Outrage: Calling for Genocide of Jews Does not Violate School Policy, Ivy League Presidents Say

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Updated: Dec 06, 2023
Outrage: Calling for Genocide of Jews Does not Violate School Policy, Ivy League Presidents Say

Outrage: Calling for Genocide of Jews Does not Violate School Policy, Ivy League Presidents Say

The presidents of three private colleges are facing criticism from the left and the right after declining to say whether students would face punishment if they called for the genocide of Jews.

The leaders of MIT, Penn, and Harvard appeared Tuesday before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to answer questions about antisemitism on campus, with a three-minute exchange with U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik highlighting the event. 

“At Penn, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn’s rules or code of conduct?” Stefanik asked Penn’s president, M. Elizabeth Magill.

“If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment,” Magill answered.

Stefanik tried again.

“I am asking, specifically [about] calling for the genocide of Jews -- does that constitute bullying or harassment?” she asked.


“If it is directed and severe or pervasive, it is harassment,” Magill said. “... It is a context-dependent decision.”

Stefanik acted surprised by the answer.

“It's a context-dependent decision? That's your testimony today, [that] calling for the genocide of Jews is depending upon the context? That [it] is not bullying or harassment?” Stefanik said. 

“This is the easiest question to answer,” Stefanik added, flummoxed. 

Magill replied, “If the speech becomes conduct. It can be harassment.”

Stefanik called the answer “unacceptable.”

She then asked the same question to Claudine Gay, president of Harvard. 

“It can be, depending on the context,” Gay said, adding it can be if it is “targeted at an individual.”

Stefanik asserted that Gay’s testimony was “dehumanizing” Jewish people and that “dehumanization is part of anti-semitism.”

Sally Kornbluth, president of MIT, said it would violate school policy if it was “targeted at individuals.” 

“These are unacceptable answers across the board,” Stefanik said.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, said the comments by the school presidents endanger Jewish people.

“The leaders of tomorrow are being educated at schools that refuse to condemn calls for Jewish genocide,” he said. “This should terrify everyone. Those who permit supporters of murder and rape to spew their evil freely on campus do not have the moral credibility to educate anyone.”

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Maddie Meyer/Staff


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.



Outrage: Calling for Genocide of Jews Does not Violate School Policy, Ivy League Presidents Say