The following was emailed to the OCITF this morning from Congressman Klein’s office
Earlier this week, I invited several speakers to come to Capitol Hill to brief Congressional offices on reports of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel harassment against students on college campuses in the United States, an unacceptable and alarming problem that persists in various regions of the country. According to Jewish community officials, students at various universities around the country have reported repeated intimidation, harassment and even violent attacks on their college campuses by other students and non-students alike, causing emotional distress and prompting some students to go so far as to transfer schools.
Congressional staffers had the opportunity to hear presentations and engage in productive dialogue with very knowledgeable professionals from the American Jewish Committee, the Zionist Organization of America, Hillel and a former Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights. I’m confident that by educating others on the scope of this growing problem we can collaborate on a solution to leverage the authority of the federal government and college administrations to respond to these reports and protect Jewish students from this type of discrimination in the future.
As a member of Congress from Florida, I was particularly alarmed to learn that anti-Israel sentiment sometimes crosses the line to anti-Semitism at local Florida schools. While the speakers in attendance agreed that the climate for Jewish students on college campuses in the United States is generally good, it’s clear that anti-Semitic harassment is still a problem on some campuses, and we have a responsibility to work together to make sure these students are protected from this unwarranted harassment and discrimination.
As a co-chair of the Congressional Taskforce Against Anti-Semitism, and the parent of two university students, I am committed to working with the Department of Education, the Department of Justice and members of Congress to ensure that our college campuses are positive, safe and open forums for intellectual expression for every student enrolled.
I am interested in your feedback on this issue, and I encourage you to pass this message to students who may be interested in providing advice to Congress as we move forward.
Member of Congress
Congressman Ron Klein (FL-22)
313 Cannon HOB | Washington, DC 20515 | 202.225.3026 phone | 202.225.8398 fax