As a pro-Palestinian encampment and protest at the University of Pennsylvania continues, Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick is calling on the university to put an end to the illegal demonstration.

More than 3,200 students, faculty, and staff signed a petition telling the university to disband the encampment. School administrators have ordered the it closed. Protesters defied those orders.

McCormick, who visited the Penn campus last week, told DVJournal in a podcast interview, “What we’re seeing on these campuses is the explicit antisemitism, explicit anti-Americanism, an environment that’s intimidating to other students.”

“It’s standing in the way of the fundamental purpose of the universities, which is to create an environment where people can learn,” said McCormick. “It’s the threat of violence and violence has occurred in a number of places. So, I’m a strong proponent of free speech and the First Amendment. I’m a soldier. I went to war to make sure that American values would prevail. But what’s happening on those campuses goes far beyond that. It’s created an environment of hatred and bigotry that’s unacceptable.

“And these encampments are in direct violation of university policy,” said McCormick. “And so you walk through this, and it’s heartbreaking.”

“Many of the people are not students, they’re from outside,” he added. “Agitators, Antifa and others. But you do see kids on these campuses. They don’t know the difference between right and wrong. They don’t know the difference between good and evil. And you say, ‘My, God. How could that happen?’ on the campuses of some of our greatest universities and then you see that congressional testimony of those three college presidents, and you say, ‘That’s how it happened.’”

Asked about the double standard of how some people accept protesters’ antisemitism when they would not accept bigotry toward other minority groups, McCormick said, “If you had taken that congressional testimony and put African American or LGBTQ or anything instead of Jewish students, those university presidents could have never even conceived of giving the testimony they gave.

“And I think it almost emanates from a basic Marxist ideology that’s defining the world as the oppressed and the oppressors. We see this across university campuses,” he said.

McCormick noted the campus “jihad” is “not just against Israel and Jewish students. It’s directed at all of us. And so this is a big fight. It’s a big fight of ideas. It’s the big fight of hatred. And we have to embrace the fight. We have to get in the fight with leaders who are not going to mince words. And are going to be clear on the moral imperative and have the courage to speak out truthfully on it.”

“You can’t have it both ways,” McCormick said. “You can’t say you’re against antisemitism and endorse an antisemite like [U.S. Rep.] Summer Lee (D-Pa.),” he said. “You have to show leadership, and sadly, [Sen.] Bob Casey and so many others have failed.”

Casey’s silence is in stark contrast with his fellow Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. John Fetterman, who’s been an outspoken advocate for Israel’s right to self defense and an unapologetic critic of the protesters.

Fetterman said the protests were “working against peace in the Middle East” and reiterated his backing for the U.S. sending aid to the country.

“If you’re going to protest on these campuses, or now what, they’re going all across America as well, too. I really want to, can’t forget, that the situation right now could end right now, if Hamas just surrendered,” Fetterman said.

Penn senior Eyal Yakoby showed McCormick around campus and also helped to deliver the petition demanding an end to the encampment to university administrators. Yakoby also spoke at Congress prior to the college presidents’ ill-fated testimony.

“The community of Penn stands with the law and with Jameson’s words last Friday to clear the encampment. We do not stand with hate or bigotry of any kind,” he said Friday.

Far-left Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner visited the Penn pro-Palestinian encampment Wednesday and said, “The First Amendment comes from here. This is Philadelphia, we don’t have to do stupid like they did at Columbia,” Krasner told Penn’s student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian. “What we should be doing here is upholding our tradition of being a welcoming, inviting city, where people say things, even if other people don’t like them.”

Despite Krasner’s remarks, the Philadelphia police stand ready to help the University of Pennsylvania police if called.

“The Philadelphia Police Department remains committed to facilitating safe demonstrations while ensuring the safety and upholding the First Amendment rights of all who live, work or visit our city,” a spokesperson told DVJournal. “In line with this commitment, the Philadelphia Police Department maintains a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Pennsylvania Police Department to ensure effective cooperation in situations requiring a police response. As per the MOU, the PPD will provide assistance to the UPPD as needed. However, for tactical purposes, we do not publicly discuss specific planning or engagement strategies related to ongoing situations.

Our response will be based on the specific circumstances of each situation.”

A Penn spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or