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Transcript: What Harvard, MIT and Penn presidents said at antisemitism hearing

Blowback led to one resignation, House resolution of condemnation

Answers by university presidents who were questioned at a House hearing by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., caused a firestorm.
Answers by university presidents who were questioned at a House hearing by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., caused a firestorm. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The appearance by presidents of three elite universities about campus antisemitism before the House Education and the Workforce Committee on Dec. 5 was spoofed on Saturday Night Live on Dec. 9 and led to the resignation of the president of the University of Pennsylvania. The House followed up by debating a resolution condemning their testimony.

Below is a transcript of the hearing prepared by CQ Congressional Transcripts.



VIRGINIA FOXX: Good morning. The Committee on Education and workforce will come to order. I note that a quorum is present. Without objection, the chair is authorized to call a recess at any time. Before we begin, I’d like to begin with a moment of silence to recognize all the Israelis and others who have been killed, injured or taken hostage by Hamas terrorists.

Thank you. Today, each of you will have a chance to answer to and atone for the many specific instances of vitriolic, hate filled, anti-Semitism on your respective campuses that have denied students the safe learning environment they are due. As you confront our questions in this hearing, remember, you’re not speaking to us, but to the students on your campus who have been threatened and assaulted and who look to you to protect them.

Several of those students are with us in this room, including Jonathan Frieden, who’s the President of Alliance for Israel and a Harvard Law student. Iall Yacobi [ph], who’s a student at UPenn, Talia Kahn, who is the President of MIT Israel Alliance and an MIT graduate student; Bella Ingber, who is co-president of NYU Students Supporting Israel and a junior at New York University; Israel Ingber who is expected to start at the University of Chicago in the fall, after taking a gap year to study in Israel, after being sent home right before the atrocities of October 7th; Maya Kufer [ph], who is a freshman at UPenn; and Liam Kries [ph], who is an American Israeli sophomore at UPenn.

We have a short video that we will play now, that shows what these students are facing. Video Presentation. I want to do something, which I rarely do, quote”the Senate majority leader from New York, Chuck Schumer.” On Wednesday, he took to the Senate floor to deliver an address on anti Semitism, stating, ‘many of the people who express these sentiments in America aren’t neo-Nazis or card carrying Klan members or Islamist extremists.

They are in many cases, people that most liberal Jewish Americans felt previously were their ideological fellow travelers. Not long ago, many of us marched together for Black and Brown lives,’ end of quote. You see this speech by the most powerful elected Jewish politician in America was addressed to many on his left flank.

He questioned how these elements of the left, which pride themselves on diversity and inclusion, could be responsible for fomenting such hatred toward liberal, Jewish Americans. I quote Majority Leader Schumer to you, Presidents Gay, McGill, and Kornbluth, because I understand that speech to be a sort of reckoning for the Jewish identity with the radical left.

Yet for 40 minutes, he fails to use the word university a single time. However, after the events of the past two months, it’s clear that rabid anti-Semitism in the university are two ideas that cannot be cleaved from one another. A prime example of this ideology at work is at Harvard, where classes are taught, such as DP 385, race and racism in the making of the United States as a global power.

The Harvard Global Health Institute hosts seminars such as, quote, ‘Scientific Racism and Anti Racism History and recent perspectives.’ Even the Harvard Divinity School has a page devoted to, quote, ‘social and racial justice.’ Harvard also, not coincidentally, but causally, was ground zero for anti-Semitism following October 7th, and is the single least tolerant school in the nation, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expressions 2024 College Free Speech Rankings.

UPenn is right behind them, at 247th of 248. MIT is in the middle of the pack. What I’m describing is a grave danger, inherent in assenting to the race based ideology of the radical left. Senator Schumer hasn’t put the pieces together, but the picture is far too clear now to American Jews. Institutional anti-Semitism and hate are among the poison fruits of your institution’s cultures.

The buck for what has happened must stop on the President’s desk, along with the responsibility for making never again true on campus. Do you have the courage to truly confront and condemn the ideology driving anti-Semitism, or will you offer weak, blame shifting excuses and yet another responsibility dodging task force?

That’s ultimately the most important question for you to confront in this hearing. I will close with this. I appreciate your appearances today on behalf of Harvard, UPenn and MIT, respectively. It proves your universities have, at minimum, a sense of accountability to the American people. But my praise for postsecondary education is very limited these days.

Harvard, UPenn and MIT, you have a very big role to play in shaping the future for all of academia. This moment is an inflection point. It demands leaders of moral clarity, with the courage to delineate good from evil and right from wrong. With that, I look forward to each of your testimonies. I yield to the ranking member for an opening statement.

DONALD NORCROSS: Thank you, Dr. Foxx. And thank our witnesses for appearing today. Historically, college campuses have been hubs for students and faculty to foster intellectual thought and expression. Regrettably, following Hamas’ mass October 7th attack on innocent civilians in Israel, and the ongoing conflict in Gaza, college campuses have become polarized, and we’ve been witnessing a disturbing rise in the incidence of antisemitism and Islamophobia.

To be clear, this discrimination is nothing new on college campuses, indeed nothing new in society, generally. Any student of history knows that it did not start with the October 7th attacks or any one new event, and it didn’t start with diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. My colleagues would do well to recall this this country as a centuries long history of racism and white supremacy.

At the same time, free speech is a constitutional right and the bedrock of our democracy, and colleges and universities are often on the front lines of defending this right. But schools are also responsible for fostering campus environments that promote understanding, respectful dialogue, and above all else student safety.

So today we’ll hear from representatives of universities on their efforts to protect students and address discrimination on campus. Of note, this is an opportunity that my Republican colleagues denied us in 2017, when committee Democrats called for a hearing six years ago on campus discrimination, when white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia grounds shouting Jews will not replace us. We didn’t — couldn’t get a hearing back then.

And while my colleagues claim to be committed to combating discrimination on campus, they’re also contradictorily and simultaneously stoking culture wars that can be divisive and discriminatory. Moreover, House Republicans are proposing significant cuts to the Department of Education’s offices — Office of Civil Rights, the very office responsible for upholding student civil rights and investigating discrimination claims.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t call for action then hamstring the hamstring the agency charged with taking that action to protect students’ civil rights. In stark contrast, the Biden administration has taken an active role in helping institutions protect students as part of the White House’s national strategy to combat anti-Semitism.

Under President Biden’s direction, the Department of Education has provided additional guidance to colleges and universities on how to uphold the obligation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and better address anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of discrimination on campus. We’ve also opened investigations into recent incidences on many campuses, including Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Wesley, University of Pennsylvania, University of Tampa, just to name a few.

In closing, I want to echo my colleague, and I’ll quote, Senator Schumer again, ‘all Americans share a responsibility and an obligation to fight back, whenever we see the rise of prejudice of any type in our midst.’ So today, I hope my Republican colleagues will denounce the culture wars that have distracted us from protecting many vulnerable students.

And I hope we can stand behind the Biden administration’s critical work to ensure that every student and educator has access to a campus free of discrimination, harassment and violence. To that end, I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Mr. Scott. Pursuant to Rule 8(c), see all members who wish to insert written statements into the record may do so by submitting them to the committee clerk electronically in Microsoft Word format by 5:00 pm, 14 days after the date of this hearing, which is December 19th, 2023. And without objection, the hearing record will remain open for 14 days, to allow such statements and other extraneous material referenced during the hearing to be submitted for the official hearing record. I now turn to the introduction of our witnesses.

Our first witness is Dr. Claudine Gay, who is the president of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Our second witness is Ms. Liz McGill, who’s the president of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Our next witness is Dr. Pamela Nadel, who is a professor of history Jewish studies at American University in Washington DC. And our final witness is Dr. Sally Kornbluth, who is president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Note, Dr. Kornbluth will monitor her diabetes during the hearing. We thank you all for being here today and look forward to your testimony. I’d like to remind the witnesses that we have read your written statements, which will appear in full in the hearing record, pursuant to Committee Rule 8(d) and Committee Practice.

I ask that each of you limit your oral presentations to a five minute summary of your written statement. I also like to remind the witnesses to be aware of the responsibility to provide accurate information to the committee. If we have a demonstration that gets unruly, we will ask the campus police to take people out immediately.

I now recognize Dr. Gay for five minutes.

CLAUDINE GAY: Chairwoman Foxx, Ranking Member Scott, and distinguished members of the committee, my name is Claudine Gay and I am the president of Harvard University. It’s an honor to be here today, representing a community of more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students, more than 19,000 faculty and staff, and more than 400,000 alumni, including multiple members of this committee.

Thank you for calling this hearing on the critical topic of antisemitism. Our community still mourns those brutally murdered during the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel on October 7th. Words fail in the face of such depravity, the deadliest single day for the Jewish community since the horrors of the Holocaust.

In the two months since the atrocities of October 7th, and the subsequent armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we have seen a dramatic and deeply concerning rise in antisemitism around the world, in the United States, and on our campuses, including my own. I know many in our Harvard Jewish community are hurting and experiencing grief, fear, and trauma.

I have heard from faculty, students, staff, and alumni of incidents of intimidation and harassment. I have seen reckless and thoughtless rhetoric shared, in person and online, on campus and off. I have listened to leaders in our Jewish community who are scared and disillusioned. At the same time, I know members of Harvard’s Muslim and Arab communities are also hurting.

During these past months, the world, our nation, and our campuses have also seen a rise of incidents of Islamophobia. During these difficult days, I have felt the bonds of our community strain. In response, I have sought to confront hate while preserving free expression. This is difficult work, and I know that I have not always gotten it right.

The free exchange of ideas is the foundation upon which Harvard is built, and safety and well-being are the prerequisites for engagement in our community. Without both of these things, our teaching and research mission founder. In the past two months, our bedrock commitments have guided our efforts. We have increased security measures, expanded reporting channels, and augmented counseling, mental health and support services.

We have reiterated that speech that incites violence threatens safety or violates Harvard’s policies against bullying and harassment is unacceptable. We have made it clear that any behaviors that disrupt our teaching and research efforts will not be tolerated, and where these lines have been crossed, we have taken action.

We have drawn on our academic expertise to create learning opportunities for our campus community. We have begun examinations of the ways in which anti-Semitism and other forms of hate manifest at Harvard and in American society. We have also repeatedly made clear that we at Harvard reject antisemitism and denounce any trace of it on our campus or within our community.

Antisemitism is a symptom of ignorance, and the cure for ignorance is knowledge. Harvard must model what it means to preserve free expression, while combating prejudice and preserving the security of our community. We are undertaking that hard, long term work with the attention and intensity it requires.

Once again, I thank the committee for the opportunity to discuss this important work. I have faith today that through thoughtful, focused, and determined effort, we will once again meet adversity and grow. Thank you.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Dr. Gay. Ms. Magill, you’re recognized for five minutes.

LIZ MAGILL: Thank you, Chairwoman Foxx, Ranking Member Scott, and distinguished members of this committee, for the opportunity to be here today. My name is Elizabeth Magill, and I am the president of the University of Pennsylvania. Let me begin by saying that I and the University of Pennsylvania are horrified by and condemn Hamas’s abhorrent and brutal terror attack on Israel on October 7th. There is no justification, none, for those heinous attacks.

The loss of life and suffering that are occurring in Israel and Gaza during the ensuing war are heartbreaking. This pain, sorrow, and fear extends to our campus and to our city of Philadelphia. This hearing this morning takes place just two days after the Philadelphia community witnessed, in horror, the hateful words and actions of protesters who marched through the city and then near our campus.

These protesters directly targeted a center city business that is Jewish and Israeli owned, a troubling and shameful act of antisemitism. Philadelphia Police and Penn Public Safety were present, and thankfully, no one was injured. But these events have understandably left many in our community upset and afraid.

Anti-Semitism, an old, viral and pernicious evil, has been steadily rising in our society and these world events have dramatically accelerated that surge. Few places have proven immune, including Philadelphia and campuses like ours. This is unacceptable. We are combating this hate on our campus with both immediate and comprehensive action.

I have condemned antisemitism publicly, regularly, and in the strongest possible terms. And today, let me reiterate my and Penn’s unyielding commitment to combating it. We immediately investigate any hateful act, cooperating with both law enforcement and the FBI, where we have identified individuals who have committed these acts in violation of either policy or law.

We initiate disciplinary proceedings and engage law enforcement. We have acted decisively to ensure safety throughout and near our campus, expanding the presence of public safety officers at our religious life centers and all across campus. On November 1st, just over a month ago, I announced Penn’s action plan to combat antisemitism.

This builds on our anti-hate efforts to date, and it is anchored firmly in the United States National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. The plan centers on three, key areas and has many elements. Those areas are safety and security, engagement, and education. As part of this plan, I have convened and charged a task force to identify concrete, actionable recommendations, directing them to provide me with their recommendations, both in real time and then a final report in a couple of months.

To ensure that our Jewish students have a direct channel to share their experiences with me, I’ve created a student advisory group on the student experience. Today’s hearing is focused on antisemitism and its direct impact on the Jewish community, but history teaches us that where antisemitism goes unchecked, other forms of hate spread, and ultimately can threaten democracy.

We are seeing a rise in our society in harassment, intimidation, and threats toward individuals based on their identity as Muslim, Palestinian, or Arab. At Penn, we are investigating all these allegations for members of our community and providing resources to support individuals experiencing threats, online harassment, and doxing.

We will continue to deploy all the necessary resources to support any member of the community experiencing hate. As president, I am committed to a safe, secure, and supportive educational environment so that our academic mission can thrive. It is crucial that ideas are exchanged and diverse viewpoints are debated.

As a student of constitutional democracy, I know that we need both safety and free expression for universities, and ultimately democracy, to thrive. In these times, these competing principles can be difficult to balance, but I am determined to get it right. And we must get this right. The stakes are too high.

Penn would not be what it is without its strong Jewish community — past, present, and future. I am proud of this tradition and deeply troubled when members of our Jewish community share that their sense of belonging has been shaken. Under my leadership, we will never ever shrink from our moral responsibility to combat anti-Semitism and educate all to recognize and reject hate.

We will remain vigilant. I look forward to your questions.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Ms. Magill. Dr. Nadell, you’re recognized for five minutes.

PAMELA NADELL: Thank you Chairman — Chairwoman Foxx and Ranking Member Scott for inviting me today. I’m Pamela Nadel. I’m a professor of Jewish history at American University. And I’m currently writing the book Antisemitism, An American Tradition, supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award.

And I am delighted to be here today, because this gives me an opportunity to thank Congress for sustaining, through the NEH, scholarship essential to understanding our nation’s past. This is the third time I have testified about this topic before Congress. The first was in 2017, just three months after White supremacists chanting Jews will not replace us, paraded through the University of Virginia brandishing torch lights, echoing Nazi stormtroopers strutting through Germany in the 1930s. I emphasize this, because the antisemitism igniting on campuses today is not new.

It is part of a long history of American anti Semitism. While anti Semitism is difficult to define, historical examples convey some of its contours. Anti-Semites believe that Jews have been corrupted by money, since Judas portrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, and they’ve employed codenames for avaricious Jews — Shylock, Rothschild, and in the 21st century George Soros.

Anti-Semites believe Jews conspire to destroy Christian, Western civilization. These conspiracy theories gained currency in the 1920s, when Henry Ford’s newspaper ran the series, The International Jew, The World’s Foremost Problem. Today, the charge that the Jews are internationalists has been replaced by the dog whistle globalist, implying the Jews are the puppet masters of the worldwide order.

Across American history, people from all walks of life have conveyed anti-Semitic ideas since 1654, when New Amsterdam Governor, Peter Stuyvesant, tried to expel, and I quote, ‘this deceitful race, such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ.’ Now more than 350 years later, we have just marked the fifth anniversary of the murders at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue.

On city streets, abuse is hurled at Orthodox Jews, and swastikas are graffitied on dorm doors, and also at the State Department. The long history of American antisemitism left its mark in higher education. Quotas on the admission of Jewish students began in the Ivy League in the 1920s, and spread to more than 700 private colleges and universities.

The campuses also wrestled with the challenge of antisemitic speech before this fall. In the early 1990s, Holocaust deniers took out full page ads in college newspapers. Those ads launched furious debates about free speech on campus and also helped propel Holocaust courses into the university to respond to the disinformation.

Anti-Israel invective has been flaring on campus well before this fall. I could look back more than 20 years. In October 2200, students at the University of Michigan yelled “Israel is a fascist state” and protested a Hillel teaching. But the barbarity of the Hamas terror of October 7th adds a terrible new chapter to Jewish history.

