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UPenn President Torched Over Antisemitic Speakers Allowed On Campus But Not Trump ICE Director

via ABC
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During a House antisemitism hearing, University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill faced pressure over allowing antisemitic speakers on campus.

Rep. Jim Banks highlighted instances where controversial figures, like Roger Waters, were hosted at the university, questioning the decision.

Magill defended the university’s free speech policies and yet also claimed to have issued statements against antisemitism. (Trending: Trump Announces Major Promise For 2024)

Banks accused the university of regulating speech it doesn’t like, citing examples of canceled events and controversial professors.

“Just weeks before the Oct. 7 terror attacks against Israel, Penn hosted a Palestine Writes Literature Festival,” Banks said.

“The event featured Marc Lamont Hill, who was fired by CNN for calling for the destruction of Israel. It also hosted and included a member of the Palestinian Youth Movement, which has collaborated with the terrorists and maybe most notably, Roger Waters, the really wacky former Pink Floyd vocalist.”

“The same Roger Waters, by the way, who’s publicly used anti-Jewish slurs, desecrated the memory of Anne Frank and has dressed up as a Nazi and floated a pig balloon with a star of David – at many of his concerts.”

“Why in the world would you host someone like that on your college campus to speak at the so-called Palestinian Rights Literature Festival?”

“I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this. Antisemitism has no place at Penn,” Magill began, before Banks cut in.

“Why did you invite Roger Waters? What did you think you would get out of him?” Banks pressed.

“Antisemitism has no place at Penn, and our free speech policies are guided by the United States Constitution,” she stated.

“Why did you invite Roger Waters?” Banks asked again. “Do you condemn what Roger Waters stands for?”

The Penn president then stated that prior to the event, she put out a “statement calling out the antisemitism of some of the speakers at that conference.”

“Specifically Roger Waters? Yes or no?” Banks pressed. Following a few moments of silence, she said, “Roger Waters is among them.”

“So you specifically called out a guy who floated pig balloons with a star of David at his concerts?” Banks said.

“I haven’t seen the condemnation. And I’m going to go look for it after this hearing. And I hope, I hope can find that well-recorded condemnation from you.”

Magill said, “I did call out the antisemitism of some of the speakers at a conference that had more than 100 people.”

“The fact is that Penn regulates speech that it doesn’t like,” Banks later pressed.

“Everyone gets this, no one more so than the faculty and students who know exactly where the lines are that they’re OK to cross.”

“Why did Penn let Professor Ahmad Almallah off the hook, who led hundreds of students in chanting ‘There’s only one solution, intifada revolution?’ Why does that, professor, still have a job at your university?”

“Our approach to speech is as identified. It follows and is guided by the United States Constitution, which allows for robust perspectives. I disagree with the characterization that we treat speech differently and I can’t discuss any individual disciplinary process,” Magill answered.

Banks pointed out Penn professor Anne Norton, who “repeatedly denied Hamas’ worst atrocities on Oct. 7” along with professor Huda Fakhreddine, who “romanticized the murder of over a thousand Israeli Jews as, quote, ‘Palestine inventing a new way of life’ and clapped as a speaker said Jews should go back to Berlin and Moscow.”

“Why does that professor still have a job at your university?” Banks said. Magill expressed being “very troubled” by Banks points.

“You’re speaking out of both sides of your mouth. You’re defending it. You allow these professors to teach at your college,” Banks said.

“You create a safe haven for this type of antisemitic behavior. You said something earlier about antisemitism being symbolic of the larger society. Your university is a hotbed of it.”

“And one of the reasons that we’re seeing a rise of antisemitism… is an unsafe environment for Jewish college students all over this country. You’re largely responsible for it.”

The hearing also included testimonies from Jewish students, with one describing a recent incident at the university.

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