They are not allowed to come to class anymore for fear of their lives,' he said. 'And it's detestable, as Columbia has allowed these lawless agitators and radicals to take over.'