(Daily Mail) Harvard President Dr. Claudine Gay today defended pro-Palestine students calling for the eradication of Israel, telling a heated congressional hearing on antisemitism that the school ’embraces’ free speech ‘even if it’s hateful’ while refusing to acknowledge its bias against conservative professors and students.
Dr. Gay, who was excoriated by billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackerman this for what he called an inherent bias against white men – was grilled along with the presidents of MIT and UPenn by the House Committee on Education and the Workplace after a spate of anti-Israel protests.
All three conceded the rising antisemitism on their campuses and vowed to crack down on it, but used their testimony to say there have ‘also’ been ‘rising incidents of Islamophobia’.
Gay, under heated questioning from Republicans, failed to acknowledge the school’s undeniable liberal bias, insisting neither she nor the school tracks the political leanings of faculty.
She refused to accept that certain faculty members had been fired after sharing their conservative views, and claimed the school doesn’t keep track of professors’ politics.
While chants for ‘Intifada’ or the eradication of Israel were ‘personally abhorrent’ to her, she said they did not meet the level of violating the school’s code of conduct.
‘I haven’t always gotten it right,’ said Harvard President Dr. Claudine Gay in her opening remarks
Dr. Gay was grilled by New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik
‘Does the phrase intifada not breach your code of conduct?’ Gay was asked by Rep. Elise Stefanik.
‘Wee embrace a commitment to free expression – even of views that are objectionable, offensive, hateful,’ Gay replied.
None of the school leaders could answer when asked by Rep. Joe Wilson how many conservative faculty members they hired.
All three college presidents said they didn’t ‘collect that kind of data’ when hiring staff.
‘There is no diversity of thought and the result of that is antisemitism. You might look into that,’ he said.
Jewish students from some of the schools are also expected to testify.
Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, in her opening statements, said the three presidents have failed to ensure the safety of Jewish students out of fear for upsetting their liberal student bodies, who are overwhelmingly anti-Israel.
‘Harvard was ground zero for antisemitism following October 7th attack.
A woman holds a placard as supporters of a ceasefire in Gaza gather before a House Education and The Workforce Committee hearing titled “Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism
Other pro-Palestine protesters turned up to support the Ivy League school leaders
UPenn President Liz Magill said the school had demonstrated its ‘unyielding commitment to combatting antisemitism’
‘It is the single least tolerant school in the nation. UPenn was right behind them and MIT sits in the middle of the pack,’ she fumed.
The schools’ collective failure to condemn Hamas has triggered a donor vacuum where the generous Jewish alumni once stood.
In addition to larger, mostly peaceful protests, there have been singular incidents of violence against Jewish students on some of the school campuses.
Republicans say the schools have not gone far enough in their condemnation of Hamas for fear of upsetting their liberal student bodies.