A Democratic senator blocked a resolution condemning antisemitic speech on college campuses proposed by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Thursday.
The resolution, for which Hawley sought unanimous consent, comes as pro-Palestinian protests have erupted on college campuses after the deadly surprise attack on Israel carried out by Hamas terrorists that killed and wounded thousands in Israel Oct. 7.
“Students at Ohio State praised the heroic resistance in Gaza,” Hawley said on the floor. “Heroic — it’s now heroic — to massacre Jews in cold blood. It’s now heroic to try and carry out a genocide against Jewish people.
“Students at the University of North Carolina said it is our moral obligation to be in solidarity — no matter the pathway to liberation, their word that they choose. This includes violence.
“Calling for the death of Jewish people is not just another opinion. Calling for the genocide and celebrating the genocide of Jewish babies is not just another opinion.”
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., blocked the unanimous consent resolution, noting most of the protests were not violent, “as repugnant as some of them were in terms of the words.” He said the resolution would “smear all of the students who engage in these protests,” potentially violating First Amendment rights.
“I would stand with my colleagues in standing up to hateful rhetoric, condemning antisemitism,” Van Hollen said. “But what this resolution does is not that.”
Hawley called it a “failure of moral nerve.”
“What’s happened today is one senator has blocked this body from condemning the attacks against Jewish people in Israel, Jewish Americans in this nation, and pretend that there’s some moral equivalency here between this and what the threat of the State of Israel is under,” Hawley said. “We have students in this country who are specifically calling for and celebrating the killing of Jews, and we can’t condemn that on the floor of the Senate.”
Meanwhile, the Senate adopted a bipartisan resolution — co-signed by 99 lawmakers — to support Israel in its defense Thursday afternoon.
Earlier this week, Hawley also called on the Department of Justice to probe far-left pro-Palestinian student organizations on university campuses involved in the protests to investigate whether they receive third-party funding from Hamas.
Those universities include Harvard, UCLA, Columbia University and the University of Virginia. Harvard alone had 34 student groups write in a letter the “Israeli regime” was “entirely responsible” for the “unfolding violence” in Israel.
The Harvard student organizations’ statement, released on the day of the Hamas attacks, also said the events did not occur “in a vacuum.”
Columbia University closed its campus to the public after an Israeli student was attacked by an alleged pro-Palestinian student.
The University of Virginia chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine also announced the attacks on Israel were “a step towards a free Palestine.”
“National Students for Justice in Palestine has zero financial or political ties to Hamas or any other institution within Palestine,” Students for Justice in Palestine told Fox News Digital previously in a statement.