The House of Representatives recently held a hearing with the presidents of three major universities to address episodes of antisemitism on campuses. The statements on Capitol Hill sparked national controversy, with calls for the resignations of Claudine Gay of Harvard University, Liz Magill of the University of Pennsylvania, and Sally Kornbluth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The impact was such that even Bill Maher addressed the situation on his program.
The "Real Time" host interviewed Greg Lukianoff, executive director of the pro-freedom of expression group FIRE, to discuss what happened at the aforementioned universities.
In the middle of the talk, Maher said that according to the rhetoric expressed at the Congressional hearing, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania seemed like "Team Hamas." "Is that a coincidence? Or what is the connection?" he inquired.
Bill Maher declares Harvard, UPenn ‘Team Hamas,’ calls students bashing Israel ‘f–king idiots’
“Real Time” host Bill Maher railed against universities like Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania as being “Team Hamas” and having students who are “useful idiots.”
— Sal Gueli (@sal_gueli) December 9, 2023
He then attacked his "dear liberal friends," who "only watch MSNBC" and "read The New York Times," who he claimed had dismissed what was happening at universities for years. "If anything good has come out of this, it's that now you see what we've been talking about. We were not making it up!" Maher exclaimed.
Finally, the popular presenter defended the non-repression of hostile rhetoric against Israel, arguing that he is still protected by freedom of expression. "I want to know who says it. I want to know how big the problem is," he said.
"The world is watching"
Maher's words were joined by a letter signed by 74 members of Congress calling for the dismissal of Gay, Gaill and Kornbluth, alleging that they refused to condemn the episodes witnessed at their respective universities.
"The world is watching: they can be on the side of their Jewish students and teachers or on the side of dangerous antisemitism," wrote the legislators: 72 Republicans and two Democrats, the latter being Jared Moskowitz and Josh Gottheimer. The letter was written by the Republican Elise Stefanik and his Democratic counterpart Moskowitz.
"When asked whether calling for the genocide of the Jews violates university policies on bullying or harassment, they were evasive and dismissive, without limiting themselves to condemning such an action," they added.
I am proud to lead a bipartisan letter with @RepMoskowitz and 72 of our colleagues to the members of the Governing Boards of @Harvard, @MIT, and @Penn demanding that their presidents be removed after this week's @EdWorkforceCmte hearing.
Read the full letter here. pic.twitter.com/IOPpNdNh34
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) December 8, 2023