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US Congress asks Harvard to provide documentation of antisemitic incidents within two weeks

Demonstrators take part in an "Emergency Rally: Stand with Palestinians Under Siege in Gaza," amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 14, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

The U.S. House Committee on Education has reportedly given Harvard University two weeks to provide documentation regarding antisemitic incidents on campus, according to a letter from Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx on Monday.

The letter – addressed to Harvard’s interim President Dr. Alan Garber – emphasized a “pattern of deeply troubling incidents and developments.”

In early January, Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned after controversy surrounding antisemitism on campus and academic plagiarism. “It is with a heavy heart but a deep love for Harvard that I write to share that I will be stepping down as president,” Gay wrote in her resignation letter.

However, the letter from the chairwoman stressed that the problem of antisemitism at Harvard University is institutionalized and not limited to the academic leadership.

"While Dr. Gay has since resigned, Harvard’s institutional failures regarding antisemitism extend well beyond one leader."

The House Committee on Education is therefore formally requesting documentation from Harvard on potential disciplinary actions taken against academic staff members or students involved in various antisemitic incidents that target Jews, Israel or the Jewish national liberation movement Zionism.

"Documents sufficient to show the findings and results of any disciplinary processes, changes in academic status, or personnel actions by Harvard towards Harvard students, employees, and other Harvard affiliates related to conduct involving the targeting of Jews, Israelis, Israel, Zionists, or Zionism since January 1, 2021," the letter stated.

The top Ivy League university will reportedly be required to disclose the total amount of foreign donations received since January 2021, including donations from the pro-Hamas Gulf State of Qatar.

In November 2023, the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) reported a clear connection between growing antisemitism at American campuses and an inflow of large foreign donations, including those from certain Middle Eastern states.

"A massive influx of foreign, concealed donations to American institutions of higher learning, much of it from authoritarian regimes with notable support from Middle Eastern sources, reflects or supports heightened levels of intolerance towards Jews, open inquiry and free expression," the report stated.

There are concerns that the rise in antisemitism on campus has led to a gradual drop in Jewish student enrollment at Harvard University and other top U.S. universities.

Harvard is therefore also required to provide data "showing or relating to Jewish enrollment numbers at Harvard College and each of Harvard’s graduate and professional schools, and any changes or trends in the enrollment of Jewish students at Harvard College and Harvard’s graduate/professional schools; as well as documents related to any attempt by Harvard College and each of Harvard’s graduate and professional schools to understand the reasons for any such changes or trends."

In early December, Rabbi David Wolpe, the rabbinic fellow for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School, announced his resignation from the Antisemitism Advisory Group at Harvard University following a rise in antisemitism since the Hamas Oct. 7 massacre.

“However, the system at Harvard along with the ideology that grips far too many of the students and faculty, the ideology that works only along axes of oppression and places Jews as oppressors and therefore intrinsically evil, is itself evil," Wolpe stated.

"Ignoring Jewish suffering is evil. Belittling or denying the Jewish experience, including unspeakable atrocities, is a vast and continuing catastrophe. Denying Israel the self-determination as a Jewish nation accorded unthinkingly to others is endemic, and evil,” the rabbi added.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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