(USNewsMag.com) – On Oct. 16, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley sent Attorney General Merrick Garland a letter requesting that any potential financial ties between the pro-Palestine student groups that have been protesting on college campuses and Hamas be investigated by the Department of Justice.
In his letter, Hawley wrote that after the Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, “several far-left student groups,” according to public reports, have rallied to basically support “Hamas’s genocidal war” against Jewish people.
The student groups have held pro-Palestine rallies at Harvard University, the University of California, Columbia University, and the University of Virginia. Thirty-four student groups from Harvard signed a letter that placed blame for the “unfolding violence” solely on the “Israeli regime.” Released on the day of the attacks, the statement from the Harvard student groups said the events had not occurred “in a vacuum.”
An Israeli student was attacked during the rally at Columbia University, allegedly by a pro-Palestinian student. As a result, the campus was closed to the public.
The chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Virginia called the attacks “a step towards a free Palestine.”
The University of California, Berkeley, chapter “Reject Israel’s framing as a victim”
In his letter, Hawley wrote that the student groups appear to support murdering “innocent people, including children and babies.” Hawley added that the groups appear to be rallying “in a coordinated fashion.”
Hawley requested the Department of Justice investigate if the student groups are being funded by third parties and whether those third parties have ties to Hamas. Hawley added that the right to protest is protected by the First Amendment; however, “the provision of material support to terrorist organizations” is not protected.
A letter was sent to various universities by the Israel on Campus Coalition asking that they rescind their support as well as funding for the Students for Justice in Palestine group. A statement from the student group Students for Justice in Palestine said that the group has no financial or political ties to Hamas.
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