WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind. District 7 was one of 23 lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives who voted against a recent resolution brought to the floor, which condemned institutions of higher education supporting Hamas.
According to the bipartisan resolution, which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives, lawmakers said that an institution that openly supports Hamas, Hezbollah and/or other terrorist organizations “may lead to the creation of a hostile environment for Jewish students, faculty, and staff.
According to previous reports, more than 1,400 people were slain in Israel during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, according to the Israeli government, and at least 229 hostages were taken into Gaza. Palestinian militants have fired thousands of rockets into Israel, including one that hit a residential building in Tel Aviv on Friday, wounding four people.
The resolution was brought forward by U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah District 4 and four Indiana lawmakers cosponsored the bill, including U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind. District 3, U.S. Rep. Jim Baird, R-Ind. District 4, U.S. Rep. Erin Houchin, R-Ind. District 9 and U.S. Rep. Rudy Yakym, R-Ind. District 2.
Carson, along with 22 other lawmakers, voted against the resolution. The other lawmakers included:
- U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR District 3
- U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y. District 16
- U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-MO District 1
- U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, D-FL District 10
- U.S. Rep. Jesús G. “Chuy” García, D-IL District 4
- U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA District 2
- U.S. Rep. Jonathan Jackson, D-IL District 1
- U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA District 7
- U.S. Rep. Summer Lee, D-PA District 12
- U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY District 4
- U.S. Rep. James McGovern, D-MA District 2
- U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. District 14
- U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MN District 5
- U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-MA District 7
- U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-IL District 3
- U.S. Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA District 39
- U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-MI District 12
- U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-NY District 15
- U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-IL District 14
- U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-NY District 7
- U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA District 43
- U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ District 12
“A disturbing number of student organizations at institutions of higher education placed blame solely upon the state of Israel for the attack and expressed support for the terrorist actions of Hamas through the glorification of violence and the usage of antiemetic rhetoric,” the resolution said.
The resolution provided a number of examples from universities like Cornell and Stanford surrounding incidents where support for Hamas was given on campuses. Lawmakers stressed that this creates a hostile working and learning environment for Jewish students, faculty and staff.
The resolution calls for campus administrators to condemn all forms of antisemitism on college campuses and ensure that Jewish students, faculty and guests can “exercise the same free speech rights as are guaranteed” to everyone else without intimindation.
“Many administrators of institutions of higher education do not follow the practice of institutional neutrality and frequently speak out on public issues, but have failed to speak out clearly after the October 7 attack by Hamas, and have exposed their lack of regard for their Jewish and pro-Israel students.”
In a statement provided to FOX59/CBS4, Carson said the following about voting against the resolution:
Antisemitism has no place in our society, and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. While well-intentioned, this resolution is derived from false implications that antisemitism has gone unchallenged on college campuses and implies that every pro-Palestine demonstration is antisemitic. Free speech is the cornerstone of our democracy, and we must protect the right of all Americans to assemble peacefully.Carson
Carson, who is a Muslim lawmaker, said this issue is very personal to him, with Muslims and mosques are being attacked. Carson stressed that Islamaphobia continues to be a reality.
“The Israeli/Palestinian question is one that is still pervasive. It is a very divisive issue in Congress, obviously,” he said. “But it’s even more divisive in cities and states where people of good will have no longer been able to have an honest discussion without this issue fraying relationships.”
Carson said if Palestinian and Muslim perspectives are not included in the conversations surrounding these resolutions, he called it “window dressing.” Carson said these resolutions should protect all.
The conversation about this is expanding in the Democratic caucus, Carson said, with more people being encouraged to speak up.
“I think members are being pressed, not only by their constituents, but by family members, by their own kids,” he said. “I think this could open up a window of opportunity for the caucus to be honest because if we are being honest about really resolving this issue and creating a space for not only global peace, but peace in that region, I think we have to have an honest dialogue and not issue sham bills or sham resolutions that further divide the caucus.”