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Chairman Smith Slams Tax-Exempt Universities and Student Groups’ Support of Hamas

October 18, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) released the following statement blasting organizations and U.S. universities for their statements, or failure to condemn statements issued by student organizations, of support for Hamas and the barbaric acts of terrorism committed against the Jewish people in Israel.

Chairman Smith said, “To say I am disgusted by statements of support for Hamas that we’ve seen in recent days is an understatement. Celebrating, excusing, or downplaying the horrific rape, torture, and murder of innocent people is the same thing as supporting violence, or even calling for it. Releasing such statements, or failing to condemn them, is unforgivable and runs counter to our values as a nation.

“Some organizations that have celebrated the unspeakable acts of terror that claimed the lives of 30 Americans and hundreds of Israeli men, women, and children currently enjoy tax-exempt status in the United States, and their statements call into question the academic or charitable missions they claim to pursue. University administrators, for example, have weaponized their institutions to attack speech and free inquiry as ‘violence,’ yet fail to condemn actual violence that threatens our way of life all while their institutions enjoy lucrative federal tax-exempt status. 

“Congress and the American people will not forget on what side these institutions stood the day the largest number of Jewish people were killed since the Holocaust, and they must be held to account for their implicit, vile support of Hamas terrorists and violence against the people of Israel.”


  • In the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel, 34 Harvard student organizations issued a joint statement holding Israel at fault for the attack on their own people. Harvard University subsequently dragged their feet until finally condemning the Hamas terrorist attack three days later.
  • A student group at the University of Virginia released a statement expressing support for the “right of colonized people everywhere to resist the occupation of their land by whatever means they deem necessary.” That statement came after the “means” used included the kidnapping of women and children and numerous other unspeakable acts of horrific violence.
  • Northwestern University Students for Justice in Palestine released a statement stating Israel is not the “aggrieved party.” The statement went on to read that Israel could not “by any logical construct, claim victimhood” following an attack where 40 Israeli babies were brutally killed by Hamas terrorists.
  • In an appalling act of antisemitism, the same student group’s chapter at U.C. Berkeley released a statement stating, “We support the resistance, we support the liberation movement, and we indisputably support the Uprising.”