Following the resignation of former University of Pennsylvania President, Liz Magill, over her antisemitic comments to Congress, pressure is now focused on her Harvard University counterpart, Claudine Gay.
The House Education and Workforce Committee called to testify last Tuesday Magill, Gay and Sally Kornbluth (president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), for his apparent support of antisemitic protests and incidents at his universities due to the war between the terrorist group Hamas and Israel.
Despite the warning, before the House, none of the three condemned the call for the genocide of Jews. Therefore, a bipartisan group of 74 congressmen sent a signed letter to the boards of directors of the respective study centers urging them to remove them from their positions.
Representative Elise Stefanik posted on her X account, formerly Twitter:
One down. Two missing. In the case of @Harvard, I asked President Gay 17 times whether calling for the genocide of Jews violates Harvard's code of conduct. She spoke her truth 17 times. And the world heard. In the case of @MIT, Dr. Kornbluth answered the question. If you are addressing individuals, that is, dehumanizing the Jewish people in your response.
Two to go.
This is only the very beginning of addressing the pervasive rot of antisemitism that has destroyed the most “prestigious” higher education institutions in America.
This forced resignation of the President of @Penn is the bare minimum of what is required.…
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) December 9, 2023
In Gay's case, after the controversy, he apologized for his comments in an interview with The Harvard Crimson : "I'm sorry. Words matter. I got caught up in what had become at that point an extended and combative exchange about policy and procedure."
The Corporation of Harvard, the Board of Overseers and the university's governing organizations, will meet on Sunday to discuss the controversy, according to the outlet.
Criticism of Gay
Some business leaders and Harvard alumni have disapproved of Gay and her counterparts for their lack of action in combating antisemitism at their schools. Bill Ackman, a Harvard graduate, commented on his X account, that Gay "catalyzed an explosion of antisemitism and hate on campus that is unprecedented in Harvard history":
For failing to condemn the most vile and barbaric terrorism the world has ever seen, for supporting rather than condemning 34 Harvard student organizations that hold Israel 'entirely responsible' for Hamas' barbaric acts, for failing to enforce one's own rules of Harvard over student conduct and for her other leadership failures, President Gay catalyzed an explosion of antisemitism and hate on campus that is unprecedented in Harvard's history.
The Curious Case of Claudine Gay. This is a detailed critique of President Gay’s academic and administrative history prior to her becoming President of Harvard.
It is worth a careful read. For those who are more familiar with the facts, I welcome your input as to the facts and…
— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) December 10, 2023