Anyone who claims to care about human rights should denounce these horrors. That so many on campus, not only did not, but that they justified the savagery in name of opposition to Israel has caused Jews around the world deep anguish. While I deplore all hateful speech, antisemitic speech remains in America, protected.

Free speech stands at the core of the liberal arts education and education, which almost every member of Congress benefited from when they were students. But free speech does not permit harassment, discrimination, bias, threats or violence in any form. And when they occur, our institutions and not just the campus but our nation, they have in place mechanisms to respond.

The American Jewish community has long strategized about how to reduce antisemitism. Their efforts received a stunning confirmation when the US National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism was published. I believe this is the first time any nation has developed such a document. I urge Congress to do everything in its power to support the National Strategy and also the forthcoming National Strategy to counter Islamophobia.

Thank you.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Dr. Kornbluth, you’re recognized for five minutes.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Thank you. Chairwoman Foxx, Ranking Member Scott and distinguished members of the committee. Thank you for this opportunity to describe how MIT is fighting the scourge of antisemitism. My name is Sally Kornbluth. I have been president of MIT since January of this year. As an American, as a Jew and as a human being, I abhor antisemitism and my administration is combating it actively.

Since October 7th, my campus communications have been crystal clear about the dangers of antisemitism and about the atrocity of the Hamas terror attack. Let me repeat what I said in my very first message to campus. In that video, I said quote, “The brutality perpetrated on innocent civilians in Israel by terrorists, from Hamas is horrifying.

In my opinion, such a deliberate attack on civilians can never be justified.” I also made clear that students were feeling unsafe because of their Jewish faith or their ties to Israel. And said, “That should trouble every one of us deeply.” I have reinforced this message including in a November 14th campus video.

As I said then, quote , “antisemitism is real and it is rising in the world. We cannot let it poison our community.” I have been direct and unequivocal. And such leadership statements are important, but they must be paired with action. And this is just what we are doing at MIT. Months before October 7th, MIT joined the International Hillel Campus Climate Initiative, which helps universities build awareness of and actions against antisemitism.

We have launched an MIT wide effort called Standing Together Against Hate. It will emphasize both education and community building, especially in our residence halls. In addition to fighting antisemitism, it will address Islamophobia also on the rise and also underreported. MIT will take on both, not lumped together, but with equal energy and in parallel.

Importantly, as is clearly visible on campus, we have increased the police presence. Safety has been our primary concern. Nonetheless, I know some Israeli and Jewish students feel unsafe on campus as they bear the horror of the Hamas attacks and the history of antisemitism. These students have been pained by chance in recent demonstrations.

I strongly believe that there is a difference — between what we can say to each other. That is what we have a right to say and what we should say as members of one community. Yet as president of MIT, in addition to my duties to keep the campus safe and to maintain the functioning of this national asset, I must at the same time ensure that we protect speech and viewpoint diversity for everyone.

This is in keeping with the Institute’s principles on free expression. Meeting those three goals is challenging and the results can be terribly uncomfortable, but it is essential to how we operate in the United States. Those who want us to shut down protest language are in effect arguing for a speech code.

But in practice, speech codes do not work. Problematic speech needs to be countered with other speech and with education. And we are doing that. However, the right to free speech does not extend to harassment, discrimination or incitement to violence in our community. MIT policies are clear on this. To keep the campus functioning, we also have policies to regulate the time, manner and place of demonstrations.

Reports of student conduct that may violate our policies are handled through our Faculty Lead Committee on Discipline. Our campus actions, today, have protected student safety, minimize disruptions to campus activities and protected the right to free expression. We are intensifying our central efforts to combat antisemitism the vital subject of this hearing.

I note that I am also deeply concerned about the rise in prejudice against Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians, nationally and in our community. And we are determined to combat that as well. We are also supporting faculty, staff and student initiatives to counter hate. And thanks to an inspiring group of faculty members, we are seeing more discussion among students with conflicting views.

We know there is further work to do, but we are seeing progress. And MIT’s vital mission continues. Thank you. I am happy to answer questions.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Dr. Kornbluth. I’ll begin the questioning of our witnesses. I’m going to ask members — before I ask my questions, let me — let me do some housekeeping. Under Committee Rule 9, we will now question witnesses under the five minute rule. I remind members that I’ll strictly enforce the five minute rule, so you’re — so members are advised to keep your questions succinct so the witnesses have time to answer.

Please don’t talk for four minutes and then ask the witness a question. That — we’ve heard from many students that they do not feel safe. You’ve talked about that in your statements. But the antisemitism we’ve seen — on your campuses didn’t come out of nowhere. Their cultures that your institutions that foster it because you have faculty and students who hate Jews, hate Israel and are comfortable apologizing for terror.

How did your campuses get this way? What is it about the way that you hire faculty and approve curriculum that’s allowing your campuses to be infected by this intellectual and moral rot? President Gay, I’m going to ask you to give me a brief answer. I also would invite you to follow up with more in writing and we will follow up with you.

So, I will go down the line President Gay, then President Magill and President Kornbluth.

CLAUDINE GAY: thank you. Thank you, Chairwoman Foxx. Again, antisemitism has no place at Harvard. When we recruit faculty, we do so with the understanding that they are joining a community where we — we honor, celebrate and nurture open discourse both on the campus and in the classroom. And to be a successful teacher and educator at Harvard requires the ability to draw out all of the viewpoints and voices in your classroom, irrespective of one’s political views.

And we devote significant resources to training our faculty in that pedagogical skill and to prioritizing that in our recruiting and hiring.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Thank you. Ms. Magill?

LIZ MAGILL: Thank you for the opportunity to address the question. I’m troubled by what you’re reporting about the — the culture of the institutions that we’re leading, very contrary to the values that I hold as a leader of Pennsylvania — University of Pennsylvania as well as the institution where any form of hate is very contrary to our values.

I would venture an answer, Chairwoman Foxx, that antisemitism has a role in the broader society. And that’s what we’re seeing happening in the society and on our campuses. And I’m committed to combating it in immediate term and the long term.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Dr. Kornbluth?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yes. So, MIT is a majority STEM educational research institution, and we are devoted to solving the problems that face society. Our faculty are hired for their brilliance. Now, we allow them to say what they’d like in the classroom in the name of free expression, but we are committed to having them know that this is — that our campus must be a welcoming and inclusive environment.

And although they may say what they like in the classroom, academically, targeting any individual student harassing or discriminating is strictly forbidden in our classrooms and on campus.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. We will be following up with asking for specific plans for disciplining student and faculty who assault or harass students or prevent them from accessing — undistracted classes or campus spaces. We’ll be asking for your plan for preventing this rot from perpetuating how you’re going to hire and Assess instructors, how you change how you govern students, and what are the practical steps you will plan to take?. I — I want to ask you one more question.

It seems — as I’ve said and — and Ms. Magill. I appreciate the fact that you feel concerned about the — my feeling about the fundamental culture on the campuses that’s foundational to this issue, denial of the right of Israel to exist. So I want to ask each one of you, President Gay, do you believe that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish nation?

CLAUDINE GAY: I agree that the State of Israel has the right to exist.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Ms. Magill same question.

LIZ MAGILL: I agree, Chairwoman Foxx, the State of Israel has the right to exist.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Dr. Kornbluth?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Absolutely, Israel has the right to exist.

VIRGINIA FOXX: I want to thank our witnesses again for being here and to say we will follow up. And to tell you that while we’ve talked about a larger culture out there, it’s the universities who should be examples of what this nation is all about. I yield back and I recognize the distinguished ranking member who is wanting me to recognize Mr. Courtney.

JOE COURTNEY: Thank you, Chairwoman Foxx. And I want to thank you for the moment of silence for the 137 hostages who are still being held to this day. We had a hearing a couple of weeks ago on antisemitism where I shared with my colleagues and the witnesses that a dual US Israeli citizen with family in Waterford, Connecticut was one of those being held at the time.

Along — and we thought her husband. Her name is [inaudible] and [inaudible]. The good news is a week ago, Leah Ott [ph] was released. And unfortunately, a day later the Israeli military shared with the family that human remains which were found at the kibbutz where the violent attack took place unfortunately matched up to Ahviv.

[ph] Again, Hamas never shared the information about whether or not they had him or not, which is just another example of their — their treachery. Dr. Nadell, in your testimony on page eight, you talked about President Biden’s US National Strategy to counter antisemitism and particularly, you talked about the use of Title 6 of the US Civil Rights Act in terms of being an effective tool on campuses to — to combat antisemitism.

I was wondering if you could talk about the little bit.

PAMELA NADELL: So, Title 6 allows for responding to some of the issues that the — the president’s of these universities, but also frankly of most universities around the nation, it seems at the moment have been dealing with in terms of when antisemitism moves into — moves beyond free speech, moves beyond rhetoric and involves harassment or intimidation. The issue is that the Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Education needs to be fully funded in order to implement the US strategy to counter antisemitism.

And I just want to comment about this strategy because it is an extraordinary document. It has actions for the — the White House to carry out or the — the — that — that division, but it has issues for Congress to carry out, which I have a sense Congress has not been carrying out, and it also has major charges to Hall of Society to respond to antisemitism, some of which we are hearing is already happening on the campuses.

The problem is they don’t make headlines because they’re not a bunch of protesters.

JOE COURTNEY: Thank you. And again, it’s important to note that document was released back in May of 2023, certainly before this committee and — and the you know, outrageous events of October 7th. And the ranking member mentioned in his opening remarks that, you know, at the same time we’re holding this hearing, we’re also now still trying to get a budget passed for fiscal year 2024. The majority in the House reported out their budget, which as you mentioned carried a cut for the Office of Civil Rights.

To be more specific, it’s a 25 percent cut, $35 million out of their rather small budget, $72 million lower than what the president had asked for. I mean, we — we had a witness here again two weeks ago from the — who worked for almost 20 plus years at ADL, the Anti-Defamation League. They’ve been around for 110 years, fighting antisemitism in this country.

And again, she talked about the fact that, you know, that type of cut is just going to cripple the ability of the antisemitism police, if you want, to sort of look at it that way in terms of trying to — to stop this type of activity on campuses. And again, I was just wondering if you had sort of — what your view is of a cut in terms of the impact of the Office of Civil Rights to do its job?

PAMELA NADELL: I think the cut is absolutely devastating. And what I would also remind everyone is that the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education does not only focus on antisemitism. It focuses on all forms of hate. And I — I would guess — I actually tried to find this information, but was unable to do so, but I would guess that the majority of complaints are not coming from Jewish students, although maybe now given what happened since October 7th, I would guess the majority of the complaints are actually coming from people of color and from others who have faced terrible bias.

So it is unthinkable, unconscionable to make that cut now.

JOE COURTNEY: And talk is cheap. I mean, I’ve been around here a while. Budgets are what really, I think, show the true willingness to act in situations like this. And I’d just like to close by mentioning that in Connecticut, a young transfer student, an international student from the West Bank, Tyson Ali Hammad, [ph] a sophomore at Trinity College, is a math major who was up visiting friends in Burlington, Vermont.

They were walking from going bowling. And this coward came out of his house with a firearm and at point blank range shot all three students who were absolutely — they were going to their relative’s house at the time. And it shows again that the civil rights effort of the Department of Justice, which also was being subjected to a potential cut needs to get full funding in the Office of Civil Rights.

And with that, I would yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Mr. Courtney. I now recognize Congressman Wilson from South Carolina for five minutes.

JOE WILSON: Thank you. Thank you, Chairwoman Virginia Foxx. And Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, I believe appropriately began this hearing about how serious this hearing is. That the Iran puppets of Hamas have victimized the world including here in the United States. And shocking, as we include people who have been affected, it should be Paul Kessler of California, who was murdered by a professor, a professor supporting Hamas as he was demonstrating peacefully on behalf of the people of Israel.

And so, we have victims right in our country of murder in California. With that in mind and I say this respectfully to each of the university professors here today, without any explanation, I would like the answer, and it should be a percentage of conservatives, and that is you each rightfully promote diversity and inclusion of race and gender with percentages available that is available at your universities.

What is the percentage of conservative professors at your institutions? I only want to know the percent of conservatives. What is the number, Dr. — President Gay?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you, Congressman. So, I can’t provide you that statistic because it’s not data that we collect. But I will say that we — we try to draw our talent to Harvard from —

JOE WILSON: Ok. I — we’ve got to race ahead, please. I want more. I just want to know. What is the percentage of conservative professors at Harvard?

CLAUDINE GAY: I do not have that statistic. We don’t collect that data.

JOE WILSON: Well, that concerns me. And President Magill, what are the percentage of conservative professors allowed to teach at your institution?

LIZ MAGILL: Representative, I strongly believe in a wide variety of perspectives. We do not track that information, so I can’t give that to you.

JOE WILSON: Ok. No, none. I got the message. And President Kornbluth, what is the percentage of conservative professors in — at MIT?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: We do not document people’s political views, but conservatives are welcome to teach on our campus.

JOE WILSON: And I think this is so sadly and shamefully revealing that there is no diversity and inclusion of intellectual thought. And the result of that is antisemitism. And you can study with government money all you want to, Doctor, but it’s due to illiberalism that has taken over the country. And you might look into that when you get your next government grant.

With that in mind, the barbaric mass murder on October 7th by Iran puppets Hamas, invading Israel, trained by war criminal Putin, has shockingly revealed that many college campuses are sickeningly antisemitic. This is defending the maniac Hamas agenda. The Hamas agenda is in their covenant of August 1988. I hope you read it because it says in Article 7, I’ll take you.

You don’t have to read the whole thing. Kill the Jews. What that means is death to Israel, death to America. And to have that presented as disgusting. Sadly, college campuses have descended from coveted citadels intellectual freedom to illiberal sewers of intolerance and bigotry. Diversity and inclusion are a George Orwell 1984 implementation as we see in excluding conservative thought.

The solution for close minded intolerance on campuses is obvious. To liberate academia from denial of free speech, respecting the First Amendment, there should be diversity and inclusion of more conservative academics overcoming today’s blatant discrimination. With that in mind, Dr. Magill, I’ve received questions from really wonderful students at the University of Pennsylvania who are in a state of shock about the state of the university.

And you say the university has introduced a plan to combat antisemitism, yet we hear of more incitement and intimidation of Jewish students at Penn. Do you understand that having policies means nothing if you don’t implement them? And how many students or faculty have been removed to discipline under your policies?

What is the average time for action on student conduct or other policies? Can — conclude — to conclude and get this back to me later, what are you enforcing? At a pro-Hamas Penn protest, President Huda [inaudible], [ph] and faculty member Ahmad Marlow [ph] were seen enthusiastically clapping in support of the speaker as he shouted, “Go back to Moscow, Brooklyn Blanking Berlin, where you came from.” Has any action been taken to address Professor [inaudible] and Professor Ahmed Marlow’s support of this insightful and intimidating speech?

How would are Jewish students in [inaudible] classes supposed to receive fair treatment when she endorses hatred? And I’ll introduce that. And also, I’m going to conclude by another question, how in the world can you all now have a class on resistance literature from pre-Islamic Arabia featuring a person who is with the terrorist organization PFLF? And I will present this to you.

Thank you.

VIRGINIA FOXX: We go from Mr. Wilson from South Carolina to Ms. Wilson from Florida.

FREDERICA WILSON: Thank you. Thank you, Chairman Foxx and Ranking Member Scott, and thank you to the witnesses for your testimonies today. As you — as the witnesses have shared, antisemitism anywhere is abhorrent and unacceptable and must be condemned. I’m privileged to represent a strong united Jewish community in South Florida.

My next door neighbor is a rabbi. My Jewish constituents have experienced everything from bomb threats on Jewish centers schools to harassment of Jewish community members. I stand with them. We talk often. We commiserate and we pray. We must take a stand against all forms of hate whether that be antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia and terrorism.

This must stop. In Congress for seven years, I led the fight against Boko Haram, a terrorist group that kidnaped over 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria, gang rapes, beheadings, killing whole families, so I am particularly sensitive to this issue of terrorists and what they do. But disagreements about the conflict in the Middle East should never escalate to threats of violence against any community.

We are a civilized society. We must draw a line and condemn hate. Please know that in May the Biden administration — Biden-Harris administration introduced the US National Strategy to counter Antisemitism a comprehensive approach addressing anti-Semitism in diverse environments including college campuses.

