Students bring signed petition to congresswoman’s office

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh college students and community members united Friday with the intent of delivering a petition to Congresswoman Summer Lee.

The group members, part of the Jewish community, are accusing Lee of accepting campaign contributions from individuals they view as “Hamas sympathizers and antisemites.”

The petition, signed by more than 1,000 people, requests that Lee “immediately” return the funds.

“I think it’s entirely unacceptable for our public leaders to take contributions through public antisemites. I don’t think that represents Pittsburgh and I think it’s a disgrace,” said Ben Koby, a Carnegie Mellon University Graduate Student.

The petition names specific donors, “such as Hatem Bazian, the founder of Students For Justice in Palestine, which has been known to harass Jews on campuses across the country, including on our campus,” said CMU Freshman Tali Kirschenbaum.

The students told Channel 11 that they are fearful on their campuses.

“There is still an ever-present danger that we’re feeling,” said Alon Lashen, a University of Pittsburgh student. “It’s important to be here today because part of the environment on campus is influenced by our political leaders.”

The students said that they are further disappointed that Lee was among 14 lawmakers to vote against an antisemitism resolution last year.

In her response to that decision, Lee condemned antisemitism on college campuses, but stated that the resolution targeted “constitutionally protected speech.”

This week, Congresswoman Lee canceled an appearance at an event for a Muslim advocacy group.

Channel 11 followed the student group as they went to Lee’s East Liberty office but she was not there, with staff stating she is currently in D.C. Staff received the petition and heard a prepared speech from one of the students.

Channel 11 has contacted Lee’s media team for comment. We will update this article when we receive a response.

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