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Sen. Rubio introduces bill to ban federal tax dollars to pro-terrorist activities on college campuses

FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wants to put an end to federal tax dollars funding “pro-terrorist activities” on college campuses across the U.S. 

Rubio – a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – introduced the Ending Subsidies for Pro-Terrorist Activities on Campus Act on Wednesday, which would designate terrorist-related activity as grounds for disqualification 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 told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

The bill comes as student groups on college campuses have shown support for Hamas, the Islamist terrorist group, after its attack on Israel, which killed more than 1,400 people. 

Since the Oct. 7 massacre carried out by Hamas, Jewish students nationwide have experienced a surge in incidents like vandalism, arson and harassment.

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Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio introduced the Ending Subsidies for Pro-Terrorist Activities on Campus Act on Nov. 1. (Getty Images)

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

The bill also requires publicly-funded higher education institutions to publicly report their policies to prevent and address unprotected speech related to terrorist activities and antisemitism on campus

It also requires colleges to identify and report candidates and applicants involved in terrorist-related activity, as well as foreign students violating the new policies to the Departments of Homeland Security and State.

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Israel and Palestinian rallies

Protesters in support of Israel and Palestinians rally on college campuses. (Getty Images)

Over a dozen instances of antisemitism or alleged attacks on Jewish students have been reported on college campuses last month. 

More than 30 student groups at Harvard co-signed a letter declaring they “hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence” when the attacks in the Holy Land broke out. 

“Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum,” the Oct. 7 letter stated. “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 withdrew their support for the letter following intense backlash. Harvard president Claudine Gay also addressed the controversy, insisting the university “reject terrorism” and denounce hate and harassment toward any group but maintained support for free expression on campus. 

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Pro-Palestine rally

People rally in support of Palestinians in Times Square in New York on Oct. 8, 2023, after Hamas terrorists launched an attack on Israel. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP)

At New York University, students were caught tearing down posters of Israeli hostages Oct. 16 outside the university’s Tisch Hall.

Yazmeen Deyhimi, one of the three students identified in the viral video, offered an apology 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.”

“The instructor then asked, ‘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 a report from Jewish publication The Forward.

The instructor, who was not identified, was benched pending an investigation, according to Stanford University. 

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report. 

Jamie Joseph is a writer who covers politics. She leads Fox News Digital coverage of the Senate. 

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