Republican Sen Rubio: Protecting Federal Student Aid from Terrorist Activity

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., intends to put an end to federal tax dollars funding pro-terrorist activities on college campuses across the United States. 

As a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, Rubio proposed the Ending Subsidies for Pro-Terrorist Activities on Campus Act on Wednesday, which would treat terrorist-related behavior as grounds for expulsion from federal student aid.  

“The last thing that students should be worried about is their safety. Shamefully, some students and faculty members are supporting an organization that has pledged to commit violence until Israel no longer exists,” Rubio said in a statement. 

The legislation is a response to the growing support for Hamas on college campuses in the wake of the Islamist terrorist organization’s deadly assault on Israel, in which more than 1,400 people lost their lives. 

Since Hamas’s attack on October 7, Jewish students around the country have been subjected to an increase in acts of vandalism, arson, and harassment.

“American tax dollars should not be funding antisemitic, pro-terrorist activities on college campuses. It is ridiculous that the government is subsidizing this,” Rubio said.

The legislation also mandates that universities that receive public funding publicly disclose the measures they have taken to prevent hate speech and antisemitism on campus. 

Colleges are obligated to identify and report any international students suspected of having ties to terrorism or violating the new policies to the Departments of Homeland Security and State.

There were more than a dozen reports of antisemitism or assaults on Jewish students at college institutions in the last month. 

Over thirty student groups at Harvard co-signed a letter declaring they hold the Israeli regime entirely accountable for all unfolding violence when the attacks in the Holy Land broke out. 

The October 7 letter stated, “Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum; for the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to live in an open-air prison. Israeli officials promise to ‘open the gates of hell,’ and the massacres in Gaza have already commenced. In the coming days, Palestinians will be forced to bear the full brunt of Israel’s violence. The apartheid regime is the only one to blame.”

At least five of the groups revoked their support for the letter following harsh backlash. Harvard president Claudine Gay also addressed the controversy, insisting the university rejects terrorism and denounces hate and harassment toward any group but maintains support for free expression on campus. 

NYU students tore down posters depicting Israeli captives on October 16 outside Tisch Hall. One of the three students identified in the viral video, Yazmeen Deyhimi, has apologized on social media.

Another incident was reported out of Stanford University, where an instructor allegedly asked Jewish and Israeli students to identify themselves. Three students told Rabbi Dov Greenberg, director of the Chabad Stanford Jewish Center, that the instructor told them to gather their belongings and stand in the corner because “this is what Israel does to the Palestinians.”

According to a report from Jewish publication The Forward, “The instructor then asked them, ‘How many people died in the Holocaust?’ When a student answered, ‘Six million,’ the lecturer said, ‘Colonizers killed more than 6 million. Israel is a colonizer,'” 

According to Stanford University, the unidentified instructor was benched pending an investigation.