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Antisemitism on campuses

President of the University of Pennsylvania resigns after criticism of her attitude towards Jews

More than 70 US lawmakers demanded the removal of the presidents of Harvard, MIT and UPenn, three of the nation's top universities, citing dissatisfaction with their testimony at a hearing on anti-Semitism on campuses

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill testifies before a House Education and The Workforce Committee hearing titled "Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism" on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Ken Cedeno)

Antisemitism on campuses: The president of the University of Pennsylvania, Liz Magill, resigned today (Saturday) after criticism of her attitude towards the Jews.

Magill will leave her position as president of the university when an interim replacement is appointed, but will remain a member of the law faculty.

71 Republican and three Democratic lawmakers demanded the removal of the presidents of Harvard, MIT and UPenn last night following their testimonies in Congress this week, in which they avoided explicitly stating that calling for the genocide of Jews violates the regulations of the academic institutions.

The chair of the board of trustees of the UPenn, Scott Bok, also stepped down and will leave his position immediately.

The call was expressed in a letter sent by the lawmakers to the boards of trustees of these universities.

In the letter, Republican Representative Elise Stefanik and Democratic Representative Jared Moskowitz demanded that the board of trustees of Harvard, UPenn and MIT remove these presidents from their positions or risk committing “an act of complicity in their antisemitic stance.”

The president of UPenn, Liz Magill, the president of Harvard, Claudine Gay, and the president of MIT, Sally Kornbluth, who all testified before the U.S. House of Representatives committee on Tuesday, came under fire from the Jewish communities in their schools regarding their handling of the controversy on campuses over the clashes between Israel and Hamas since the massacre on Oct. 7.

The calls for the resignation of Magill and Gay, in particular, intensified in the days following their testimonies, during which they refused to give a clear “yes” or “no” answer to Stefanik’s question of whether calling for the genocide of Jews would violate the codes of conduct of their schools on bullying and harassment. 

“The testimony provided by presidents of your institutions showed a complete absence of moral clarity and illuminated the problematic double standards and dehumanization of Jewish communities that your university presidents enabled. Given this moment of crisis, we demand that your boards immediately remove each of these presidents from their positions and that you provide an actionable plan to ensure that Jewish and Israeli students, teachers and faculty are safe on your campuses,” the letter stated.

Written by KAN 11 correspondents Itamar Margalit and Nathan Guttman.

Read more: ANTI SEMITISM is the Hebrew news website of the The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation

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