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Hawley and Cotton Urge Biden to Activate National Guard in Response to Gaza Demonstrations at Universities

Republican Senators Josh Hawley (Credits: Politico)

Republican Senators Josh Hawley (MO) and Tom Cotton (AR) urged President Biden on Monday to deploy the National Guard to colleges, specifically Columbia University in New York City, where pro-Palestinian protesters have staged sit-ins and disruptive activities to draw attention to the war.

Hawley drew a historical parallel, stating, “Eisenhower sent the 101st to Little Rock. It’s time for Biden to call out the National Guard at our universities to protect Jewish Americans.” This reference alludes to President Eisenhower’s decision in 1957 to deploy the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock, Arkansas, to ensure the safety of nine African-American students integrating Central High School.

Tom Cotton (Credits: Rolling Stone)

Cotton demanded that the Biden administration take action to disperse pro-Palestinian groups on Columbia’s campus if New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) fails to intervene by deploying the New York National Guard.

He emphasized, “The nascent pogroms at Columbia have to stop TODAY… If Eric Adams won’t send the NYPD and Kathy Hochul won’t send the National Guard, Joe Biden must take charge and break up these mobs.”

Cotton’s call for federal intervention echoes his previous suggestion during the 2020 protests following George Floyd’s murder, when he advocated for invoking the Insurrection Act to restore order.

Columbia University, which has drawn national attention due to the escalating protests, announced on Monday that it would shift to remote classes to diffuse the tense campus situation.

President Joe Biden (Credits: The White House)

Students, including Jewish students, have set up a protest camp on the central lawn, demanding university divestment from companies profiting from the war.

Despite Columbia President Minouche Shafik’s efforts to break up the encampment with police assistance, resulting in over 100 arrests and student suspensions, the protests have continued and spread to other universities like Yale, where police arrested over 45 demonstrators on Monday.

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