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House committee launches probe into universities after antisemitism hearing

Dec 08, 2023

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The House Education Committee has launched an investigation into Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania following a hearing this week where lawmakers questioned the universities’ presidents about the rise of antisemitism on their campuses amid the war between Israel and Hamas. Members of Congress were dissatisfied with the three presidents’ responses, especially to questions on disciplining student protesters calling for the genocide of Jews. The committee called their testimony “absolutely unacceptable.”

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…

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.

The House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik announced the investigation Thursday, Dec. 7, and said the three presidents’ responses were “morally bankrupt.”

“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,” Stefanik said. “We will use our full congressional authority to hold these schools accountable for their failure on the global stage.”

After receiving backlash from the hearing, Harvard released a post on social media explaining President Claudine Gay’s stance.

“Let me be clear: calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any religious or ethnic group are vile, they have no place at Harvard, and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held to account,” the post read.

Penn President Liz Magill released a video message that called for a review of the university’s policies and said that such language would be considered “harassment or intimidation.”

Meanwhile, the University of Pennsylvania board of trustees held an emergency meeting on Thursday, Dec. 7, as advisors with Penn’s Wharton School of Business called for a leadership change following Magill’s testimony.

MIT President Sally Kornbluth released an open letter which read in part, “After these past weeks, I know many of you are exhausted and hurting. We have to make room for each other, in our hearts and in our daily lives.” 

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THE HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE HAS LAUNCHED AN INVESTIGATION INTO HARVARD, M-I-T AND THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA FOLLOWING A HEARING THIS WEEK WHERE THE UNIVERSITIES’ PRESIDENTS WERE QUESTIONED BY LAWMAKERS ABOUT THE RISE OF ANTISEMITISM ON THEIR CAMPUSES AMID THE WAR BETWEEN ISRAEL AND HAMAS.

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WERE DISSATISFIED WITH THE THREE PRESIDENTS’ RESPONSES –

ESPECIALLY TO QUESTIONS ON DISCIPLINING STUDENT PROTESTERS CALLING FOR THE **GENOCIDE OF JEWS.

THE COMMITTEE CALLING THEIR TESTIMONY “ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE.”

THE HOUSE GOP CONFERENCE CHAIR ANNOUNCED THE INVESTIGATION THURSDAY – SAYING THE THREE PRESIDENTS’ RESPONSES WERE QUOTE “MORALLY BANKRUPT.”

AFTER RECEIVING BACKLASH FROM THE HEARING, HARVARD RELEASED A POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA EXPLAINING PRESIDENT CLAUDINE (CLAW-DEEN) GAY’S STANCE SAYING QUOTE:

“LET ME BE CLEAR: CALLS FOR VIOLENCE OR GENOCIDE AGAINST THE JEWISH COMMUNITY, OR ANY RELIGIOUS OR ETHNIC GROUP ARE VILE, THEY HAVE NO PLACE AT HARVARD, AND THOSE WHO THREATEN OUR JEWISH STUDENTS WILL BE HELD TO ACCOUNT.”

PENN PRESIDENT LIZ MAGILL (MA-GILL) RELEASED A VIDEO MESSAGE – CLARIFYING **HER REMARKS —

CALLING FOR A REVIEW OF THE UNIVERSITY’S POLICIES AND SAYING THAT SUCH LANGUAGE WOULD BE CONSIDERED “HARASSMENT OR INTIMIDATION.”

MEANWHILE — THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF TRUSTEES HELD AN EMERGENCY MEETING THURSDAY AS ADVISORS WITH PENN’S WHARTON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS CALL FOR A CHANGE OF LEADERSHIP FOLLOWING MAGILL’S TESTIMONY.