Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

By Donna Westfall – December 10, 2023

“Not all speech is protected or acceptable,” says Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), during Tuesday’s House Education Committee hearing during her questioning of President Liz Magill.

Benjamin Franklin started the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in 1740. 277 years later, complaints by Jewish students concerning antisemitism over the years have gone mostly unheard by administration. But five days ago that all changed. After Liz Magill was grilled by politicians, her insipid answer to this “yes” or “no” question caused the university to be threatened with the loss of $100 million donation from Ross Stevens unless she was replaced:

Rep Elise Stefanik (R-NY)  “Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate [your university’s] code of conduct or rules regarding bullying and harassment? Yes or no?”

Here’s Magill’s response, “If it is directed, and severe, pervasive and that it depended on the ‘context’.”

Since the October 7th savage attack on Israeli men, women and children by Hamas, three Universities have been sued (UPenn, Berkeley and NY University) for “egregious” violations of federal civil rights law by selectively enforcing its rules of conduct to “avoid protecting Jewish students from hatred and harassment.” 

In addition, Harvard’s president, Claudine Gay subsequently apologized for her remarks at the hearing. Her resignation is also being sought. MIT’s president, Sally Kornbluth is Jewish and MIT’s governing board declared its “full and unreserved support” for her and underscored the school’s rejection of “antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate.” However, when asked the same question during the hearing by Rep Stefanik, her answer was not that much different than Magill’s.

Shortly after Magill tendered her resignation, Board Chair Scott Bok submitted his. Following the hearing, the U.S. House Education Committee launched an investigation into campus safety at the three schools, (MIT, Harvard and UPenn) wealthy donors started withholding funds, and a prominent rabbi resigned from Harvard’s antisemitism advisory committee.

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