With that I have a few questions. Ms. Nadell, based on your knowledge from 2016 to 2020, what has been the United States response to antisemitic events? I’m specifically thinking about Charlottesville Unite the Right, and what the Trump-Pence administration did compared to this administration. Ms. Nadell?

PAMELA NADELL: The — the Unite the Right rally at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville, Virginia in August of 2017, was for me, and I believe actually for the majority of American Jews, a major turning point. It signaled that the long history of antisemitism in the United States that it was about to burst out again.

And for the first time ever that I know of Jews who were worshiping in their synagogues make in a synagogue on Saturday morning and they watched some of those Unite the Right rallier’s parade past the synagogue armed. And they had to sneak out of the back of the synagogue because they were afraid that violence would break out.

So what we are seeing in terms of antisemitism in the — in this moment in time is that it’s been rising and rising since 2016. And although President Trump called the people who were the protesters and counter protesters said there were very good people on both sides. I disagree. I do not think there were very good people on both sides in Charlottesville in August 2017.

FREDERICA WILSON: Ok, as I reflected, Professor Nadell, on the horrific events in the Middle East and the subsequent fallout on college campuses, I have been in contact with my friend and former Congressional colleague Ted Deutch, who now heads the American Jewish Committee. The committee is the author of the AJC Action Plan, a tool kit for university administrators.

One of the recommendations is that the university administrators recenter the conversation about the Middle East back to a place of fact based exchange. Could you comment on why this suggestion is important? And I’d like to, Madam Chair, into this report into the record.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Without objection.

PAMELA NADELL: This action is important because the campuses where faculty who come from Middle East studies and faculty who come from Jewish studies have long been in conversation, not just since October 7th. Those are the places where the — what we do in the university has been manifested in, in the best way. So I’m thinking, for example, of Dartmouth University where they held a forum.

And they had their second forum 300 people in the room. And they had 5000 people online. Our universities not only educate our students today, but we can educate the wider public. And so, I very much agree. I admire Ted Deutch and I admire the American Jewish Committee for what they are trying to do. But we — this is not a magic bullet.

It’s not going to be fixed overnight, but we are in the process of working on it and hopefully, tamping down antisemitism in America once again.

FREDERICA WILSON: Thank you. And I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Your time is expired. And, Mr. Thompson, you’re recognized for five minutes.

GLENN THOMPSON: Thank you, Madam Chair, for calling this important hearing. Thanks today to all of our folks that are testifying. As we’ve all seen in recent weeks, there’s been a sharp rise in anti-Semitic words, actions and attacks online, around the world, and unfortunately right here at home. Nowhere in the United States have these hateful and divisive ideas been more prevalent or found a safer home than on college campuses.

It’s up to all of us to call out these actions and protect Jewish faculty, students, staff at these institutions. Unfortunately, many of our university leaders have not met this moment, and have allowed antisemitism to continue to grow and to rear its ugly head. President Magill, does the University of Pennsylvania have in place any policies to ensure that each student who is enrolled at the University receives information on the history of anti Semitism, how anti Semitism presents itself, and actions students can take to prevent and report anti-Semitic behavior?

And why or why not?

LIZ MAGILL: Thank you for the opportunity to discuss that. We are in the midst of making certain that all anti bigotry efforts ensure education about anti Semitism. We committed to that into September, and we’re working through that. We have added education — some parts of our program do and some parts of our program need to be enhanced.

So we’re working on that right now. And I assure you that we will make certain that that is included in all of our anti bigotry efforts — anti Semitism.

GLENN THOMPSON: That is much appreciate. I wonder if that type of education would have been in place at all of our college campuses before this, whether we would have seen the mass of reactions that we have, that are just hard to describe and — and justify, in terms of- — of the demonstrations, and just the hate. As part of the recent protests on and around campus, there have been dozens of arrests made by university police, including several related terroristic threats.

Does the university plan on requiring students, faculty, or staff arrested as part of these protests to — to receive further education on anti-Semitic behavior?

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman, is that a question for me?

GLENN THOMPSON: It is — I’m sorry, please.

LIZ MAGILL: Well, we’re very committed to making sure everyone understands history and anti Semitism, for sure. The description of the arrests, I would need to learn a little bit more about.

GLENN THOMPSON: Well, the requests that have occurred, are obviously, related to protests involving faculty or staff, students. You know, the question is, you know, within the consequences, when the university police are the ones that are — that are — that are intervening whether there’s any thoughts to further education for those individuals on — regarding anti-Semitic behavior and the impacts of it?

LIZ MAGILL: It’s certainly consistent, with my perspective and my values and the institution’s values. I wonder if I could follow up with your team about the specifics of these arrests, because they are — I’m not — I don’t know exactly what you’re speaking about. But I agree with you, that anyone who was arrested for an activity that was anti-Semitic, some act or something else — harassment, intimidation — should certainly receive education, in addition to other consequences, in my —

GLENN THOMPSON: For some criminal activity, they were arrested for that was obviously driven by anti-Semitic beliefs and expressions. Several faculty members at Penn recently provided support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or the BDS movement. The movement requires boycotting Israeli universities and individuals who are complicit in what they consider Israeli government misconduct.

Therefore, it is impossible for a faculty member to support BDS and treat Israeli academics fairly. Can you tell this committee, unequivocally, that no such discrimination has taken place?

LIZ MAGILL: I appreciate the opportunity to clarify a very clear position that the University of Pennsylvania has had for many years, which is we strongly oppose boycotting divesting and sanctioning Israel. We have many flourishing academic — it’s contrary to academic freedom, among other things. It’s singling out one state and treating it differently than others.

We have many academic collaborations with universities in Israel. We — they’re terrific collaborations. We have absolutely — we’re very clear on BDS. We are opposed to it. And our practices make that clear.

GLENN THOMPSON: So as a part of that — and I’m a strong supporter of the right to free speech, including on college campuses — does University of Pennsylvania having policies and procedures in place to ensure that BDS supporters cannot implement their boycott positions, in their official capacities, or not giving such individuals administrative powers to begin with?

LIZ MAGILL: Well, it’s the position of the institution that we do not engage in boycotting, sanctioning, or divesting. And I would think that would followed for any member of the organization who is acting in their official capacity. But if you have specifics that I could follow up on after this hearing, I would very much like to hear them.

GLENN THOMPSON: I will do that. Appreciate it. Thank you, Madam Chair.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Ms. Bonamici, you’re recognized for five minutes.

SUZANNE BONAMICI: Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you to the witnesses. I appreciate the full committee’s focus on this issue. I want to reiterate, as I did in the other hearing we had recently, that anti-Semitism, as well as Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry based on race, ethnicity, national origin or religion, are abhorrent and must not be tolerated.

I’m deeply troubled by recent anti-Semitic incidents at colleges and universities across the country, including those whose presidents are here today. And I stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, in calling for proactive steps from all of these institutions of higher education to root out discrimination, hatred, and bigotry in all of its forms.

I also want to note that the main point of this hearing should be to identify bipartisan solutions to combat anti-Semitism, not an excuse to attack higher education, liberal arts education, or important diversity, equity, and inclusion work that’s happening at colleges and universities across the country.

There are legitimate concerns about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and that’s what we should focus on today. Not doing so is a disservice to the students across the country who are looking to Congress for support for the — and the public for the institutions. So during the previous hearing, I highlighted my support for additional funding for the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, and I want to join Representative Courtney in repeating that request today.

OCR will be better able to enforce Title VI violations and protect student civil rights, with adequate staff and investigatory capacity. So I want to make that clear. We must — we must do that. Dr. Nadell, thank you for — for being here and for your work over the years. Public colleges and universities, as we know, must uphold constitutional free speech rights.

And many private institutions also recognize the value of free speech and robust debate. I think all of our presidents recognize that today, but also with the understanding that schools cannot allow their campuses to become places where anti-Semitic speech makes students unsafe or feel unsafe. I think that’s a recognized.

So Dr. Nadell, what are some of the best ways that colleges and universities can work to make their campuses welcome, safe, and inclusive spaces for all students, in light of incidences of hate speech and discrimination, while also adhering to First Amendment principles?

PAMELA NADELL: So thank you for the question. I think there are different forms and different venues for expanding this discussion of the very difficult issue that has sparked and ignited the anti Semitism, or the outbursts on college campuses that we’ve been seeing since October 7th. So one form, obviously, is the classroom, although, I would remind the members of — of the committee that the reality is that, most students during their college career, they take a handful of courses.

Many of them are studying STEM, and most of them are actually never in classrooms where they’re hearing a discussion of issues like antisemitism or the conflict in Israel and Palestine. So that’s the first thing that I would point out. So academics, we — academics can continue to foster those conversations, and we need to take them outside of the classroom.

I think the other place where there can really be a lot of work done that would be very successful, is on the side of student life on campus. And so student organizations are — they — they range broadly and widely on the campus, everything from a gardening club to, obviously, some of the student organizations that have been involved in the protests against — against Israel.

So these are other places —

SUZANNE BONAMICI: Dr. Nadell, I don’t want to cut you off, but I have to get another question in, and I’m running out of time.

PAMELA NADELL: Oh, yeah, sure. Ok.

SUZANNE BONAMICI: But thank you for your work. And I also want to recognize, as well, the AJC Action Plan for Confronting Campus Anti-Semitism. President Gay, I understand that there’s an ongoing investigation of your institution by OCR, because of anti-Semitic incidents that occurred on campus. and I know we’ll be closely monitoring the outcome.

But in the interim and over the long term, what can Congress do to support your institution and other colleges in preventing discrimination? And also, if you could — could also respond, in the brief time, you mentioned that Harvard will not permit speech that incites violence or threatens safety. And I’d like you also to address who decides that and how, and in what time frame?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you, Congressman — women for your — for your questions. You’re correct that there is an ongoing investigation and, obviously, I can’t comment on an active investigation, other than to say we will work with the office to answer all of their questions. And I will say the work of the office is vitally important for ensuring students have access to educational opportunities.

So I fully support that the work that they do, and hope that the office gets the resources that it needs to be effective. With respect to student — I believe the question was about student conduct — so again, we are deeply committed to free expression. But when speech crosses over into conduct that violates our policies — policies against bullying, harassment, intimidation — we do take action.

And we do have faculty led student disciplinary processes that are quite robust. And even over the last couple of months, as there have been incidents, we have — we’ve been leaning into those processes. And we do have disciplinary actions underway.

SUZANNE BONAMICI: Thank you. My time is expired. I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: I now recognized Mr. Walberg for five minutes.

TIM WALBERG: Thank you, Madam Chair. And thanks to the panel for being here. These are difficult times and difficult subjects, but they need to be addressed, because leadership matters. And you are leaders in academia at your institutions, as well. And leadership matters. President Gay, I was taken by some words in your — your opening statement, where you said, cure for antisemitism is knowledge.

I would — I would go where angels fear to tread, and suggest that it might be better — going back to the original motto idea for Harvard, which was Veritas, truth that the cure for anti-Semitic — Semitism is not simply knowledge, it’s truth. Knowledge puffs up, knowledge sometimes based upon falsehoods.

I think that’s what we’re facing right now. In the climate on campuses, is that we’re missing the fact of truth and allowing, under the guise of free speech, knowledge that isn’t true, to be exhibited in actions, as well. So, President Gay, in the weeks since October 7th, and again in your testimony, you have said that Harvard’s commitment to free speech extends to views that are objectionable or outrageous.

Are you aware that Harvard is ranked dead last on the 2024 Foundation of Individual Rights and Expression Scorecard of Universities on Freedom of Speech?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you, Congressman, for the question. Respectfully, I disagree with that perspective, as represented in the report that you cited. I don’t think it’s an accurate representation of how Harvard treats speech on campus. We are committed to free expression and to making space for a wide range of views and perspectives on our campus.

This is —

TIM WALBERG: With all due respect, let —

CLAUDINE GAY: — this is — this is bedrock.

TIM WALBERG: — me move on a bit. I would expect that you wouldn’t agree with that. I understand that. And I would expect that the University of Penn, the same would be true, that you wouldn’t agree that you’re second to last on that same scorecard. But President Gay, did you know that 70 percent of Harvard students say that shouting down a speaker is acceptable?

CLAUDINE GAY: That is not Ok.

TIM WALBERG: I appreciate that. It seems that, perhaps, Harvard’s commitment to free speech is pretty selective. As you are no doubt aware, prominent alumnus, Bill Ackman tweeted you a letter on Sunday. And in that letter, and I have that tweet — guess that’s the beauty of social media. You can get those things. In that letter, he highlighted two cases of Harvard faculty members who were canceled, because of views deemed too controversial for your campus.

Tyler J. Van der Wiel was deemed guilty for those crimes, related to his views on marriage and abortion. And then, Carl — Carroll Hooven, an evolutionary biologist, was forced to resign, because she stated that a person’s sex is biological and binary. Mr. Ackerman’s letter also included quotes from a number of faculty, highlighting the culture of fear that pervades Harvard’s campus for those with views out of step with campus orthodoxy.

And so, President Gay, in what world is a call for violence against Jews protected speech, but a belief that sex is biological and binary isn’t?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you for your question. So from the moment that our students arrive on campus, whether it is to begin their Harvard journey as an undergraduate, or at one of the professional schools, the message to them is clear — that we are an inclusive community but one deeply committed to free expression. And that means that we have expectations that that right is exercised mindfully and with empathy towards others.

We reinforce that during their time at Harvard, by helping them build the skills that allow them to engage in constructive dialogue, even on the most complex and divisive issues. Because what we seek is not simply free expression, but the reasoned dialogue that leads to truth and discovery and that does the work of moving us all forward.

We don’t always get it right in our students don’t always get it right —

TIM WALBERG: But you are professors — — and when they transgress, they’re held accountable. — come under that, as well, don’t they? Your professors come under that as well, don’t they?

CLAUDINE GAY: Absolutely.

TIM WALBERG: And so, for Professor Van der Weil and Hooven, that didn’t work for them — the free expression of views, at the very least views, whether fact or truth, I guess we’ll leave that to understanding. But nonetheless, they were removed from their positions. And I think that sends a message, a message in this case with Jewish students, that there are less importance.

I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Mr. Takano, you are recognized for five minutes?

MARK TAKANO: Thank you, Madam Chair. And thank you to our witnesses for being here. I do wish we could meet under different circumstances. President Gay, many individuals hold that Harvard did not condemn the attack against Israel swiftly enough. And I’d like to give you an opportunity to briefly to react. Can you tell us why the university did not react as quickly as other universities might have, or others might have hoped Harvard would have?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you, Congressman, for the — for the question. And — and respectfully, the — the notion that Harvard did not react is not correct. From the moment I learned of the attacks on October 7th, I was focused on action to ensure that our students were supported and safe. On that first day, we were focused on identifying whether we had any students or faculty who were in Israel and needed our assistance, including in getting out.

On October 8th, I joined students and other members of the Jewish community at Harvard Hillel for a solidarity dinner, to be there in support and also to learn more what their needs were. In the days after, not only did I condemn the attacks, I’ve continued to condemn the attacks, and furthermore, have continued to stay in conversation with our Jewish community on campus about their evolving needs, so that — to ensure that the university is providing them with the support that they need during this very challenging time.

MARK TAKANO: Thank you, President Gay. Do you consider yourself as subject matter expert on anti-Semitic behavior?

CLAUDINE GAY: Excuse me, could you repeat that question? I did not —

MARK TAKANO: Do you consider yourself an expert on anti-Semitic behavior — subject matter expert?

CLAUDINE GAY: No, I don’t. But I know this — that anti-Semitism is hate or suspicion of Jews. And that is all I need to know to take action to address it on our campus.

MARK TAKANO: Thank you. Real quickly, other than President — Professor Nadell, are there — do the other witnesses consider themselves to be experts on anti-Semitism, just a simple yes or no?

LIZ MAGILL: No, I do not.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: No, I do not, but I learn.

MARK TAKANO: Thank you. Well, my point is that, this is the second legislative hearing on this topic in a month, and the majority has failed to bring forth any witnesses who can speak on how to address this issue, and how to take concrete steps to combat anti-Semitism. President gay, it is my understanding that you have communicated to the Harvard community some of the specific steps you are implementing to combat anti-Semitism, and continue to foster student and community engagement.

You’ve already mentioned a few of the things that you’ve done since September 8th, but can you highlight some of these steps?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you for the question. So I’ve had repeated communications with the campus community about the steps that we’re taking, both immediate steps and longer term action, towards combating antisemitism. To begin, we’ve focused on enhancing the physical safety of the campus and the campus community. That includes an increased police presence, both plainclothes and uniformed officers, 24, seven threat monitoring, both on campus and online, coordination, on a daily basis, with state, local and federal law enforcement.

