Speaker Johnson Says Columbian President ‘Weak, Inept’, Calls for Resignation

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has added his voice to the chorus of calls for Columbia University President Minouche Shafik to resign. Shafik testified to a Congressional committee recently amid anti-Israel protests on the New York City University’s campus. New York police arrested more than 100 demonstrators, including Isra Hirsi, daughter of “squad” member Ilhan Omar, after they set up encampments on campus lawns.

Mr. Johnson met with Jewish students as witnesses claimed protestors chanted “death to Jews” during their demonstration. The Republican Speaker said Columbia officials had permitted “mob rule” and exploited the First Amendment to elevate antisemitism. Johnson said one of the purposes of his visit was to call on Shafik to stand down if she cannot “bring order to this chaos.”

Mr. Johnson was met with booing and heckling as he delivered his speech, during which he described a Hamas statement labeling the protestors “the future leaders of America.”

Jewish students described feeling unsafe on campus as demonstrators called for Tel Aviv to burn. Johnson called such remarks “detestable” and vowed that neither Jewish students nor the state of Israel would ever have to stand alone.

Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar commented on Johnson’s visit and accused the Speaker of stirring up anger and hate. Rep. Omar furiously condemned Republicans who suggested the National Guard should be deployed to quell the protests, saying it was “astonishing” that this should be taken seriously.

Following Columbia’s example, students have established encampments at other schools across America, including the University of California, the University of Texas, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They are demanding their colleges divest from any businesses or organizations that conduct business with the Israeli government.

The White House issued a statement saying President Biden is aware of the protests, and during a recent speech, the President referred to them as “antisemitic.” Donald Trump said Joe Biden is to blame because he has “sent the wrong signals” and “doesn’t know who he’s backing.”