The presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will stop by Congress to answer questions about cases of antisemitism on their campuses. The hearing, an initiative of the House Education and Workforce Committee, is titled: “Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism.”
Claudine Gray, Liz Magill and Pamela Nadell will answer questions from members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, on Tuesday.
Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chair of the committee, said that “over the past several weeks, we’ve seen countless examples of antisemitic demonstrations on college campuses. Meanwhile, college administrators have largely stood by, allowing horrific rhetoric to fester and grow”.
.@virginiafoxx's first question to Harvard, UPenn, and MIT presidents tomorrow:
"I want to ask them when they're going to get a spine." pic.twitter.com/ZAeobZBZlb
— House Committee on Education & the Workforce (@EdWorkforceCmte) December 5, 2023
“College and university presidents have a responsibility to foster and uphold a safe learning environment for their students and staff. Now is not a time for indecision or milquetoast statements. By holding this hearing, we are shining the spotlight on these campus leaders and demanding they take the appropriate action to stand strong against antisemitism,” she added.
Republican members of Congress have already called two other hearings to discuss the increase in antisemitism in schools and universities, calling on experts to explain the reason behind these events. Almost unanimously, they argued that authorities have not done enough to increase the safety of Jewish students. Indeed, Harvard and Pennsylvania have already lost million-dollar donations as a result of these episodes.
“Antisemitism has a very long and shameful history at Harvard”
Claudine Gray, president of Harvard, said this when she recently announced the creation of an advisory council to “eradicate antisemitism” on campus.
Gray spoke about it at the Harvard Hillel Shabbat dinner, where she stated that “we are witnessing an increase in anti-Jewish incidents and rhetoric throughout the country - and on our own campus,” where she said he had heard “history “after story” of “Jewish students feeling increasingly uncomfortable or even threatened.”
“As president, I am committed to tackling this pernicious hatred with the urgency it demands. Antisemitism has a very long and shameful history at Harvard. For years, this University has done too little to confront its continuing presence. No longer,” she added.