And when necessary, we’ve taken the steps of closing the gates to Harvard Yard to limit the ability of outside actors to use our campus as a platform. We’ve also made it easier for students, or any community member, to report concerns and any kind of conduct that is — is threatening. We’ve also enhanced counseling and mental health services including trauma-informed care.

We’ve created community spaces so that students and faculty and staff can gather and to be together to process the tragedy. We’re also working on —

MARK TAKANO: Excuse me, President Gay. Thank you. Are these actions only intended to assist Jewish students?

CLAUDINE GAY: These are resources that we’re making broadly available to our community, but we’re being particularly mindful to make sure that they are responsive to the needs of our Jewish community, as well as our Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian students who are also experiencing tremendous grief and are also fearful and distraught during this time.

MARK TAKANO: President Gay universities stand as centers of thought, and it is of the utmost importance to strike a balance between First Amendment speech protections and the safety of students and faculty. But when speech crosses into the line of conduct — crosses the line into conduct, is it — it’s essential that universities act swiftly.

Harvard is a private university. And private IHEs have — have different parameters to operate under — than public IHEs. Does this give Harvard a pass to avoid protecting free speech?

CLAUDINE GAY: We are deeply committed to protecting free expression, even of views that we find objectionable and outrageous and offensive. But when that expression crosses into conduct, that violates our policies around bullying, harassment, intimidation, threats, we take action and we do not hesitate to take action.

MARK TAKANO: Thank you. My time is up and I yield back to the chair. Thank you.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Mr. Takano. Mr. Grothman, you’re recognized for five minutes.

GLENN GROTHMAN: Thank you. I’m going to follow up on some of the things Mr. Wilson had to say. Just playing around here a little bit on the internet — in 2016, they found about 2 percent of the faculty of Harvard were — viewed President Trump, I think, is Ok or good. And I think in the 2020 election, the Crimson, your local paper there, found 1 percent of the students voting for Donald Trump, which given that nationwide, it is about 50, 50 was kind of shocking.

Does it concern you at all, that you apparently have a great deal, a lack of ideological diversity at Harvard? And you think that atmosphere is maybe one of the reasons why there seems to be such an outbreak of anti-Semitism at your institution?

CLAUDINE GAY: Is that — is that question for me?

GLENN GROTHMAN: It’s a question for you. And I’ll ask you, what are you — what are you going to do about it? Do you think it’s a concern?

CLAUDINE GAY: We — so we — we strive to have as diverse a faculty as we — as we can, because we want to make sure that we are sampling from the broadest pool of talent available in the world. That’s how we ensure academic excellence. And then —

GLENN GROTHMAN: Wait, wait, wait, wait. I — from what I read here, maybe I’m just — they are making stuff up, but I don’t think they’re making it up. We said 2 percent of your faculty viewed Donald Trump as something [inaudible] poor. In 2016, and after four years of working for diversity, 1 percent voted for him. Now I know all sorts of good people who don’t like President Trump.

But I’m just saying, when you compare the way people think at your campus, compared to America as a whole, if there’s one thing you are — it’s not diverse. Right? Do you consider that a problem, or the numbers I gave you?

CLAUDINE GAY: So, Congressman, I can’t speak to the specific data that you are referring to. What I can say is, that at Harvard, we try to create as much space as possible for a wide range of views and perspectives, because we believe that allows for a thriving academic community.

GLENN GROTHMAN: Well, how in the world is that even possible, and that that you’re trying to do that? Do you really feel that you’re — that your faculty are ideologically diverse? You came out of a, what was it a, political science background at Stanford?

CLAUDINE GAY: At Stanford as an undergraduate, as an economics major. And then, for my PhD, it was a PhD in political science.

GLENN GROTHMAN: Political science, that’s what I thought. Did you experience what you would say, given America’s divided now 50, 50, about 50, 50, or was it 75,25, or 90,10, regard — regarding to more constitutional conservative perspective, or more of a left wing perspective? What is your experience, both at Harvard and Stanford?

CLAUDINE GAY: So here’s what I can say on the topic that you’re exploring. And it’s — we want the most brilliant, talented faculty to come to Harvard and to build their careers there. And then —

GLENN GROTHMAN: Ok, they only give me five — you’re not going to answer the question, and they only give me five minutes. Is it common at Harvard to ask faculty to submit a diversity statement?

CLAUDINE GAY: That’s a practice that varies across schools at Harvard.

GLENN GROTHMAN: So sometimes you do? Well —

CLAUDINE GAY: In some cases, there are schools that ask for that.

GLENN GROTHMAN: Ok. Could a scientist ever get cut from consideration for from a job, because they had the wrong view of diversity?

CLAUDINE GAY: What I would say, is that we aim to draw to our faculty, the broadest pool of talent.

GLENN GROTHMAN: Yeah, Ok. But when you hear that — and this is not the way I wanted this to go. But when you hear that 1 percent of your faculty voted for a presidential candidate who got about 50 percent of the vote, nationwide, does that concern you, or do you feel you’re not as diverse as you should be?

CLAUDINE GAY: What I’m focused on, is making sure that we’re bringing the most academically talented faculty to our campus and that they are effective in the classroom.

GLENN GROTHMAN: Ok. I get one more question, because I want to go to go to the gal from Penn. Has Harvard ever made a faculty job contingent on a strong diversity statement?

CLAUDINE GAY: We look at everything a faculty member will bring to our campus — academic brilliance and excitement and ability to teach a campus community and student community that is diverse —

GLENN GROTHMAN: Ok. Now I want to go to Ms. Magill. I have a friend whose son goes to the University of Pennsylvania. Right now, he is physically afraid to go to the library at night. Ok? Just unbelievable. Could you — I just can’t even conceive that it’s going on in the United States of America. But that’s what she tells me, and she doesn’t make it up. Could you give us your reasons as to why that is true in Pennsylvania?

Why, today, a Jewish student is afraid to walk to the library at night?

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman, let me start by saying I’m devastated to hear that. And the safety and security of our campus, and our students in particular, is my top concern. I would — if you would be willing, I would like to talk to your constituent and their — their Penn student. I’m very troubled by what you’re reporting.

It’s our top priority to keep our students safe and secure.

VIRGINIA FOXX: I’m going to have to ask you to follow up on that with Mr. Grothman, and with the rest of the committee. Mr. Adams, you’re recognized for five minutes.

ALMA ADAMS: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. And thank you to the witnesses for coming today and to testify before the committee. But before I get started, I want to just thank you for your service to students and to the university community. Dr. Nadell, this question is for you. I’m glad, first of all, to see another Buckeye here, Ohio State.

But as a former professor at a small college in North Carolina, Bennett College, for over 40 years, I taught there, I am deeply disappointed by the rise of anti Semitism rhetoric that’s happening across the country. Anti-Semitism has no place on our college campuses or anywhere. And it’s been my mission to combat instances of anti-Semitism and hate and racism alike.

There are Jewish students across this country that are afraid to leave their dorms, afraid to step on campus, because of the hateful rhetoric that’s infiltrated our schools. So this question is to actually all the Presidents, but I did want Dr. Nadel. to answer first. Students should be able to express their views and opinions without fear of retaliation.

How are you balancing the protection of free speech, academic freedom, with the need to also oppose normalizing anti Semitism attitudes that are radical and dangerous? And if we could just briefly answer that, I want to hear from the president’s on this.

PAMELA NADELL: Sure. So just briefly, obviously, we need to protect free speech, but we also need to protect the safety of our students on campus. And you used the word normalizing antisemitism. And the problem is anti-Semitism has been normalized in the nation, not just on campus.

ALMA ADAMS: Thank you. Dr. Gay?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you. I’d say education is the key here, making students, and frankly, the entire campus community more aware of the insidiousness of antisemitism, so that they’re in a position to be able to recognize antisemitic tropes when they see them, and confront them in the moment.

ALMA ADAMS: Thank you.

LIZ MAGILL: I appreciate the question. At — at Penn, our policies are guided by the US Constitution. So our long standing open, expression guidelines follow the Constitution.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: I think, in addition to education, which I agree with, so that students are — and faculty and staff can identify and combat antisemitic tropes and speech, I think it’s important to call out antisemitism in a very visible and public way and a specific way in order to make clear what the — how it’s contrary to the values of the institution where we’re talking about speech alone.

ALMA ADAMS: Thank you. So, Title 6provisions set the standard for what should be done to address racism hate crimes and violence on campuses. Do you think that your DEI departments are equipped with the tools to combat antisemitism or hate on your campus? And if not, what changes do you plan to make? This is for all the president’s.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: I can jump in here.

ALMA ADAMS: Yes, um-hum.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yes, so our diversity equity and inclusion staff are absolutely charged with making the campus welcoming for all students and that absolutely includes our Jewish and Israeli students. We absolutely see antisemitism as an inclusion issue. We’re making sure that our staff who are dedicated to diversity equity and inclusion are being trained about antisemitism.

But you know, it goes well beyond that staff. It’s important that our leadership understands antisemitism that our students and faculty understand antisemitism. And I’ll just say one thing about MIT, we can make as many top down initiatives as we want, but the heartening thing is that the discussion of antisemitism and indeed, Islamophobia is now proceeding at a grassroots level at MIT.

ALMA ADAMS: So, can we hear from — thank you very much. Next president?

LIZ MAGILL: Our anti-bigotry efforts are also informed by a desire to make certain every person at the university feels welcome and can thrive. And that includes communities of faith and ethnicity. That’s the value we have. And we’re making sure that is from the top of the organization all through the organization. And I believe over the longer term — that’s sort of an immediate action over the longer term, making sure the entire community is discussing, understanding and capable of calling out and combating antisemitism when they see it.

ALMA ADAMS: Thank you. Madam president?

CLAUDINE GAY: Our DEI office is a resource for the entire community. And the professionals in that office are committed to ensuring that everyone feels a sense of belonging. But in building on an observation that President Kornbluth made, this is a shared responsibility that doesn’t vest strictly in the hands of our DEI professionals, but it really is work that needs to be taken up by the entire community, the leadership for sure, but also the faculty and the students and — and also doing the work.

ALMA ADAMS: Thank you very much. I’m out of time. Madam Chair, I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Ms. Stefanik, you’re recognized for five minutes.

ELISE STEFANIK: Dr. Gay, a Harvard student calling for the mass murder of African Americans is not protected free speech at Harvard, correct?

CLAUDINE GAY: Our commitment to free speech —

ELISE STEFANIK: That’s a yes or no question. Is that correct? Is that Ok for students to call for the mass murder of African Americans at Harvard? Is that protected free speech?

CLAUDINE GAY: Our commitment to free speech —

ELISE STEFANIK: It’s a yes or no question. Let me ask you this. You are president of Harvard, so I assume you’re familiar with the term intifada, correct?

CLAUDINE GAY: I’ve heard that term, yes.

ELISE STEFANIK: And you understand that 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. Are you aware of that?

CLAUDINE GAY: That type of hateful speech is personally abhorrent to me.

ELISE STEFANIK: And there have been multiple marches at Harvard with students chanting quote, “there is only one solution intifada revolution.” And quote, “globalize the intifada.” Is that correct?

CLAUDINE GAY: I’ve heard that thoughtless, reckless and hateful language on our campus, yes.

ELISE STEFANIK: So, based upon your testimony, you understand that this call for intifada is to commit genocide against the Jewish people in Israel and globally, correct?

CLAUDINE GAY: I will say again that type of hateful speech is personally abhorrent to me.

ELISE STEFANIK: Do you believe that type of hateful speech is contrary to Harvard’s code of conduct or is it allowed at Harvard?

CLAUDINE GAY: It is at odds with the values of Harvard. But our values also —

ELISE STEFANIK: Can you not say here that it is against the code of conduct at Harvard?

CLAUDINE GAY: We embrace a commitment to free expression, even of views that are objectionable, offensive, hateful. It’s when that speech crosses into conduct that violates our policies against bullying, harassment —

ELISE STEFANIK: Does that speech not cross that barrier? Does that speech not call for the genocide of Jews and the elimination of Israel?


ELISE STEFANIK: You testify that you understand that it’s the definition of intifada. Is that speech according to the code of conduct or not?

CLAUDINE GAY: We embrace a commitment to free expression and give a wide berth to free expression even of views that are objectionable —

ELISE STEFANIK: You and I both know that’s not the case. You were aware that Harvard ranked dead last when it came to free speech. Are you not aware of that report?

CLAUDINE GAY: As I observed earlier, I reject that characterization.

ELISE STEFANIK: It’s — the data shows it’s true. And isn’t it true that Harvard previously rescinded multiple offers of admissions for applicants and accepted freshmen for sharing offensive memes, racist statements, sometimes as young as 16 years old? Did Harvard not rescind those offers of admission?

CLAUDINE GAY: That long predates my time as president, so I can’t —

ELISE STEFANIK: But you understand that Harvard made that decision to rescind those offers of admission.

CLAUDINE GAY: I have no reason to contradict the facts as you present them.

ELISE STEFANIK: Correct, because it’s a fact. You’re also aware that a Winthrop House faculty dean was let go over he — over who he chose to legally represent, correct? That was while you were dean.

CLAUDINE GAY: That is an incorrect characterization of what transpired.

ELISE STEFANIK: What’s the characterization?

CLAUDINE GAY: I’m not going to get into details about a personnel matter.

ELISE STEFANIK: Well, let me ask you this, will admissions offers be rescinded or any disciplinary action be taken against students or applicants who say from the river to the sea or intifada advocating for the murder of Jews?

CLAUDINE GAY: As I’ve said that type of hateful reckless offensive speech is personally abhorrent to me.

ELISE STEFANIK: [inaudible] today that no action will be taken — what action will be taken?

CLAUDINE GAY: When speech crosses into conduct that violates our policies, including policies against bullying, harassment or intimidation, we take action. And we have robust disciplinary processes that allow us to hold individuals accountable.

ELISE STEFANIK: What action has been taken against students who are harassing and calling for the genocide of Jews on Harvard’s campus?

CLAUDINE GAY: I can assure you we have robust —

ELISE STEFANIK: What actions have been taken? I’m not asking —

CLAUDINE GAY: What actions underway?

ELISE STEFANIK: I’m asking what actions have been taken against those students.

CLAUDINE GAY: Given students’ rights to privacy and our obligations under FERPA, I will not say more about any specific cases other than to reiterate that processes are ongoing.

ELISE STEFANIK: Do you know what the number one hate crime in America is?

CLAUDINE GAY: I know that over the last couple of months there has been an alarming rise of antisemitism, which I understand is the critical topic that we are here to discuss.

ELISE STEFANIK: That’s correct. It is anti-Jewish hate crimes. And Harvard ranks the lowest when it comes to protecting Jewish students. This is why I’ve called for your resignation. And your testimony today, not being able to answer with moral clarity, speaks volumes. I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: The gentlewoman yields back. Mr. Norcross is not here. Ms. Jayapal, you’re recognized for five minutes.

PRAMILA JAYAPAL: Thank you, Madam Chair. The Anti-Defamation League found that reports of antisemitism have nearly quadrupled since this point last year. And we’re seeing that reflected on college campuses with Jewish students reporting that they feel unsafe. No student should feel unsafe. I think we all agree antisemitism and indeed all forms of hate have to be rejected everywhere.

And while all of you, as college administrators have a responsibility to condemn hate and acts of hate in all its forms, including antisemitism, I know that you also face the challenge of and the responsibility of ensuring that people can engage in healthy debates of ideas in a way that fosters safety and inclusion for everyone.

So I want to thank you for your commitment’s to work to ensure a continued diversity of perspectives on your campuses, a diversity of faculty with varied lived experiences. I know that my Republican colleagues have been trying to attack DEI initiatives including the funding for those initiatives for some time.

And I hope that that is clear in terms of some of the comments that have been made. I want to just give Dr. Gay 30 seconds to — to respond to anything given the line of questioning that you had right before in case you wanted to say anything before I go to my lines of question.

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you for the opportunity, but I’m satisfied that I’ve conveyed our deep commitment to free expression recognizing that it’s uncomfortable.

PRAMILA JAYAPAL: Thank you, Dr. Gay. Dr. Kornbluth, your institution is one of many that has responded to incidents between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine groups. Many college campuses have been grappling with their responses to prevent antisemitism to prevent Islamophobia and other forms of hate while also making sure that every student feels safe to express their thoughts in accordance with the principles of free speech and to engage in the idea of critical thought on college campuses, which I think is what many of us appreciated about our college experiences.

