Republicans accuse Biden of putting ‘more pressure on Israel’ than Hamas amid college riots

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Republican senators on Wednesday accused President Biden of being more critical of U.S. ally Israel than the anti-Israel and antisemitic riots that have evolved out of protests on some college campuses across the country. 

‘Joe Biden is putting more pressure on Israel these days than he is on Hamas itself or on the pro-Hamas chapters on America’s campuses,’ Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said during a press conference. 

Cotton said this wasn’t surprising, citing what he said were ‘antisemitic elements’ of the Democratic Party that have been allowed to ‘fester and grow for years’ under Biden’s watch. Biden has notably criticized Israel and let disagreements between the country and the U.S. be known publicly as Israel continues to battle the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza. 

Biden and his administration’s officials have on several occasions stressed concerns about Israel’s actions to curb civilian deaths as it fights Hamas. The president even threatened that U.S. policy toward Israel would be dependent on the country minimizing civilian casualties after seven aid workers were recently killed by an Israeli strike. 

An encampment protesting Israel’s actions initially began at Columbia University in New York City last month, escalating over the course of roughly two weeks with demonstrators ultimately taking over a campus building. After the building was taken over, the university opted to once again call in the New York City Police Department (NYPD), which arrested 108 people, giving each a trespassing summons. 

Following the beginning of Columbia’s encampment, which gained national media coverage, there have been at least 47 anti-Israel protests at the top 50 universities, as ranked by the U.S. News and World Report in 2024.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said Biden ‘could stop this stuff on a dime’ if he chose, suggesting the president could call universities and threaten their federal funding to motivate them to break up the unruly demonstrations. 

However, he said, ‘It just goes to show you that even old people can s–k,’ in reference to Biden, who is 81 years old. 

Kennedy also pointed to poor polling for the president, saying that Biden is not taking action because he is ‘scared to death to alienate the Hamas wing of the Democratic Party.’

Cotton excoriated the demonstrations, describing them as ‘little Gazas that have risen up on campuses across America.’ He also called them ‘disgusting cesspools of antisemitic hate, full of pro-Hamas sympathizers.’

‘Fanatics and freaks,’ Cotton added. 

According to the Arkansas senator, Biden needs to condemn the ‘Hamas campus sympathizers’ without ‘equivocating about Israelis fighting a righteous war of survival.’ 

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement Tuesday, ‘President Biden has stood against repugnant, antisemitic smears and violent rhetoric his entire life. He condemns the use of the term ‘intifada,’ as he has the other tragic and dangerous hate speech displayed in recent days. President Biden respects the right to free expression, but protests must be peaceful and lawful. Forcibly taking over buildings is not peaceful – it is wrong. And hate speech and hate symbols have no place in America.’

However, Biden hasn’t made direct comments condemning the protests and riots and has not indicated any federal action.

Cotton reiterated his calls on the departments of State, Homeland Security, Justice and Education to address the escalating protests and riots. He urged them to revoke visas for students participating and deport them, investigate any funding behind the protests, and stop funding schools that ‘won’t protect the civil rights of their Jewish students.’

Cotton and Kennedy were joined by Republican Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Rick Scott of Florida, Joni Ernst of Iowa, John Cornyn of Texas and Roger Marshall of Kansas.

The White House did not immediately provide comment to Fox News Digital.

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