Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Steele: University of Michigan should stop antisemitic harassment
RELEASE|April 24, 2024
Contact: Donni Steele

State Rep. Donni Steele on Wednesday called for University of Michigan leadership to regain control of their campus and end ongoing anti-Israel protests before they spiral out of control. Columbia University in New York, where a similar protest is underway, was forced to cancel most in-person classes for the remainder of the semester out of fear, allowing a minority of students to dictate scheduling for the entire campus.

“There is nothing peaceful about protestors seizing control of a heavily trafficked community space to spew antisemitic hate at passing students and faculty,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “All people, including Jewish students, deserve a safe place to receive an education and should not be subject to daily confrontations with people actively calling for the annihilation of Israel.”

On Monday, protestors set up more than 20 tents on the Michigan Diag, one of the most prominent spaces on campus. Organizers, led by the TAHRIR Coalition, are calling for the University of Michigan to stop “financially aiding” Israel and end the “settler colonialism, occupation, mass incarceration, apartheid, and genocide in Palestine.”

“It seems these protestors will go to any length and use any sensationalized rhetoric to help wipe Israel off the map,” Steele said. “The University of Michigan cannot give in to the demands of this small group of radicalized students who ignore the atrocities committed by the Hamas terrorists. We would all like the violence to stop.”

Instead of leadership regaining control at the Columbia University campus, they opted to deactivate access cards for Jewish faculty and advise students to stay home to avoid confrontation with protestors. These decisions came after several violent altercations between students and protestors, to the detriment of students trying to obtain an education.

“The University of Michigan cannot wait until its students are violently attacked before they act,” Steele said. “We have to see through the false claims of peacefulness and see this protest for what it actually is, a clear attempt to threaten and shame Jewish students and university leadership into submission.”


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