Can you speak to the challenges that you’ve faced in condemning hate and acts of hate while making sure that students were heard? And also, just want to appreciate the distinction that you made in one of your comments between what we can say and what we should say. And — and just say that frankly, I think there’s been an explosion, thanks to the previous president in part that has shattered the norms of what is acceptable to say.

And we’re dealing with some of the effects of that. But what challenges have you faced in condemning hate and acts of hate while making sure students were heard?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Thank you so much. You know, and I have to say —

PRAMILA JAYAPAL: And if you could just pull that microphone right up to you, that would be great.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Oh, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Thank you. You know, I have to say my — my absolute goal is to ensure the safety of students and the continuity of our research and educational missions. And these recent events have troubled me deeply. And we have mobilized as a campus. I think the most important thing is first knowledge to understand that, as I mentioned in a previous answer, that our leadership, our students and our faculty have to have knowledge.

But way more importantly right now is these students are thrown together in classrooms and laboratories and dormitories every day. This is where the dialog is taking place. And we have to ensure that they have the tools for constructive communication across differences. We are bringing these discussions to the dormitories.

We have a center for construction — constructive engagement where the students are going to be able to have small roundtable discussions with each other. We have funded and mobilized — and I cannot tell you how wonderful our faculty have been. They’ve just issued a statement from 300 faculty about unity and working together with the students.

And so, there have been lunches. There have been meetings for our Israeli and Jewish students with Jewish faculty for our Arab and Muslim students with Arab and Muslim faculty. But now they’re working to figure out how to bring them together. If we’re all going to live and work together productively, we have to move beyond, you know, formal training which we are committed to but to actual real dialog and to actually model constructive and civil dialog for our students.

That’s what being in a university is all about.

PRAMILA JAYAPAL: Very powerful. Professor Nadell, the — the — these challenges of protecting free speech while denouncing antisemitism, Islamophobia, all forms of hate that’s not unique to MIT or to the institutions that are here. Can you speak to the same question of facility — the most effective ways to facilitate education and dialog to ease tensions at other — other colleges and in general?

PAMELA NADELL: The most effective ways — and obviously, I very much appreciate your question because this is happening across the United States on colleges and campuses small and large. And the most effective ways are to recognize the many different levels and mechanisms for facilitating these dialogs at the student level, at the faculty level, at the administrative level.

And bringing the — how to unite the campus, bringing the campus together. That’s what we’re all trying to do. And it doesn’t happen overnight.

PRAMILA JAYAPAL: Thank you all so much for your work. I yield back, Madam Chair.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Mr. Allen, you’re recognized for five minutes.

RICK W. ALLEN: Thank you, Madam Chair and I want to thank each of you for being here today. And first — and my colleague earlier asked the question, you know, what is the truth? Of course, that question was asked 2000 years ago at Pilot. And — and of course, you know, obviously knowledge is important. But what about wisdom?

In full disclosure, I am a student and believe in God of the Bible and His word. In the House of Representatives, we — we are without excuse. We have, above the American flag, In God We Trust. Really? And then we have the full face of Moses looking down on the entire body who gave us the first five books of the Bible.

RICK W. ALLEN: Let me tell you how serious this issue is. In 1885 BC, BC not AD, BC, the Bible says Genesis 12:3, I will bless — talking about Israel, I will bless those who bless you. And whoever curses you, I will curse. And all peoples of the Earth would be blessed through you. That is a serious, serious promise. In fact, we heard one of the panelists talk about the Jesus of the Bible.

and of course, our church, was founded by Jesus, who was a Jew, the American Church. In fact, the church throughout the — the world. You know, this is the Committee of Education and Workforce. Illiteracy — illiteracy is the number one problem in our workforce. But I think from a standpoint of truth, biblical illiteracy is the number one problem in America.

We are a biblically illiterate society. We have no idea about these promises that are ancient in this book that the prophecies, every one of them has come to fruition. Every single one of them. So with that, Dr. Magill like so many others, I have been extremely disappointed — or I’m sorry, Dr. Kornbluth.

Kornbluth, is that correct?


RICK W. ALLEN: Ok. At MIT, Israeli and Jewish students were blocked from attending class by pro-Palestinian protests at the school’s main entrance. The protest violated campus — campus rules when the school ordered all protesters to leave the area or face suspension. The contingent Jewish counter protesters left. The pro-Palestinian stayed.

Can you explain how that is fair to Jewish American citizens whose rights are being violated, when you said, because we later heard serious concerns about collateral consequences for students such as visas and that sort of thing? Can you explain yourself there?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yes, thank you very much for the opportunity. I have to say when we started this protest, when the protest rather was started, I ordered a police present to ensure safety. And we de-escalated when it was prudent. In a very tense situation among students, we avoided altercations and we kept everyone safe.

And we are now entering into a process of ensuring accountability. Now with respect to the consequences. We strive for outcomes that are proportional to the transgression, in this case, violation of our time, place and manner rules for demonstration. I want to make one comment though about people attending classes.

First of all, at no time —

RICK W. ALLEN: Well, and I’m limited on time here, so could you submit that to us in writing?


RICK W. ALLEN: I have another question here. In fact, you know, going back to talking about wisdom. Proverbs 9:10 says “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” And so, with that President Gay and President Magill, do either of you plan to suspend foreign students who violate the law or school policies?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you for your question. Our international students are a vibrant part of our community and contribute significantly to Harvard strength and our real source of pride. But all of our students, irrespective of their citizenship, are held accountable to following our policies, including our policies around bullying, harassment and intimidation.

And we hold them accountable for that.

RICK W. ALLEN: Ok. Well, Dr. Magill, if you’ll submit those in writing. And I have a few other questions I’d like for you all to answer. Thank you for being here.

LIZ MAGILL: Yes, sir.

RICK W. ALLEN: And, Chair, I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Mr. Allen. Ms. Wild, you recognized for five minutes.

SUSAN WILD: Thank you, Madam Chair. I so wish that this hearing was one where we were having a robust intellectual discussion, taking advantage of the brilliant minds that we have in front of us about free speech, the limits of free speech and so forth. I fear that we have gotten away from that. I think the one thing that everybody in this room would agree on is that not all speech is protected or acceptable.

For example, when elected officials lie, that’s unacceptable. And that sometimes means that they — that they have to be removed from academic institutions where they may serve on boards, or in the case of Harvard, the senior advisory committee based on false claims of election fraud. But moving on to the subject of this hearing, let me just say as a Jewish mother of two students who are now fully launched and I had to send off to college not so many years ago, I am very, very sympathetic to the concerns of the students and the parents about their safety emotionally, physically and otherwise.

But — and it’s not just about antisemitism, it’s about all forms of hate speech, whether it’s anti-LGBT, Islamophobia, whatever it is. Racist language. Our students deserve a place of safety. And again, emotionally and physically. But at the same time, I think of college as the place where we learn to think critically.

And to me that’s the most important part of going to college. So here we are in this — this strange balancing act. And I — believe me, I feel for all of you because it is a balancing act that you have to perform. So, at what point do we determine, or do you determine that speech is such that it incites violence, or it constitutes hate speech?

And I’m going to ask President Magill from my home, state of Pennsylvania. You — you saw a video at the beginning of this. And to the extent that the protests at Penn were — were referenced, did you see that video as an example of — of hate speech or speech that would incite violence?

LIZ MAGILL: I appreciate the question from the Representative from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I mean that — that video just as a human being was very hard to watch. The — the — the chanting, I think, calling for intifada global revolution very, very disturbing. And I can imagine many people’s reaction to that would be one of fear.

So I believe at a minimum that is — that is hateful speech that has been and should be condemned. Whether it rises to the level of incitement to violence under the policies that Penn and the city of Philadelphia follow, which are guided by the United States Constitution, I think is a much more difficult question.

The incitement to violence is — is a very narrow category.

SUSAN WILD: So, let me just ask you there, if you became aware that a similar protest were — or rally or whatever you call it was going to be occurring on your campus tonight or tomorrow, how would you respond? What would your approach be?

LIZ MAGILL: Well, our approach with all rallies, vigils and protests is that our public safety officers and something called open expression observers are — present at all of them. We have a long standing open expression policy that makes sure our open expression policies are followed. So, I would make sure that those people were there.

The — our public safety officers usually try to speak to the organizers of the conference and talk to them about what our rules are about — about protests. I’m sorry, I think I said conference, about protests.

SUSAN WILD: Can I just stop you? Because as you know, these are really short hearings. Were any actions taken to shut down the protest, I think it was Sunday night, Saturday night, whichever night it was?

LIZ MAGILL: The Philadelphia police, their — their what’s called their Civil Action Division was the lead on this. And no, I think they were there to make sure there was no incitement to violence and no violence. I don’t think any actions were taken.

SUSAN WILD: Would you agree that your, in this case, Jewish students undoubtedly felt very uncomfortable following that?

LIZ MAGILL: I’m sure that’s true, yes.

SUSAN WILD: And I’m sure you’ve heard from many of them and their parents as well.

LIZ MAGILL: Yes, yes. And there were acts associated with that protest which were defacing some buildings which clearly would unquestionably be criminal action and the police are trying to determine who did that.

SUSAN WILD: Thank you. Unfortunately, as usual, my time has expired, but I hope we can continue this conversation in another format.

LIZ MAGILL: Thank you.

VIRGINIA FOXX: I want to ask our members to be very careful about the words they use about our colleagues. We don’t want to engage in personalities and so I’m going to ask our members to hold themselves to a higher standard. I now recognize Mr. Banks.

JIM BANKS: Ms. Magill just weeks before the October 7th terror attacks against Israel Penn hosted a Palestine Rights Literature festival. The event featured Marc Lamont Hill, [ph] who was fired by CNN for calling for the destruction of Israel. It also hosted and included a member of the Palestinian Youth movement, which has collaborated with anti-Israel terrorist and maybe most notably Roger Waters, [ph] the really wacky former Pink Floyd vocalist.

The same Roger Waters, by the way, who has publicly used anti-Jewish slurs, desecrated the memory of Anne Frank and has dressed up as a Nazi and floated a pig balloon with a Star of David at most — at many of his concerts. Why in the world would you host someone like that on your college campus to speak at the so called Palestinian Rights Literature Festival?

LIZ MAGILL: I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this. Antisemitism has no place at Penn.

JIM BANKS: Why would you invite — why would you invite — why did you invite Roger Waters? What did she think you would get out of him?

LIZ MAGILL: Antisemitism has no place at Penn. And our free speech policies are guided by the United States Constitution.

JIM BANKS: Why did you invite Roger Waters? And do you condemn —

LIZ MAGILL: Antisemitism does not have a place at Penn. And —

JIM BANKS: Do you condemn what Roger Waters stands for?

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman prior to the event, I issued a statement calling out the antisemitism of some of the speakers at that conference.

JIM BANKS: Specifically, Roger Waters? Yes or no? Simple, simple.

LIZ MAGILL: Roger Waters is among them. Yes.

JIM BANKS: So, you specifically called out a guy who floated pig balloons with the Star of David at his concerts?

LIZ MAGILL: I called out the anti- —

JIM BANKS: I haven’t seen the condemnation. I’m going to go look for it after this hearing. And I hope — I hope I can find that well recorded condemnation from you.

LIZ MAGILL: I did call out the antisemitism of some of the speakers at a conference that had more than 100 people —

JIM BANKS: In the aftermath of the Palestinian Rights festival, you and your board chairman wrote a memo outlining Penn’s free speech policies. You said quote “Penn does not regulate the content of speech or symbolic behavior.” You wrote including speech quote “incompatible with the school’s values.” You went on to say that Penn does not have a policy against hate speech because quote, “defining and policing robust debate even with respect to the most disturbing issues is unwise.” That’s what you wrote.

But in 2013, Penn canceled now Prime Minister Modi’s scheduled keynote address at a Wharton hosted economic forum in the face of opposition from Indian American professors. And for the past year, your administration has sought to punish Amy Wax, [ph] a tenured law professor for her stance on DEI and identity issues.

And then you canceled an event with former ICE director Tom Homan due to disruptive student protest simply because he worked for former President Donald Trump. Ms. Magill, the fact is that Pen regulates speech that it doesn’t like. Everyone gets this. No one more than the faculty and students who know exactly where the lines are that they’re Ok to cross.

Why — why did Penn let Professor Ahmad Amala, [ph] off the hook, who led hundreds of students in chanting, “there’s only one solution. Intifada revolution.” Why does that professor still have a job at your university?

LIZ MAGILL: Representative, our approach to speeches as I identified it follows and is guided by the United States Constitution, which allows for robust perspectives. I disagree with the characterization that we treat speech differently. And I can’t discuss any individual disciplinary procedure.

JIM BANKS: The same goes for Penn professor Anne Norton, [ph] who has repeatedly denied Hamas is worth worst atrocities on October 7th. Or how about Huda Facrudean, who romanticized the murder of over a thousand Israeli Jews as quote, Palestine inventing a new way of life and clapped as the speaker said, Jews should go back to Berlin and Moscow.

Why does that professor still have a job at your university?

LIZ MAGILL: I’m very troubled by what you’re describing, Congressman. That kind of —

JIM BANKS: You’re speaking out of both sides of your mouth, you’re defending it. You allow these professors to teach at your college, you create a safe haven for this type of anti-Semitic behavior. You said something earlier about anti-Semitism being symbolic of the larger society. Your university is a hotbed of it, and one of the reasons that we’re seeing a rise of anti-Semitism Semitism and an unsafe environment for — for Jewish college students all over this country.

You’re largely responsible for it. With that, Madam Chair, I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Mr. Norcross, you’re recognized for five minutes.

DONALD NORCROSS: Thank you, Madam Chairwoman, and certainly for holding this hearing on an incredibly important subject that has been thrust upon us, or should I say has been re-thrust. This is an issue that has been before our country and our world for quite some time. But the one thing I do want to state, before I go into my questioning, is the idea of making this a partisan issue.

It is disgusting. This issue has nothing to do with being on a red or blue team. This is an American issue, in terms of what we’re facing on our campuses, and shouldn’t be taken under the light of a partisan issue. That being given, I do have some questions, particularly for the University of Pennsylvania and its president, who is within a couple of thousand yards of my district.

I’m going to start with, back during August, Penn announced plans to host the Palestinian rights festival that was going to be held in September. And given that the ADL identified many of the speakers, I believe the number was 25, as anti-Semitic, that’s continued to happen. The idea of what happened during that event, after the event, and as much as last night, as I was traveling down here to see what is still happening in and around the campus, is extremely disturbing, given the atrocities that have happened in the Middle East.

So Dr. Magill, did you have the power to stop this event?

LIZ MAGILL: Under our approach to academic and free — academic freedom and free expression, Congressman, we have probably thousands of speakers to campus every single year. Many of them I disagree with. I don’t cancel or censor them in advance of their arrival to campus.

DONALD NORCROSS: So any time you use the word sensor, so any event on your campus, you would never interfere for the fear of censoring somebody. Is that what you’re suggesting?

LIZ MAGILL: Well, Congressman, there are — we are of course, always concerned about safety and security. So that could be a constraint we would be worrying about in thinking about an event. It’s a very rare occasion.

DONALD NORCROSS: So there would be times that you would stop an event, under the terms of censoring if you, under your opinion or those advising you, say there would be a security issue?

LIZ MAGILL: Well, our approach is not to censor, based on the content, but to worry about things like the safety and security and the time, place, and manner in which the event would occur.

DONALD NORCROSS: So given what happened in October, you could not see ahead that was going to happen, but the idea that groups coming on that are clearly identified as anti-Semitic would be of concern?

LIZ MAGILL: I was concerned about the anti-Semitism of some of the speakers at that conference, and also the timing of that conference was particularly painful, because it occurred during the holiest time of the Jewish year. And that’s why, in advance of the conference, while saying that we are committed to academic freedom and free expression and the conference would go on, I specifically condemned the anti-Semitism of some of the speakers.

DONALD NORCROSS: Condemning, but you would have the power to stop it, if in your opinion, there was a security issue?

LIZ MAGILL: Well, Congressman, whether there is a security issue is something that I leave to our public safety individuals, and I defer to their judgments on those matters.

DONALD NORCROSS: Did you ask them?

LIZ MAGILL: We discussed the security and safety of every large conference that happens on our campus. And yes, we did talk about this one.

DONALD NORCROSS: And they, in their opinion, along with you, decided that there were no security issues, by the nature of you allowed this to continue?

