Rick Scott calls for Columbia resignations, donors to withhold funds as protests rage 

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Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) called for donations to stop and for resignations of officials at Columbia University amid protests gaining steam at college campuses around the nation.

“If you’re a donor to Columbia University, stop,” Scott said in an interview that aired Sunday on radio show “The Cats Roundtable” with hosts John Catsimatidis and Rita Cosby. “If you’re a board member, if you’re not gonna hold your administration accountable, you should resign.”

Protests focused on Palestinian human rights and the dire humanitarian aid situation in Gaza have sprung up at college campuses across the country, most notably at Columbia. The Columbia protest has faced accusations of antisemitism, which protest leaders have pushed back on.

“We are frustrated by media distractions focusing on inflammatory individuals who do not represent us,” Columbia protest leaders wrote in a statement last week.

Columbia has also banned a student protest leader who said “Zionists don’t deserve to live” from the campus, a university spokesperson confirmed to The Hill Friday. Khymani James, the student, said in a video that recently resurfaced from earlier this year that people should “be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists.”

Scott also went after his colleague Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), saying that he said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “the elected leader of the only democracy in the Middle East, should be kicked out of office.” 

Last month, Schumer called for new elections in Israel and said that Netanyahu has “lost his way.” He also said that [a]s a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me: The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after Oct. 7.”

“The world has changed — radically — since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past,” Schumer continued.

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