Stanford University condemns calls for Jewish genocide after Ivy League competitors faceplant on Capitol Hill

Stanford University on Friday issued a statement condemning calls for Jewish genocide after presidents of other Ivy League schools shocked the nation with their Congressional testimony regarding antisemitism on campus.

“In the context of the national discourse, Stanford unequivocally condemns calls for the genocide of Jews or any peoples,” the school posted on X. “That statement would clearly violate Stanford’s Fundamental Standard, the code of conduct for all students at the university.”

The statement comes as the presidents of Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) are reeling from backlash to their remarks before lawmakers earlier this week.

On Tuesday, the universities’ presidents were summoned to Capitol Hill to give testimony about rising antisemitism on their campuses before the House Education and Workforce Committee.

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A logo printed on a fence blocking off a construction site on the campus of Stanford University in the Silicon Valley town of Palo Alto, California, Aug. 25, 2016. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

During the hearing, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., asked each president about the pro-Palestinian protests on their campus and whether antisemitic chants calling for the genocide of Jews at those demonstrations violated their school codes of conduct on bullying and harassment.

“If targeting individuals, not making public statements,” MIT President Sally Kornbluth said, denying that she heard calls for the genocide of Jews on campus. 

“But you’ve heard chants for intifada,” Stefanik said, a reference to the Arabic word “uprising” or “shaking off.” The term has been used to describe periods of Palestinian resistance against Israel, often in the form of terrorism.

The MIT leader replied that such incidents would be investigated as harassment if found to be “pervasive and severe.”

UPENN PRESIDENT TORCHED OVER ANTISEMITIC SPEAKERS, TEACHERS ALLOWED ON CAMPUS BUT NOT TRUMP ICE DIRECTOR

UPenn, Harvard and MIT presidents testify

From left to right, Dr. Claudine Gay, president of Harvard University; Liz Magill, president of University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Pamela Nadell, professor of History and Jewish Studies at American University; and Dr. Sally Kornbluth, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, testify before the House Education and Workforce Committee at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

UPenn President Elizabeth Magill was then asked the same question. She told Congress that if the speech turned into conduct, it would be considered harassment.

She added that it was a “context-dependent” situation that would constitute bullying and harassment if it was “directed,” “pervasive” and “severe.”

Stefankik, stunned, repeatedly asked Magill if she would answer “yes” that calling for the genocide of Jews is harassment. 

“It can be harassment,” Magill admitted when pressed.

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Harvard President Claudine Gay answered next, saying the situation would depend on the “context” and if it targets specific individuals. 

These answers sparked public outrage and have led to calls for each university president to resign. Two of the presidents, Gay and Magill, subsequently released statements adding context and clarification to their testimony.

“There are some who have confused a right to free expression with the idea that Harvard will condone calls for violence against Jewish students. Let me be clear: Calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any religious or ethnic group are vile, they have no place at Harvard, and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held to account,” Gay said in a statement posted to Harvard’s X account.

Magill released a statement that put the blame on existing policies in the institution.

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“There was a moment during yesterday’s congressional hearing on antisemitism when I was asked if a call for the genocide of Jewish people on our campus would violate our policies. In that moment, I was focused on our University’s longstanding policies aligned with the U.S. Constitution, which say that speech alone is not punishable. I was not focused on, but I should have been, the irrefutable fact that a call for genocide of Jewish people is a call for some of the most terrible violence human beings can perpetrate.  It’s evil — plain and simple,” she said. 

“I want to be clear, a call for genocide of Jewish people is threatening… In my view, it would be harassment or intimidation… Penn must initiate a serious and careful look at our policies, and Provost Jackson and I will immediately convene a process to do so.” 

The House Committee on Education & the Workforce on Thursday announced an investigation into the three elite schools over “rampant antisemitism” after their “morally bankrupt” testimony. 

Fox News Digital’s Hannah Grossman, Danielle Wallace and Nikolaus Lanum contributed to this report.

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