LIZ MAGILL: We did not believe — we believed we were ready for any security concerns that might arise. So yes, it went ahead.

DONALD NORCROSS: In hindsight, do you think that was a proper decision?

LIZ MAGILL: I think canceling that conference would have been very inconsistent with academic freedom and free expression, despite the fact that the views of some of the people who came to that conference, I find very, very objectionable, because of their anti-Semitism.

DONALD NORCROSS: Would you permit the — your academic departments to sponsor conference if 25 speakers that the NAACP would identify as racist?

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman, we follow our policies always, and our policies are guided by the United States Constitution and a commitment to academic freedom and free expression.

DONALD NORCROSS: So is that a yes or no answer?

LIZ MAGILL: The answer is, that we follow our policies.

DONALD NORCROSS: I’ll yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Mr. Owens, you recognized for five minutes.

BURGESS OWENS: Thank you. Let me just start off by saying, being raised in the 60s, the days of segregation, this is truly deja vu. One thing that I did learn, through my growth of — over the years, is that hate is not passed down in our genes. It’s taught or untaught. What we’re seeing here is hate being perpetuated.

We keep people segregated. Keep them from building bridges — bridges of trust, never allowing them to find commonality, teach them everything that’s going wrong in life is because of somebody else’s actions, then teach them to look at our differences, our color, creed and culture, and then teach them to judge each other.

It’s dehumanizing. It robs people of individuality, but the end game, if it is hate, it is very effective. We teach one race all minorities that they are oppressed to D-E-I, we then teach that another race, Whites and Jews, that they are oppressors. The result is hatred, segregation, the ability — inability for our children to see evil when it’s when it’s presence.

One of my Democratic colleagues was asked recently about the rape, the use of strategy by Hamas, to rape Jewish women and children — girls — girls and women, as terror. Her response was not to defend these women against these evil men, but that she wanted to discuss hierarchy — hierarchical — hierarchical oppression.

That is DEI, it is a failure to protect Jewish communities across our country at your universities. And let me just say this, also. October 7th was a very different day in our — in our lifetime. And yet, every single time — we’re talking about an instant Semitism — we, some kind of way drift off into other — every other sense of racism.

We’re talking about 1,200 lives, babies being burned and beheaded, hostages, and yet we cannot stay focused on anti-Semitism. I just remember a couple of years ago, when we were dealing with Black Lives Matter, try to talk about Blue Lives Matter, Jew lives matter, Arab lives matter and you be called a racist.

It’s time to focus on what’s happening on your campuses. It might sound flowery, all the — the ideas of what your values might be, but those values are not being translated to our kids. You’ve seen them in the streets every single day. MIT — it was — we just — we heard from a university student here that DEI official liked on the most posts on their media, a post calling President Biden a liar for seeing that Hamas had beheaded babies.

She also posted saying, that Israel doesn’t have the right to exist, is illegitimate, settler colony, like the United States. I have a question regarding this idea of segregation, Dr. Gay. Harvard is — now have graduations for Black only graduates, Hispanic only graduates, and gay only graduates. How does that bring us together, as opposed to dividing us, based on color, creed and all the other things?

And by the way, is it Ok for a White group to say we don’t want other minorities to be part of our graduation?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you for the question. There are few scenes that are more inspiring than being —

BURGESS OWENS: I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I don’t — I’m going to ask you, in a way that can be very quick, because I have little time. Is it Ok to segregate people based on their color, yes or no?

CLAUDINE GAY: I oppose segregation.

BURGESS OWENS: Ok, well, I do too, but it’s happening on your campus. Ok? Dr. Kornbluth, I’m sorry, we have on your campus, something called Chocolate City, where Blacks only — or Black only dorms, where Whites are excluded. Is it Ok, also, for Whites to set up a White only dorm, where minorities are excluded?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: You know, actually at MIT, our students affiliated — affiliate voluntarily with whichever dorm they want to. It’s not exclusionary, it’s actually positive selection by students, which dormitory they want to live in.

BURGESS OWENS: Ok, so it’s Ok for Blacks to not make Whites feel included. Is it Ok for Whites not to let Blacks feel included on your campus? We are talking about segregation, and it’s obviously happening on your campuses.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: You know, I think it’s really important to say that there’s a distinction between sending an exclusionary message and looking to other students for common experiences and support.

BURGESS OWENS: Ok, Ok. Let me just — let me just — I’m sorry, I’m running out of time. And what you’re saying is very simply, in 1960s, it would’ve been Ok for Whites and Blacks to segregate themselves, because they felt more like the people they were with. I disagree very, very much. But let me just say this, if in case we discover, and this is for everybody here real quick, in these last few minutes, that there’s a direct link from DEI and CRT to the growth of Marxist interest groups, like BLM, Antifa, and the pro Hamas on campuses, would you then end the DEI initiatives on your campus — if there’s a link between what that is and what the result of hatred?

Would that be a — would that be finished on your campus, real quickly? We have just, yes or no. Dr. Gay, I will start with you, yes or no?

CLAUDINE GAY: Our DEI efforts are about ensuring that all of our —

BURGESS OWENS: Ok, so that’s a no. Ok, doctor — I’m sorry, Ms. Magill, yes or no? If it’s found to be a link between Marxists, BLM, Antifa and hate — hate — hate groups, yes or no?

LIZ MAGILL: Our DEI office is committed to having everyone thrive.

BURGESS OWENS: Ok. So no. All right, and Ms. Kornbluth, real quick. Just yes or no, sorry.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: I find it hard to understand how equity and inclusion, as a concept, is a hatred inducer.

BURGESS OWENS: Ok. That’s a no. Ok. Thank you so much. I think that says a lot. I thank you. I appreciate it.

VIRGINIA FOXX: You can give an answer in writing. And I have to remind members not to engage in personalities. Ms. McBath, you’re recognized.

LUCY MCBATH: Thank you so much, Chairwoman Foxx, Ranking Member Scott, to our staff, and thank you so much to our witnesses today. And it is not lost on me that the intellect, the intelligence that we have on this panel today, the most intelligent minds that are leading our highest Institutions are women. So thank you so very much.

I had the privilege of attending a very similar hearing in the Higher Education subcommittee just a few weeks ago, and I’m glad to see that we’re continuing this conversation at a full committee level. Acts or expressions of anti-Semitic them have no place in our society and definitely not on any college campus or institution here in the United States.

And what we must all understand is that this is not just the Jewish community struggle. This is all of our struggle, and the Jewish community does not get to bear this burden alone. It is up to all of us to learn more and stand in solidarity against hate in our daily lives to ensure that the violence and the tragedies that follow unchecked, hatred will never be allowed to repeat themselves.

I lost my son to that very hatred. So I understand it in my core. Similar to other expressions of racial and religious hatred, are freedom loving people — all those who truly believe in the ideals that this country was founded on and continue to strive towards, must stand together in the face of this disturbing increase in hate across the country and across the world.

An outpouring of support for the Jewish community and public condemnation of these heinous acts by interfaith and community leaders and elected officials in all backgrounds is the exact type of action that we need to take to confront this form of radical evil. Unity in the face of intimidation is how we are effectively going to resist hate in all of its forms.

These actions seek to divide and intimidate us. We must show that we will not be intimidated, that we will not falter when our neighbors need us the most, that we are united against hate and we choose to love instead, irregardless of our political ideologies or our ethnic differences. As Dr. King once said, and I quote, ‘returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

LUCY MCBATH: Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.’ My community, in metropolitan Atlanta is home to the largest community in the Deep South, the largest Jewish community in the Deep South. And it is no stranger to these incidents of antisemitism. I recall participating in a press conference with interfaith leaders, our local law enforcement and elected officials, the Anti-Defamation League and the Consul General of Israel to the southeast to condemn the appearance of anti — antisemitic vandalism and white supremacist symbols that were definitely expressed in our neighborhoods and our communities.

While the reason for our gathering was very somber, it was uplifting to see so many different people from so many different faiths and backgrounds all come together to make it clear that this is antithetical to what our community and our society stands for. Dr. Nadell, I’ve had you before me before and it’s good to see you again.

Can you please discuss some of the schools or the communities that have built strong interracial and inter-religious connections and relationships in the aftermath of a racist or antisemitic incident? And what building those connections looks like? And why they’re so critical and imperative to healing?

PAMELA NADELL: So what — first of all, thank you, it’s wonderful to see you again. What really stands out is how, at the personal level, change can happen. So, for example, at the University of California at Berkeley, which is a campus that has been roiled as these campuses have also been roiled, a professor of Israel studies and a — and a faculty member from Middle Eastern Studies sent a joint letter pleading with the campus to speak in a civil tone.

They — these are two faculty members who do not agree politically on what has been going on, but they got together to write this. And then, it was sent out to the entire community. It is those kinds of actions that we need to be applauding and we need to be elevating and uplifting. And as I said before, they just don’t tend to make headlines.

LUCY MCBATH: Thank you so very much and I yield back my time.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Ms. McBath. Mr. Good, you’re recognized for five minutes.

BOB GOOD: Thank you, Madam Chairman. Ms. Magill, September 21st, a Penn student was taken into custody after bursting into a Jewish organizations morning prayer service, shouting — shouting, antisemitic comments, disrupting property and so forth. On November 10th, after the October 7th Hamas attack, Penn issued an apology for a display of light projected onto campus buildings with anti-Israeli messages, including phrases such as from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.

And Zionism is racism. On November 15th, the Department of Ed announces that Penn is under investigation for possible civil rights violations of Title 6. And then, just two days ago, another pro-Palestinian march happened on the edge of campus with Penn property being graffitied with offensive messages such as F the IDF, Intifada, the Arabic word for uprising and so much and more.

There is a deeply troubling tendency by many on the left, as has already been expressed in this hearing, in the media, academia, among elected officials and even some on this committee who try to somehow conflate or equate antisemitism with so called Islamophobia. It’s troubling that it seems that it’s only Jews or Israelis who, when they’re attacked or victimized somehow become the oppressors or instigators of those attacks in the eyes of leftists or some on Penn’s campus, specifically.

It’s wrong to suggest that antisemitism and Islamophobia are equivalent problems in this country. As noted already in this hearing, Jewish hate crime is the most predominant hate crime in this country today. Ms. Magill specifically, again just this past Sunday night, there was another march on the edge of the UN — UPenn campus and anti-Israeli March.

Has there at any time since October 7th been an equivalent large scale gathering of crowds in support of the slaughter of Muslims or the elimination of an Arab or predominantly Muslim state? Has that happened on your campus or anywhere near your campus that you’re aware of since October 7th?

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman, any act of hate I find —

BOB GOOD: I asked a specific question. Has there been any large gathering, you know, in support of the slaughter of Muslims or the elimination of Arab state on or near your campus that you’re aware of since October 7th?

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman, not that I’m aware of. There have been —

BOB GOOD: Ok, thank you. So, you would agree then, it would be immoral or dishonest to treat the two as equivalent problems on campus, meaning antisemitism and Islamophobia that there’s an equivalency there on the scale of the scope of the problem on campus? Would you agree that would be immoral dishonest to equate the two?

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman I — I abhor all acts of hate.

BOB GOOD: Would you agree that it’s immoral or dishonest to equate the two, that the problems are equal on the — on your college campus or other college campuses? Any — any evidence of that effect?

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman, I abhor all —

BOB GOOD: Thank you. Dr. Gay, on October 8th, nearly three dozen Harvard student groups authored a statement holding Israel responsible for the Hamas attack. On October 18th, a Jewish Harvard Business School student was surrounded, accosted and shoved to the ground while walking near and filming an anti-Israeli — anti-Israel protest.

On November 10th, when you condemn the use of the phrase, from river to the sea, over 100 faculty signed a letter criticizing your response to that, criticizing that phrase or condemning the use of that phrase. A Harvard Crimson survey of the class of 2022, said that — showed that 93 percent of respondents viewed President Trump as unfavorable, 6 percent of students said they were conservative, 34 percent of students viewed favorably the Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions or BDS movement.

Currently, Harvard is being investigated by the Department of Education for Title 6 violations of civil rights. Title 6, as you know, prohibits recipients of federal funds from discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin. A Title 6 violation would occur when an institution has allowed, permitted or created a hostile environment that targets someone based on their race color or national origin.

We know, of course, that Harvard has a history of dividing people based on race, based on the Supreme Court’s decision and students for Fair Admission versus Harvard. Does Harvard actually teach antisemitism in classes?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you, congressman, for the — the question. No, we do not. And we condemn antisemitism. And Harvard — at Harvard, there is no place for antisemitism.

BOB GOOD: As you know, Harvard received for over the last four years $3.2 billion in federal grants and contracts. During the 2021 school year, Harvard received $104 million through Title 4. Why should Congress continue to invest money in Harvard when Harvard clearly violates Title 6 and helps foster a hostile Jewish — hostile environment for Jewish students?

CLAUDINE GAY: We are committed at Harvard to ensuring that all of our students thrive. That they feel safe and secure. And we’re grateful for our —

BOB GOOD: Well, apparently 100 professors who — 100 professors who sent that letter to you criticizing your condemnation of antisemitic remarks, don’t agree with that. And your students — your institution is clearly producing students who are sympathetic to a terrorist organization. Don’t you think that’s a misuse of taxpayer dollars?

My time has expired. I yield back, Madam Chair.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Mr. Good. Ms. Hayes, you’re recognized for five minutes.

JAHANA HAYES: Thank you. First, I would like to frame my comments in the basic idea that I condemn all forms of hate. I don’t think that there’s any splitting hairs there. That does not make me radical left. It makes me human to think that all people should feel safe in their environment. In the wake of October 7th — of the October 7th Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, there’s been a dramatic nationwide rise in reported antisemitic incidents, especially on college campuses.

Antisemitism in this nation has been on the rise for at least a decade. The ADL found that the number of antisemitic incidents in the US increased by more than 35 percent from 2021 to 2022. And we’ve seen those numbers skyrocket in the last two months. A few weeks ago at Central Connecticut State University in my district, a racial slur and a swastika were written on the — on a bathroom stall in a campus — on campus.

We should all be working to find solutions to this problem, not doing what we’re doing here today in this committee. The Biden administration released the National strategy to counter anti — antisemitism earlier this year. The strategy seeks to increase awareness and education in schools, communities and the workplace about antisemitism.

This includes having the United States Holocaust and Memorial Museum launched the first ever US based Holocaust education research center to promote effective Holocaust education. As a history teacher, I know the immense power of storytelling and how healthy dialog is — and how healthy dialog is imperative to finding common ground.

I would also like to make the point that teachers, professors, educators do not enter this profession to hate any group of people. I’m happy to hear that all of the people on the panel list responded to the question by my colleague that you do not collect data on the conservative or liberal views of faculty.

I’d argue that that would be unconstitutional. I would also like to know, in the case of Harvard, you had a very conservative notable alum who was invited to join your advisory committee. So, diversity of thought is important and all those views should be welcome on any college campus. President Magill, what steps has the University of Pennsylvania taken in the history — to ensure students have an understanding of the history of antisemitism in order to address the rise of hate on your college campus?

LIZ MAGILL: I appreciate the question very much. There are wide variety of things we do at Penn. We are very proud to be home to a very strong Jewish Studies department with faculty members who are expert like Dr. Nadell on the history and manifestation of antisemitism. Many students are taking those classes. We are proud to call Penn home to the CAT Center for Judaic Studies, [ph] which is a world resource in historical materials about Judaica and antisemitism and many centuries of history actually.

And many of our faculty and staff and students participate in programs at the CATs Center through their fellowships and education. And we — the third thing I’d identify, and there’s more to say are we have many student groups that engage with one another across lines of disagreement. And they talk together usually with the leadership of faculty to learn from one another and from the faculty.

JAHANA HAYES: Which is exactly what is supposed to happen on a college campus. I also want to acknowledge the increase in Islamophobia after the October 7th attack. Not so called Islamophobia, but Islamophobia. Palestine — Palestinian students on and off college campuses have been target — targeted. President Gay, in your November 9th open letter to members of the Harvard community, you mentioned specific steps that you are implementing in connection with your ongoing work with the Antisemitism Advisory Group.

Specifically, you mentioned work being conducted at the Office of Equity,Ddiversity, Inclusion and Belonging. I’ll also just say that 18,000 complaints have been received by the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, the same office that my colleagues are trying to defund. 48 percent of those have been sex discrimination, 32 percent disability discrimination and 17 percent based on race or national origin.

