Andy Ogles;Republicans introduced a bill that would send college protestors to Gaza

Library of Congress dobok/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Go study abroad’: Republicans introduce bill to send pro-Palestine college protestors to Gaza

The bill requires those convicted of unlawful activity at college to serve 6 months of community service in Gaza.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on May 9, 2024

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday that would require any person “convicted of unlawful activity” on a college campus after Oct. 7, 2023, to do community service in Gaza. On Oct. 7, Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, attacked Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 hostages.

Ogles also introduced a bill that would revoke the student visa of college protestors who aren’t American citizens.

The Tennessee politician has been vocally opposed to pro-Palestinian protests and protest encampments on college campuses. The protests at schools across the country were in support of a ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas war and Palestinian liberation. Since Oct. 7, over 34,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli offensives.

Ogles sees the protests differently, though.

“These riots aren’t about Gaza; they’re about rejecting Western civilization and American principles,” Ogles tweeted yesterday in response to the D.C. student protestors projecting the message “Gaza lights the spark that will set the empire ablaze” onto an American flag hanging at George Washington University (GWU).

After assembling a protest encampment at GWU two weeks ago, D.C. college students were raided by D.C. Metro police yesterday and the encampment was shut down. Thirty-three students were arrested.

At similar encampments across the country, thousands of students have been arrested over the last two weeks by local authorities.

Ogles’ bill “to require a person convicted of unlawful activity on the campus of an institution of higher education beginning on or after October 7, 2023, to provide community service in Gaza” is also known as the Antisemitism Community Service Act.

Some college protestors have made anti-Semitic remarks, though the protests have generally aligned themselves as anti-Zionist, or in opposition to Israel and its siege on Gaza.

The proposed legislation would send offenders to Gaza for no less than six months. Gaza is facing severe famine and almost 2 million Palestinians have been displaced since October 7.

And though thousands of students were arrested as a result of college protests, the bill—if passed by Congress and signed by the president—would only affect those convicted of crimes, meaning students that were arrested, charged, tried in a court of law, and found guilty of crimes.

Rep. Randy Weber (R-Tex.) and Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) are co-sponsors on the bill. Weber tweeted yesterday that he was proud to introduce the legislation.

“I am going to bet that these pro-Hamas supporters wouldn’t last a day,” Weber said. “But let’s give them the opportunity.”

Ogles also introduced the “Study Abroad Act” yesterday, which would revoke student or exchange visitor visas from student protestors who are not American citizens.

“If you’re a student visa holder rioting AGAINST American values and FOR Hamas terrorists,” Ogles tweeted, “you can go study abroad in Gaza.”

Despite the attempts, the sensational bill is almost certainly to fail.

“Dude, have some self-respect,” derided someone else.

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*First Published: May 9, 2024, 12:05 pm CDT