Emmer slams Omar for encouraging ‘pro-terrorist’ campus protests

Emmer said "an individual was carrying a flag of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization," at a U of M protest.

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (House Republicans/Facebook) slammed Rep. Ilhan Omar for encouraging "pro-terrorist, antisemitic protests." (Twitter screenshot)

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., sent a letter to the interim president of the University of Minnesota seeking answers on “the safety of Jewish students.” Specifically, the Minnesota congressman demanded to know how the university is working to “cultivate a safe and tolerant learning environment” in the wake of widespread college protests.

In recent days, students at colleges and universities throughout the United States have staged massive demonstrations related to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East. Describing the protests as “antisemitic and pro-terror,” Majority Whip Emmer said groups joining these protests are “openly supporting Hamas and instilling fear of violence against our Jewish students.”

At Columbia University in New York, protests have taken over the school’s campus and resulted in many arrests. According to Congressman Emmer, University of Minnesota students have “taken inspiration from the protests at Columbia University and have replicated similar antisemitic activity.”

Alpha News previously reported that nine people were arrested at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus after attempting to set up an encampment on school grounds in violation of university policy. Six of those nine individuals were current students, another was a staff member. Initially banned from returning to campus, the current students and staff member eventually saw their trespassing bans retracted by the university.

However, the University of Minnesota did indicate that other institutional consequences may follow for the arrested students and staffer.

Majority Whip Emmer referenced this encampment in his letter to Interim University President Jeff Ettinger.

“Antisemitism was present throughout the encampment, and my office was informed that the group was chanting, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ and an individual was carrying a flag of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” stated Emmer’s letter.

Furthermore, Emmer said Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., encouraged the protesters.

“The University students at the University of Minnesota and Columbia were also validated by Representative Omar, who attended the protest at the University of Minnesota and publicly praised the actions of the Columbia students who created a hostile and antisemitic campus for Jewish students at Columbia University,” said the majority whip.

In fact, Omar later traveled to Columbia University to meet with the protesters, including one, Khymani James, who has said “Zionists don’t deserve to live.”

“Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent remarks at the University of Minnesota should be seen for what they are: The total embrace and encouragement of pro-terrorist, antisemitic protests nationwide,” Emmer told the Daily Mail.

Emmer did note that he was “pleased” the University of Minnesota “is enforcing campus policy and state law and has arrested nine individuals who were in violation.” Nevertheless, the Republican lawmaker warned that the arrests have “not deterred protesters, and the threat of escalation still exists.”

“I am writing to ensure that the University is doing everything in its power to ensure the safety of Jewish students and prevent the violent escalation of protests that the country is witnessing,” wrote Emmer.

As such, the congressman requested information on the measures taken by the University of Minnesota “to ensure the safety of their Jewish students while this unlawful, antisemitic activity has been occurring.”

Additionally, Emmer sought information on school deescalation tools, disciplinary action against students who violate campus policy and state law, and whether the university envisions “taking drastic measures, like online learning,” if protests escalate.

The congressman asked Interim University President Ettinger to respond by May 6.

Since Emmer’s letter was published, student protesters at the University of Minnesota have said they will be “escalating come Monday.”


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.