We have a problem. We need to welcome and — and embrace diversity in this country and teach young people why it is important to have a full understanding. My time has expired and I know I’m going to be gaveled out, so if you can just submit that question for the record, I would appreciate it. And thank you all for the work that you are doing.

LIZ MAGILL: I’d be happy to. Thank you.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Ms. Hayes. Ms. Steel, you’re recognized for five minutes.

MICHELLE STEEL: Thank you, Dr. Foxx for leading this important hearing. In October, I introduced HR 5933, the Deterrent Act to bring greater transparency and accountability for institutions of higher education accepting donations from foreign entities. This will — this bill will pass the House hopefully tomorrow and I’m hoping the Senate will take it up. The involvement of hostile foreign entities in our postsecondary secondary institutions is one of the biggest threats facing colleges and universities.

Question number one is Dr. Kornbluth. In September 2019, then Secretary DeVos opened the Section 117, it’s a foreign disclosure section, investigation into MIT that has not been closed. What concrete steps that — has MIT taken to address the lack of Section 117 reporting?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: So let me say — and thank you for the question. We have cooperated fully. I can’t comment on an open investigation, but I have to say we have greatly increased our reporting to be fully compliant.

MICHELLE STEEL: So it’s not done yet, but we — it’s still under investigation?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: As I understand it.

MICHELLE STEEL: A study released just last month by the Institute for the Global Study of antisemitism found that from 2015 to 2020, institutions that accepted unreported money from Middle Eastern donors had an on average 300 more antisemitic incidents than those Institute — institutions that did not. President Gay, Magill and Kornbluth, any of you can answer this.

Do you believe foreign nations with views hostile to Israel would desire your students to echo their views? I I — think Dr. Gay can start.

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you for the question. So, we have alumni all over the world. And those alumni, through their philanthropy, support student aid, scholarships, cutting edge research. One thing that their philanthropy does not do is influence how we run the university, how we enforce our policies or how we keep our students safe.


LIZ MAGILL: Thank you for the question. At Penn, we — we, of course, follow every law and regulation about donations from individuals in other countries. Beyond that, we do not accept any gift that would compromise our mission or create any sort of conflict of interest. So, we have a very elaborate vetting process.

And we have declined gifts where we have a worry that would be inconsistent with our mission. And we’re very clear about this.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yes, thank you. So, all funds that come to MIT in any form or for open publishable research. We retain full control over what research is conducted. We also have an extensive internal review process for reviewing foreign gifts. We also adhere to all federal laws. And we see these reviews through the lens of national security, economic security and importantly, human rights.

MICHELLE STEEL: Thank you for your answers. And I hope that’s really true. President Magill, from 2014 through 2019, Penn received a total of almost $300 million in Section 117 funding. Are you aware of the amount that was given by Qatar? Were any of these donations conditioned on the inclusion of a pro-Palestinian curriculum or pro-Palestinian events?

Are you aware if any of these donations were conditioned only for pro-Palestinian professors?

LIZ MAGILL: I — I appreciate the question. I want to repeat that we follow all laws, and we accept nothing that is inconsistent with our mission of teaching, research and service. And we would never accept conditions on gifts. My understanding is we — we have taken no government gifts from the government of Qatar.

We have a small number of alumni in Qatar who have given some gifts for annual — annual gifts to schools, a very small number..

MICHELLE STEEL: But almost $300 million.

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman, that — that figure as of funds from Qatar is — is not one I’m familiar with. That’s — I — that’s not what my information tells me.

MICHELLE STEEL: Do you know exactly how much you received from Qatar? The Section 117 funding?

LIZ MAGILL: The data I have — yes, I am aware of our 117 filings. I’ve — I’ve — maybe I can follow up with you afterwards. That’s not consistent with what I understand our 117 filings show, which is no government — no gifts from the government of Qatar and a very small number of annual gifts from alumni living in that country.

MICHELLE STEEL: Dr. Foxx, thank you very much and I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: We’ll look forward to a follow up. Ms. Stevens, you are recognized for five minutes.

HALEY STEVENS: It is absolutely essential that the Committee on Education and Workforce have a hearing about rising antisemitism in the United States of America and what is unfolding on our college campuses. In particular, as we — many of us have the where were you moment on 9/11. I have the, where were you on 10/7 moment.

When I woke up to the news of the horrific and barbaric attack on Israel and what we learned that unfolded that day in horror, my thoughts went to our college campuses. And what would happen on our college campuses, particularly as Jewish students have felt persecuted and attacked. And their families have been concerned for a multitude of years.

And I want to say that it is — it is incumbent on us to let Jewish students know that they are supported and that they belong. And we know that the role of university presidents encompasses a lot of things. And in my home state of Michigan and in my home district at Oakland University, our university president, [inaudible] wrote a very compelling op ed. And she said one of my roles is to decipher and distinguish between protecting free speech and tackling unlawful harassment.

And I was wondering if our university presidents could chime in on how you balance that and Jack make and do that distinguishing and also that enforcing to make sure that we do not have unlawful harassment or the incitement of violence on our college campuses? Would you like to start, Dr. Kornbluth?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Oh, yes, sorry, yes. So, thank you for raising that. You know, college campuses are a crucible of ideas where students are side by side. And it’s part of the education to hear things that they — that they feel are uncomfortable. But to — to be absolutely clear, speech can become a form of harassment. And our policies make absolutely clear that harassment is punishable.

Speech that targets individuals, or again, as we’ve heard incites violence on our campus or crosses the line — these cross the line into harassment. This is taken very, very seriously.

HALEY STEVENS: And we obviously know that you’re subject to the Clery Act and adhere to its — its rules and clauses. And look, we have now data from the ADL that says that since 10/7, we’ve now seen a — 388 percent increase in — in antisemitism. And we — we have to one, call out antisemitism, but to make sure that we have the right anti-hate laws in place.

And it’s important for us as a Congress to be partnering with all stakeholder groups. But something else along these lines, and maybe I’m sharing — sharing this as a fellow student of the humanities, someone — I hold a master’s in philosophy. And so, a lot of times it’s what’s the question, not necessarily what is the answer.

And I — by the way, Dr. Nadell, I hail from American University, two people graduated from my — my class in ’06. So, we need to have the proper place to exchange ideas and Jack make and have the space to ask tough questions. What happens when we remove humanities? What happens when we — when we allow for government to dictate what is being taught on our college campuses, similar to what we’re seeing in Florida and in West Virginia?

What risk does that pose particularly when we talk about the proper teaching of history?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: May I take that?


SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting coming from a majority STEM institution, as I said, I can’t even think of a place where it’s more important that our students also learn humanities, have a humanistic perspective. We all have to live and work together as people. And in order for us to be successful, when I think about the technologies that are coming down the road, we want our students to understand the moral implications.

HALEY STEVENS: We need to do both.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: We need to do both, exactly.

HALEY STEVENS: We need to do both. And — and — and we will continue to call out antisemitism as members of Congress and — and push on this topic. Five minutes is certainly not enough. And I call on our committee chair. Let’s have a hearing about affirmative action and what the Supreme Court ruling has now done to minority students.

And minorities being able to — to join institutions of higher education. Let’s have a hearing about Islamophobia. And let’s talk about anti LGBTQ practices that are affecting the mental health of students on college campuses. Thank you and I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: The representative from Michigan, Ms. McClain is recognized.

LISA MCCLAIN: Thank you and thank you all for being here today. And listening to — I listen to your opening statement. And we all talked so passionately about what was happening on the college campuses as it pertains to antisemitism is absolutely unacceptable. And I appreciate that. However, talk is cheap. And we really need action.

So what I’d like to talk a little bit about today is what actual action items, not lip service, but action items have happened. So, I’ll start with you, President Gay, under your leadership, Harvard has done little to condemn Hamas’s brutal — brutal murder of women and children, promote Israel’s right to defend itself or protect Jewish students from harassment.

For example, I’m curious. What action was taken from Harvard when a Jewish student was mobbed on your campus last month? Action, not lip service action, ma’am?

CLAUDINE GAY: So, this specific incident I’ve communicated with — I’ve communicated about publicly. So, as you may know, that is an incident that is currently under investigation by HUPD and the FBI.

LISA MCCLAIN: Ok, any action?

CLAUDINE GAY: And when that —

LISA MCCLAIN: I’m looking for the action.

CLAUDINE GAY: And when that investigation is complete, we will address it through a student disciplinary.

LISA MCCLAIN: So, you can’t answer it. I’m going to move on to my next question. Do you have an action item or not as of this time? Was any action taken? Any action?

CLAUDINE GAY: I can’t share more about —

LISA MCCLAIN: Ok, thank you. Will these students intimidating Jewish students just because they are Jewish be expelled from the university?

CLAUDINE GAY: I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your question.

LISA MCCLAIN: Will the students who are intimidating Jewish students just because they’re Jewish be expelled?

CLAUDINE GAY: You’re describing conduct that sounds like it would violate our policies against bullying and intimidation and harassment. And if that is the case, it would be addressed through our policies.

LISA MCCLAIN: So, a simple answer, yes. Thank you. Another question, why did you allow protesters to occupy University Hall for 24 hours? And not only were these students not punished, but two of your deans provided them with food and promised no disciplinary action would be taken. And that was reported by the Harvard Crimson.

CLAUDINE GAY: I can assure you that we have very strong disciplinary processes. And where conduct violates our policies, we use those policies.

LISA MCCLAIN: So, the conduct violate your policies — during that incident?

CLAUDINE GAY: We have disciplinary processes underway.

LISA MCCLAIN: So, is there an answer to that or not?

CLAUDINE GAY: We have disciplinary processes underway.

LISA MCCLAIN: So was any discipline action? I love the lip service, I do. And you academic, I love that. I’m looking for an action item. Yes, no? Was anybody expelled? Any action item? And if you don’t know, that’s Ok too.

CLAUDINE GAY: We hold our community to account for policies.

LISA MCCLAIN: I’ll reclaim my time. Thank you. President Magill, under your tenure, swastikas have been drawn outside residence halls where Jewish students live, the — the Hillel house was broken into, Jewish students urged not to wear symbols of their ethnicity — ethnicity, and those same students harassed when they go to collect [inaudible] for Shabbat.

I will be submitting questions for the record on outbreaks of antisemitism at UPenn and I look forward to your response. Because obviously, five minutes is just way too short of an answer. But I would encourage you to give answers. We deserve answers. People deserve answers, not rhetoric, action items. It is clear that the Jewish students on all of your campuses are afraid to be themselves because you have refused to take real action.

There’s that word action against antisemitism, right? A lot of rhetoric, no action. I strongly encourage all of you to look at the Holocaust learning experience set up by Morris Life Health System in Florida to teach lessons from the actual Holocaust in — to students in fifth through 12th grade. This program has trained hundreds of teachers in two short years and has gone a long way to teaching students about the harm antisemitism has in our community.

Harvard, UPenn and MIT, I think you all could learn a little bit about this. With the remainder of my time, I will yield to Ms. Stefanik.

ELISE STEFANIK: Harvard receives funding from foreign entities and governments which support its Middle Eastern studies department. Correct?

CLAUDINE GAY: We receive funding from a variety of sources because we have alumni from all over the world.

ELISE STEFANIK: But that is correct, right? The Middle Eastern Studies Department.

CLAUDINE GAY: We receive funding from various sources.

ELISE STEFANIK: It’s a yes or no. Are you not aware where the Middle Eastern Studies Department receives funding?

CLAUDINE GAY: We receive funding from various sources.

ELISE STEFANIK: I am asking you a yes or no question. You are under oath in front of the United States Congress. You are giving lip service provided from your attorneys. It’s a yes or no question. Harvard receives funding from foreign entities and governments which support its Middle Eastern Studies Department, correct?

CLAUDINE GAY: We have alumni all over the world and we benefit from that philanthropy.

ELISE STEFANIK: So the answer is correct, yes? Yes, the answer is correct?

CLAUDINE GAY: We receive support from alumni from all over the world of individuals.

ELISE STEFANIK: And that support — and what amount of support is that reported to the federal government?

CLAUDINE GAY: I’d have to actually look at our filings.

ELISE STEFANIK: You don’t know? As the president of the university, you don’t know?

CLAUDINE GAY: Not that particular number. No, I don’t.

ELISE STEFANIK: It’s $1.5 billion over the past three years. Are you aware of that?

CLAUDINE GAY: I don’t know if that is the correct number, but that’s the number you’ve shared.

ELISE STEFANIK: Has Harvard reported all of the federal — oh my time.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Ms. Manning, you’re recognized for five minutes.

TRACY MANNING: Thank you, Madam Chair. For years, virulent antisemitism has been on the rise on college campuses. And sadly, since October 7th — the October 7th Hamas terrorist attack, campus antisemitism has skyrocketed. On your campuses and all across the country, it is shocking, it is pervasive, it is threatening, and it is stunningly visible. The fear Jewish students are facing is real and it’s justified. Jewish students are trying to get an education while entrance to their classes are blocked by protests outside and inside classroom buildings.

They sit in classes disrupted by protesters with bullhorns accusing Israel of genocide with students chanting long live the intifada. And by the way, as we all know, the intifada in Israel included years of terrorist bus bombings and restaurant bombings that resulted in countless deaths of Jewish and Arab civilians.

Jewish students in college dining rooms are confronted with banners that say, From the River to the Sea, a phrase that calls for the end to the Jewish state and the killing of Jews. Don’t take my word for it. You can listen to the leader of Hamas who has been quite vocal about what that phrase means. A Jewish student at Harvard was asked by the professor to leave his class because the other students weren’t comfortable having their discussion in front of that Jewish Israeli student.

Jewish students have been pushed, spat upon, punched, and told not to leave their dorms, for their own safety, during protests. A Jewish student in my home state was told to rewrite a paper he wrote that supported an Israeli view of the conflict or he risked failing the course. And Jewish students had their class interrupted when a professor told the students that they were going to take a break so that all the students could go with him to attend the anti-Israel protest on campus.

This intimidation, humiliation and exclusion of Jewish students is simply unacceptable. It would not be tolerated against any other minority group. And we need university presidents to do more to protect Jewish students President Gray, you and I have talked about antisemitism. You have told me your goal is to eradicate antisemitism at Harvard.

That is a lofty goal, but will you commit to doing everything necessary to keep Jewish students and faculty safe and be able to participate in the full range of Harvard’s learning experiences.

CLAUDINE GAY: The short answer is yes.

TRACY MANNING: Thank you. And will you enforce all the codes of conduct against students and faculty who violate those codes? And will you communicate those codes and your intention to hold students and faculty accountable?

CLAUDINE GAY: Absolutely.

TRACY MANNING: Will you endeavor to recenter the conversation about the Middle East back to a place of fact based exchange and evaluate your course offerings and your faculty to ensure that you have intellectual diversity and multiple perspectives about Israel and Zionism, including professors who support the right of Israel to exist and support the right of Jewish people to self-determination in the Middle East Studies Department?

CLAUDINE GAY: Absolutely committed.

TRACY MANNING: Thank you. And will you commit to work with Jewish and Israeli scholars to make sure Harvard has full range of lectures and scholarship described — as described in Dr. Nadell’s testimony.

CLAUDINE GAY: Education is the path forward here.

TRACY MANNING: So, I understand that you have condemned the phrase From the River to the Sea, but I also know that the Harvard School of Public Health has a course called The Settler Colonial Determinants of Health that introduces students to the concept of settler colonialism and it’s health equity implication. It uses case studies in the United States and Palestine.

And talks about poor health outcomes for indigenous and other non-settler communities. President Gray, [ph] are you aware that Jews were indeed indigenous to the land of Israel and have lived there for 2000 years?

CLAUDINE GAY: I do know about the long history in Israel.

TRACY MANNING: So what is Harvard doing to educate members of the community about these phrases and other false accusations that Israel is a racist settler colonial apartheid state, given that Harvard is actually teaching courses with the underlying premise that Israel is a colonial — a settler colonial state?

CLAUDINE GAY: We have faculty. We have outside speakers who come and over the last couple of months in particular have been providing more insight into the nature of the conflict and the ways forward. And obviously, we have more work to do. And that’s part of how we’re going to eradicate antisemitism on our campus.

TRACY MANNING: Sadly, my time is expiring, but I’d like to follow up on that and other courses at Harvard. And I’d also like to follow up with Ms. Magill about how her students felt, her Jewish students felt after the Palestinian writers meeting and whether they, in fact, felt threatened and intimidated.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Ms. Manning.

TRACY MANNING: Thank you, Madam Chair.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Ms. Miller, you’re recognized for five minutes.

