“Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules regarding bullying and harassment?”
The question was presented to Harvard University President Dr. Claudine Gay during a House committee hearing on the rise of antisemitism on college campuses on Tuesday.
The answer should have been a simple “yes” or “no.” Instead, Dr. Gay refused to give a straight answer. “That type of hateful speech is personally abhorrent,” she said, adding, “We embrace a commitment to free expression, even of that are objectionable, offensive, hateful.”
Questioning her was Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a Republican representing New York’s 21st congressional district.
Stefanik mentioned multiple instances of Harvard students chanting, “There is only one solution. Intifada, Revolution,” and “globalize the intifada” since the massacre orchestrated by Hamas terrorists against Israel on October 7.
The House GOP chair stated, “the use of the term intifada in the context of the Israeli-Arab conflict is indeed a call for violent armed resistance against the state of Israel, including violence against, civilians and the genocide of Jews,” according to a report on Fox News.
“We embrace a commitment to free expression, even of that are objectionable, offensive, hateful. It’s when that speech crosses into conduct that violates our policies against bullying,” Dr. Gay said.
“Harvard ranks the lowest when it comes to protecting Jewish students,” Stefanik noted. “This is why I’ve called for your resignation and your testimony today — not being able to answer with more clarity speaks volumes. I yield back.”
Questions were also addressed to University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Dr. Sally Kornbluth. Both responded with similar deflections like Harvard’s president.
🚨🚨🚨Presidents of @Harvard @MIT and @Penn REFUSE to say whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” is bullying and harassment according to their codes of conduct. Even going so far to say it needs to turn to “action” first. As in committing genocide.
THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE AND… pic.twitter.com/hUY3SgoOOi
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) December 5, 2023