The House Committee on Education & the Workforce has launched an investigation into Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT over alleged antisemitism, following the presidents’ testimony and their responses to questions on whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” violated their university’s code of conduct.
The presidents’ answers were considered evasive and morally unacceptable, leading to an official investigation with the potential use of subpoenas.
The presidents’ responses during the hearing, particularly regarding the definition of intifada and the call for genocide, were heavily scrutinized, prompting additional statements to clarify their positions. (Trending: Democrat Accused Of Blocking Release of Jeffrey Epstein Flight Logs)
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When questioned by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, Magill failed to agree that calling for the genocide of Jews violates Penn’s rules or code of conduct.
It was intended to be a simple "yes" or "no"… pic.twitter.com/tVedv21w9H
— AnalyzingAmerica (@AnalyzAmerica) December 9, 2023
“The Committee is opening a formal investigation into the learning environments at Harvard, UPenn, and MIT and their policies and disciplinary procedures,” Rep. Virginia Foxx said.
“This investigation will include substantial document requests, and the Committee will not hesitate to utilize compulsory measures including subpoenas if a full response is not immediately forthcoming.”
“The testimony we received earlier this week from Presidents Gay, Magill, and Kornbluth about the responses of Harvard, UPenn, and MIT to the rampant antisemitism displayed on their campuses by students and faculty was absolutely unacceptable,” Foxx, added.
“After this week’s pathetic and morally bankrupt testimony by university presidents when answering my questions, the Education and Workforce Committee is launching an official Congressional investigation with the full force of subpoena power into Penn, MIT, & Harvard and others,” Rep. Elise Stefanik said.
“We will use our full Congressional authority to hold these schools accountable for their failure on the global stage.”
“If targeting individuals, not making public statements,” MIT President Sally Kornbluth replied.
“But you’ve heard chants for intifada,” Stefanik said, referring to words such as “uprising” and “shaking off.”
“We have heard chants which can be antisemitic depending on the context when calling for the elimination of the Jewish people,” Kornbluth said.
“We embrace a commitment to free expression, even of that are objectionable, offensive, hateful. It’s when that speech crosses into conduct that violates our policies against bullying,” Harvard President Claudine Gay said.
Stefanik pressed, “Does that speech not cross that barrier? Does that speech not call for the genocide of Jews and the elimination of Israel? When you testify that you understand that is the definition of intifada, is that speech according to the code of conduct or not?”
“We embrace a commitment to free expression and give a wide berth to free expression, even of views that are objectionable,” Gay stated.
Stefanik asked UPenn President Lisa Magill whether “calling for the genocide of Jews violate[s] Penn’s rules or code of conduct? Yes or no?”
Magill answered, “If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment. Yes.”
Stefanik said, “This is unacceptable. Ms. Magill, I’m going to give you one more opportunity for the world to see your answer. Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn’s code of conduct when it comes to bullying and harassment? Yes or no?”
“It can be harassment,” Magill said.
The Committee has expressed deep concerns about the universities’ leadership and their failure to provide a safe learning environment for Jewish students.
Foxx said, “Committee members have deep concerns with their leadership and their failure to take steps to provide Jewish students the safe learning environment they are due under law.”
“The disgusting targeting and harassment of Jewish students is not limited to these institutions, and other universities should expect investigations as well, as their litany of similar failures has not gone unnoticed,” she said.
Harvard President Refuses to Condemn Calls For Genocide Against Jewish People.
— AnalyzingAmerica (@AnalyzAmerica) December 7, 2023