Home inContext What to Do About the Terrorist Supporters Among Us

What to Do About the Terrorist Supporters Among Us

Hans von Spakovsky
SOURCEThe Daily Signal

The pervasive and open antisemitism that has infected our academic institutions, such as Columbia University, with the chants of “Death to America”; rabid support for Hamas, a designated terrorist organization; and gleeful approval of the Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli civilians makes me feel as if we are experiencing the 1930s all over again.

The fact that this is happening in the United States is shocking and disgusting. It is especially horrifying to me, given the stories I heard from my German grandmother about the rise of antisemitism that she saw during the 1930s, such as Kristallnacht in 1938.

Over the weekend, I received an email from a friend who asked me what could be done, if anything, about the college students engaged in this behavior. Is this, he asked, protected free speech under the First Amendment, or is there a legitimate way to protect America from those “who openly advocate its destruction?”

This was my answer.

First, it’s important to remember that individuals who are not citizens have limited rights in this country, a principle the courts have upheld on numerous occasions. For example, federal laws ban aliens from contributing money to, or making any expenditure on behalf of, any candidate in any federal, state, or local election, a clear restriction on First Amendment protections that doesn’t apply to citizens.

In 2011, in Bluman v. Federal Election Commission, an opinion affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, then-Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh cited the Supreme Court’s “long held” view that the government can exclude aliens “from activities that are part of democratic self-government.”

That includes, for example, not only banning them from participation in our political and election process, but excluding them from “voting, serving as jurors, working as police or probation officers, or teaching at public schools.”

Under that logic, arguably any of those racist, antisemitic Hamas agitators at those universities and elsewhere who are aliens—whether they are here illegally or legally—do not have a First Amendment right that prevents them from being deported, particularly given their approval of mass murder by a terrorist organization in Israel.

Those here illegally should be immediately removed from the country.

Those aliens here legally should have their visas revoked and should also be immediately thrown out of the country. That’s well within the power of the federal government. Under 8 U.S.C. §1201, visas can be revoked “at any time” at the “discretion” of State Department officials.

Second, any of those hooligans who destroy or deface property, impede traffic, physically intimidate anyone, threaten police or Jews, or commit other crimes, and who are local, state, or federal employees, should be terminated from their jobs.

If they hold a security clearance, it should be revoked forthwith. Racist supporters of terrorism should not be working in government at any level, and certainly should not have a security clearance, since they are an obvious threat to our national security.

Third, many of those agitators cover their faces so they cannot be identified. The videos speak for themselves. In some instances, they can be seen intentionally and deliberately obstructing and blocking public roads and bridges, such as their recent blockade of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

The Federalist reports that those actions are being undertaken to “identify and blockade major choke points in the economy, focusing on points of production and circulation with the aim of causing the most economic impact” in order to “disrupt and blockade economic logistical hubs and the flow of capital.”

Such behavior potentially violates 42 U.S.C. §1985, which creates a civil cause of action for anyone victimized by persons who “conspire or go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another, for the purpose of depriving … any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws … whereby another is injured in his person or property, or deprived of having and exercising any right or privilege of a citizen of the United States.”

These are not victimless crimes. The victims of these terrorist supporters who are losing educational and economic opportunities—as well as being threatened, intimidated, or assaulted—have a cause of action against those arrested by law enforcement.

If so-called civil rights organizations like the ACLU weren’t denizens of the far Left these days, they would take up representation of these victims to go after the perpetrators.

Moreover, such lawless behavior is a criminal violation of 18 U.S.C. §241, which prohibits conspiring to “injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person … in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States” or to “go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured.”

That is clearly going on here, and the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice should open up investigations under Section 241 of those organizing and participating in these conspiratorial intimidation and blockade tactics.

Fourth, as my colleague Joel Griffith at The Heritage Foundation has pointed out, “Title VI of the Civil Rights Act protects Jews—just as every other race, color, national origin, and ethnicity—from discrimination at taxpayer-funded universities … When [antisemitic] activity breaches the bounds of free speech, universities must comply with their obligations under the Civil Rights Act.

“University-sponsored or enabled discrimination—including toleration of [antisemitic] behavior breaching the bounds of free speech—violates this Act.” That’s certainly what’s happening at universities across the country. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

Fifth, Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department since 1997. Providing “material support” to a terrorist organization is a violation of federal criminal law, 18 U.S.C. §2339A.

Are those organizing and participating in these protests, economic blockades, and intimidation otherwise providing “material support” for Hamas? That should be part of any Section 241 investigation.

Finally, bloggers, reporters, and other members of the public should do everything they can to identify and publicize the names of the individuals involved in this reprehensible, despicable misbehavior, especially those arrested, so that we know who they are.

They should be fired from their jobs, not hired by anyone, nor issued professional licenses such as by state bar licensing authorities, or associated with in any way.

In other words, they should be shunned by society. If not, we will be repeating the mistakes of the 1930s that my grandmother told me about when society stood by in many countries and did nothing to protect their Jewish citizens and allowed the terrorists of that time to prevail.