Antisemitic incidents at US universities – level 3

11-12-2023 15:00

US House Republicans questioned university presidents, including Claudine Gay of Harvard, Liz Magill of the University of Pennsylvania, and Sally Kornbluth of MIT, about their efforts to combat antisemitism following a Hamas attack on Israel.

While denouncing the attack and expressing commitment to ensuring Jewish students’ safety, the presidents faced criticism for what some deemed inadequate responses to antisemitic incidents on campus. The issue revolves around clashes between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel demonstrations, leading to concerns about antisemitic and Islamophobic rhetoric. Harvard and Penn, in particular, have faced backlash over their responses to alleged antisemitic behavior, such as a Palestinian Writers festival.

House Republicans pressed the presidents on these incidents, questioning their actions and responses.

Difficult words: denounce (to publicly declare as wrong or evil), rhetoric (language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect), backlash (a strong negative reaction by a large number of people).

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What specific incidents sparked criticism of Harvard and Penn's responses to antisemitism on campus?


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