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December 11, 2023

A Reckoning for Campus Jew Hatred

Last week’s congressional testimony by three elite university presidents was a watershed moment.

One down, two to go. That’s the status of the battle between civil society and Ivy League Jew hatred.

The good news is that University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill rightly resigned under pressure on Saturday for her failure to protect Penn’s Jewish students. The bad news is that Harvard President Claudine Gay and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth are still clinging to their jobs, still hoping that our collective attention-deficit disorder will cause us to move on from their disgraceful appearance on Capitol Hill last Tuesday.

The trio of women testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where they tried to defend their lack of adequate response to incidents of anti-Semitism on each of their campuses. Neither Magill nor Gay nor Kornbluth could summon the decency to say that the calls on their respective campuses for the genocide of the Jews were a violation of their schools’ code of conduct or their anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies. And New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik held their feet to the fire for it.

“It is a context-dependent decision,” said Magill, who with those six words revealed both the moral cowardice and the anti-Semitic rot that now infects what were once our nation’s finest universities.

Gay, too, tried to fall back on the “context” excuse. “Calling for the genocide of Jews violates the Harvard code of conduct, correct?” asked Stefanik, herself a Harvard graduate.

Gay’s smug, smirking reply? “It depends on the context.”

Context, eh? Okay, we’ll bite: Give us an example — any example — of a situation in which a student calling for the genocide of the Jewish people is in accordance with their school’s code of conduct and with its anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies. We’ll wait. Likewise, give us an example of a situation in which the acceptability of a student calling for the enslavement of black people would be context-dependent.

As New York Times lefty Maureen Dowd put it over the weekend, “Not since Bill Clinton was asked about having sex with Monica Lewinsky and replied, ‘It depends on what the meaning of the word "is” is,’ has there been such parsing.“

Magill’s comments ultimately proved to be a fireable resignable offense, but it came too late to preserve a gift worth around $100 million from Ross Stevens, a Penn undergrad alum and founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management. As Stevens’s attorneys put it in a letter to Penn, "Its permissive approach to hate speech calling for violence against Jews … would violate any policies or rules that prohibit harassment and discrimination based on religion, including those of Stone Ridge.”

Easy come, easy go. Adding insult to injury, the GOP-led House has launched an investigation into all three schools. As Stefanik noted in a subsequent Wall Street Journal op-ed: “The Penn, Harvard and MIT presidents’ refusal to identify these calls for violence as policy violations is revealing, and their attempt to justify it with feigned concern for free speech is insulting. Just this year, Harvard placed dead last among 248 universities on the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression’s College Free Speech Rankings, receiving the only score of zero out of 100.”

“I am sorry,” Gay told the Harvard Crimson on Thursday in a naked effort to save her job. “Substantively, I failed to convey what is my truth.”

Can we be honest for a sec? The only reason Gay hasn’t been kicked to the curb like UPenn’s Magill is the color of her skin. Gay’s exchange with Stefanik was every bit as embarrassing, every bit as disgraceful as Magill’s, and yet somehow she’s being allowed to keep her job. That Harvard hasn’t given her the heave-ho is in itself a form of discrimination — that which former President George W. Bush once rightly called “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

In essence, Harvard is saying: Yes, what she said was awful and inexcusable. But she’s black. And we can’t fire our first black president.

As for Kornbluth, she deserves to get the gate, too, but she’s Jewish, and MIT’s board of trustees is probably wrestling with the optics of firing a Jewish president for her failure to protect the school’s Jewish students. This shouldn’t be a tough decision though. There’s such a thing as a self-hating Jew, after all. If the trustees doubt this, they might look into the career and the voluminous writings of MIT professor emeritus Noam Chomsky.

The great Charles Murray — he of The Bell Curve and Losing Ground and Human Diversity — had a fine suggestion for sussing out the sincerity of presidents Gay and Kornbluth when it comes to free speech: “Invite me to give a lecture on race and sex differences, using material from Human Diversity. I’m happy to do them pro bono. Albeit with adequate police protection.” Given Murray’s experience, that’s a reasonable request.

“Faced with an epidemic of anti-Semitism,” writes Victor Davis Hanson, himself a college professor, “university administrators now claim they can do little to curb the hatred. But privately they know should the targets of similar hatred be instead blacks, gays, Latinos, or women, then they would expel the haters in a nanosecond.”

He’s right, of course. And so is columnist Michael Brendan Dougherty, who adds: “These institutions are breeding a profoundly unfit leadership class that will bring civil strife and ruin to this country. … The Ivy League is producing an idiotariat; everyone could see that this week. Asking it to change is not hypocrisy. It’s the bare minimum of civilizational self-defense.”

Stefanik has noted that the congressional testimony of Magill, Gay, and Kornbluth is now the most-viewed in American history. If the latter two are forced to follow the former, it will also be among the most fruitful congressional testimony in history.

A final note: As if we didn’t already know that the sad clowns at “Saturday Night Live” are nothing but an unfunny bunch of wokescolds, they watched Stefanik’s evisceration of the college presidents and concluded that the one ripe for mockery was — wait for it — Stefanik. Ya can’t make it up.

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