MARY MILLER: Thank you. Dr. Gay, when Harvard allows foreign students to enter the US on a student visa, you are responsible for ensuring that they uphold our American values of free speech and free exercise of religion. Harvard can expel students who are here on a visa if they commit acts of violence or threaten violence against American citizens which would terminate their student visas.

Dr. Gay has Harvard expelled any foreign students who are here on student visas for threatening violence against American students?

CLAUDINE GAY: Our international students are an enormous source of pride for Harvard and part of our strength as an institution.

MARY MILLER: Absolutely.

CLAUDINE GAY: And we hold those students accountable.

MARY MILLER: I just want to know if you have — have you expelled anybody?

CLAUDINE GAY: We hold those students accountable to the same set of disciplinary processes that we hold all of our students accountable to.

MARY MILLER: So you have not expelled anybody? I’m assuming your non-answer as an answer to the students. They now know you have not expelled any foreign student for threatening the Jewish students. Dr. Gay, if Harvard found out that a student organization was taking money or — taking money from or coordinating with a foreign terrorist organization, would you immediately suspend that student organization?

CLAUDINE GAY: So, our student organizations are recognized on the condition that they comply with Harvard policies. When they violate those policies, there are repercussions.

MARY MILLER: Thank you. Doctor — or Ms. Magill, today you said that you defend free speech at UPenn and follow the US Constitution to determine your speech guidelines. Would you allow President Trump, who is a graduate of UPenn, to speak at UPenn if a student group invited him?


MARY MILLER: That’s excellent. I’m sure President Trump will be happy to hear that you would welcome him on the UPenn campus. Ms. Magill, earlier this year, a former UPenn student told the House Judiciary Committee that she was forced to undress and change next to a grown man with male genitalia 18 times a week in the locker room.

Ms. Magill, do you think it’s appropriate for UPenn to force young women to change in a locker room with biological men against their will?

LIZ MAGILL: I appreciate the question. At — at Penn, we follow the rules of competition. And if a student complies with NCAA rules, they can compete for Penn.

MARY MILLER: Yes, this is a clear violation of Title 9. You are violating the civil rights of your female students and you will be held to account for it. Ms. Magill, as President of UPenn, can you give us some insight into why Joe Biden was paid almost $1 million by UPenn? What were his responsibilities when he is at UPenn?

Did he teach a class?

LIZ MAGILL: I appreciate the question. President Biden was a professor of practice at University of Pennsylvania for a little over two years. My understanding is that his salary was $400,000 a year. We also had Mr. Jeb Bush as a professor of practice at University of Pennsylvania. Professor — President Biden had a wide variety of obligations.

He was in many different classes.

MARY MILLER: What obligations, exactly, did he have?

LIZ MAGILL: He was — he held seminars. He was in many different classes. He interacted with thousands of students over the time he was there. He invited speakers. The goal of the center was to enhance —

MARY MILLER: For $400,000? Anonymous student — anonymous Chinese donations poured into UPenn after your university hired Joe Biden. And he appeared to have a no show job. The House Oversight Committee is going to get to the bottom of this. And I yield the remainder of my time to Dr. Foxx.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you very much. President Magill, on Sunday, I received a letter from the Wharton Club of Israel outlining their efforts to secure a briefing for you and other leaders of your campus by Representative of the Israeli Defense Forces. We have seen significant efforts to deny the seriousness of Hamas’s attacks of terror on October 7th, so I assume providing your campus leadership information about what actually happened would be helpful as you address the explosion of antisemitism.

Unfortunately, they said they were informed by your office that briefing will not happen this calendar year. That leaves the impression that you don’t want the information, President Magill. Will you commit to getting a briefing scheduled before the end of the year from the IDF?

LIZ MAGILL: Madam Chairwoman, I — I do not in any way deny the brutality and barbaric nature of the Hamas attack on October 7.

VIRGINIA FOXX: But we give a briefing? We, in Congress, have had a briefing and seen the films.

LIZ MAGILL: I receive many invitations. I — I do have to attend to my calendar.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Dr. Kornbluth, will you hear what these people have to say?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: I will hear what anyone who wants to give me information wants to say.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Thank you. I yield back. Mr. Bowman, you are recognized for five minutes.

JAMAAL BOWMAN: Thank you so much, Madam Chair and thank you to our witnesses for being here. I really appreciate you taking the time and sharing your experiences and expertise during this very difficult time. A quick yes or no question, do you all feel that education, globally, is very important in addressing the issue of antisemitism?

You can just shake your head or say yes. Yes?


JAMAAL BOWMAN: Education is key. Ok. Thank you for saying that. I’m asking that question because, you know, a lot of this conversation has been framed around, you know, holding students accountable for their threats of violence towards Jewish students as they should be held accountable, absolutely. And some of it has been framed around, you know, additional punishments, of course, but there’s been a lot of political pandering discussed here without the action that goes with the accountability and the condemnation that must happen when we see antisemitism as it raises his head.

And what I mean by that is I introduced something called the Great Replacement Theory resolution. And I wanted us as Congress to condemn the Great Replacement Theory. The Great Replacement Theory is a white supremacist theory that says Jews, blacks and immigrants are looking to replace white people in America.

I introduced that theory last Congress. It passed along Democratic lines. I don’t believe any Republicans voted for that particular resolution. In addition, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle continue to look to cut funding to the Department of Education, which will be critical to helping us fight antisemitism.

In addition, we have discussed already cuts to the Office of Civil Rights that my Republican colleagues support. That also is critical to fighting antisemitism. I would also add cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services as part of this conversation. So, absolutely, we must condemn. Absolutely, we must hold people and students accountable.

But how do we get into the mud and do the real work of fighting antisemitism without investing in education in the way that we need to invest? Not just at the higher education level but in our K to 12 schools as well. I’m a former K-12 educator for 20 years. I taught elementary school. I was a dean in the — in a high school.

And I was a middle school principal for ten and a half years. Our kids read The Diary of Anne Frank. I’ve had students who have gone to the Holocaust Museum. I still have students in my district from the Bronx, black or brown, visiting the Holocaust Museum, becoming educated and wanting to learn more. Talk to me about the need, not just for you all as leaders in higher education, but every single person in this room’s responsibility to fight antisemitism and anti-hate and all it’s forms.

And I just want to add, we have an original sin in our nation of slavery and discrimination. That sin continues to evolve as segregation, separation and a lack of understanding and empathy of knowledge of each other. Can you just speak briefly to all of that? We’ll start here and go down the line.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yes, thank you, Congressman Bowman. This actually echoes what I had said earlier, which is it’s every single one of our responsibility. And this is why I am heartened by the full MIT community taking up this problem. It’s a human problem.


SALLY KORNBLUTH: Person to person, so I appreciate what you had to say about this.


PAMELA NADELL: I want to add that I’m so glad that you raised K-12 because everybody here is talking as if what has happened on the college campus, happened de novo. And those kids came to campus and they never had an education before. So we need to be teaching about antisemitism, not just the Holocaust, antisemitism and racism in America.

JAMAAL BOWMAN: And our kids live in segregated communities, so you have white kids living with white kids, black kids living with black. They never — they never interact with each other. They don’t go to school together. They don’t know each other. So, of course, hate is going to be a major part of our society if we continue to have segregation in our communities in our homes.

I’m sorry, please.

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman I so appreciate what you asked. And I — I — I think — one of the thoughts I have is that the immediate action is very important and the calling out of the hateful action. And for the longer term, it’s an all societal education obligation as well as every one of our responsibilities to be fighting antisemitism.

JAMAAL BOWMAN: Thank you. Dr. Gay?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you so much for your question. We have spent a lot of time here talking about the importance of accountability for behavior that crosses the line. We’ve talked about how important it is to denounce language that offends our values.

JAMAAL BOWMAN: As we should.

CLAUDINE GAY: But it’s — as we should. But ultimately, the path forward is education. It’s education about the history of this hate and this bigotry. It’s also education about how it manifests in the — in the present and what modern antisemitic tropes look like. And it’s also education about how do you actually engage in civil dialog on really complex and divisive issues.

JAMAAL BOWMAN: Thank you so much. I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Ms. Letlow, you’re recognized for five minutes.

JULIA LETLOW: Thank you, Dr. Foxx. To our university presidents, yes or no. Have you established rigorous programs and rules to address and prevent sexual harassment and violence against women on your campuses? Yes, or no, Dr. Gay, yes?






JULIA LETLOW: Thank you. Please bear with me because as a mom, a daughter and a woman, what I’m about to share is hard. An article from CNN, which examines the Israeli investigation into acts of sexual violence by Hamas during the events of October 7th, includes a testimony from a female witness of the Nova Festival [ph] attack.

“They bent someone over, and I understood he was raping her. And then, he was passing her on to someone else.” The woman who was not identified said of what she saw, quote, “She was alive. She stood on her feet, and she was bleeding from her back. I saw what he — I saw that he was pulling her hair, she had long brown hair.” “I saw him chop off her breast, and then he was throwing it toward the road.

Tossed it to someone else and they started playing with it.” The witness added, “I remembered seeing another person raping her. And while he was within her, he shot her in the head.” And this is just one of hundreds of accounts of sexual assault that happened on October 7th. Dr. Gay, an article in the Harvard Crimson dated October 10th includes a statement from the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee cosigned by 33 other student organizations at Harvard.

I’d like to read the statement to you. “We, the undersigned student organizations hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.” How Dr. Gay, do you reckon — reconcile the blatant hypocrisy of allowing your students a forum to promote and celebrate terrorist groups that make the rape and mutilation of women and children a core function of their operations while at the same time working for years to combat sexual violence towards women?

And by allowing a month to pass before addressing with a real plan and of the demonstrations and intimidations on your campuses, what message is this and this delay conveying to your women on your campuses? I can only imagine how terrifying it is to be a Jewish woman on any of your campuses. Just last night, a Jewish student from MIT wrote to me that she felt fearful and was forced to leave her study group during her doctoral exams because someone in her group told her that the women at the Nova Festival deserved to die because they were partying on stolen land.

Now, while I am grateful for your condemning of antisemitism in statements to your students and to this committee, it’s not enough. There has been no real action to hold antisemitic students accountable for their behavior. They should be expelled. The bottom line is that the buck stops with university presidents.

And all students should feel safe on a college campus, especially in this case Jewish women as it would be terrifying to know that my administration is not doing more than simply condemning student groups, perpetuating terrorist messaging. And as a former administrator myself in higher education, this is a major step backward in all that we have done to stand up against sexual violence towards women.

I have always defended higher education in this institution, but quite frankly, today, I am embarrassed. I yield back the remainder of my time to Ms. Stefanik.

ELISE STEFANIK: Dr. Gay, did anyone contact you about flying the Israeli flag over Harvard Yard?


ELISE STEFANIK: And the decision was made not to allow the flag to be flown over Harvard Yard?

CLAUDINE GAY: It’s been standard protocol at the university for years to only fly the American flag unless we have a visiting dignitary.

ELISE STEFANIK: So the decision was made to allow the Ukraine flag to be flown over Harvard Yard.

CLAUDINE GAY: That was a decision that was made by my predecessor as an exception to a long standing rule.

ELISE STEFANIK: So it was an exception. So, you made an exception for the Ukrainian flag, but not — the university made an exception for the Ukrainian flag, but not the Israeli flag.

CLAUDINE GAY: That was a choice made by my predecessor.

ELISE STEFANIK: Are you aware that there are stickers that are placed on Harvard University dining services food calling for Israeli apartheid? It says warning, Sabra funds, Israeli apartheid and the murder of Palestinians. Is that acceptable?

CLAUDINE GAY: I can assure you that we have strong disciplinary processes when there are violations of our rules.

ELISE STEFANIK: And this is a violation of the rules?

CLAUDINE GAY: I can’t see that very clearly, but —

ELISE STEFANIK: Are you not aware of the stickers being placed on the food items provided to Harvard students?

CLAUDINE GAY: I do recall an episode like that.

ELISE STEFANIK: And there are disciplinary actions ongoing?

CLAUDINE GAY: Given students privacy and FERPA, which I’m sure you know well, I will not say more about these particular cases other than to say that disciplinary processes are underway.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Ms. Leger Fernandez you’re recognized for five minutes.

TERESA LEGER FERNANDEZ: Thank you very much and thank you to the witnesses for being here. And I am struck by the passion which we are all are bringing because we know that the issue we’re talking about today, antisemitism, white supremacy, you know the issues that give rise to this. The issues of hate need to be addressed. What saddens me is that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle recently passed an appropriations bill out of the committee that would cut funding to the Office of Civil Rights by 25 percent.

We know that we must investigate these and hold universities, including your universities or the universities in my home state of New Mexico accountable if they do not protect students from antisemitism, they do not protect students from Islamophobia, if they do not protect students from the many versions of hate that we too often see in our communities.

So I would urge and encourage and ask and plead with my colleagues to fully fund the Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights so we could go after those instances where universities fail to do what they are required to do. Recently, I sat with students from New Mexico, from the University of New Mexico to ask them to share with me so I could bring their stories here about what are you facing on our campus back home.

And sadly, the stories I heard would make your heart cry. They made my heart cry. We heard from Sephardi students who are proud of the heritage they bring with them. Having suffered through for their minds, the Inquisition. We heard from Ashkenazi’s, who parents and grandparents are there — grandparents and great grandparents suffered through the Holocaust.

And how there is a normalization. They are worried about the fact that antisemitism is now being normalized. And we all have a duty to fight back against that. And one of the things that they pointed out is that there seems to be a lack of understanding of the history of antisemitism. There seems to be a lack of understanding of the attacks on Jews over the centuries as we mentioned from the inquisition and before that to the Holocaust to the latest that we are now seeing.

And they said how come there isn’t general curricula that requires that we talk about the importance of K-12, understanding that. We know at Harvard, for example, that you have, I believe a course on the Holocaust. But what do you have for — before you get to that specialized course, like how are we making sure that all students understand that?

And, madam president, if you could answer that. I know you looked like you wanted to respond.

CLAUDINE GAY: You’re making an excellent point. So, already in our curriculum, there are so many opportunities for students to learn more about the relevant history. But I think one of the things that has become apparent over the last couple of months is that we have to find ways of making that education more broadly available to our campus community to all of our students and also to our faculty and to our staff.

And we have work to do on that for sure.

TERESA LEGER FERNANDEZ: And because this idea that — that they are — that — that Jewish students and that Jews are not indigenous to these lands, I think it’s something that needs to be pushed back against, right? And — and some of these false narratives, I think, are really important. And I think one of the questions then is what do we do when there has been that loss of faith?

When students at UNM say we’re being told, we’re not from that land, right? And students who have — who are indigenous, you know, who share both, you know, heritage of the Sephardi, heritage of the Zuni Pueblo, heritage of being Latino, who want to and deserve to be able to claim it all. Like, I would ask and maybe Dr. Nadell or — or I think you wanted to say something, how do we regain that trust?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: So what you’re saying is really, really important. We’re making a real effort to educate our students on the history of the Middle East. Our Center for International Studies has organized an online course and really understanding the facts. The other thing I do want to say though about your comments on the Holocaust, as the last survivors of the Holocaust are passing away, it really behooves us to make sure our students at all levels understand the history of the Holocaust.

And as you say, this starts at K to 12, not just once they get to us at university.

TERESA LEGER FERNANDEZ: Dr. Nadell, did you want to add?

PAMELA NADELL: I would just add that the magical word, online. We can really reach millions and millions of people with online programs about this history.

TERESA LEGER FERNANDEZ: Thank you. And with that, my time is expired and I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Ms. Leger Fernandez. Mr. Kiley, you’re recognized for five minutes.

KEVIN KILEY: President Gay, a few months ago the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education released its rankings of how good colleges are at protecting free speech. And out of 248 schools ranked, Harvard ranked dead last, number 248th. In fact, it was the worst score in the history of the rankings, zero out of 100. Now you’ve quibbled with the study the methodology, but you don’t get to be dead last without there being some truth there.

And yet, in the aftermath of October 7th, including several times today, you’ve repeatedly stressed Harvard’s commitment to free speech. You’ve certainly been more outspoken about free speech after October 7th than you were before. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. So anyone looking at this objectively will see that you had literally the worst record in the country on free speech.

And it was only once chance of globalize the intifada started disrupting classes and harassing students that you suddenly became a stalwart for free speech. Do you understand why that’s troubling to people?

CLAUDINE GAY: Respectfully, I disagree with that perspective. And I don’t think it’s an accurate representation of how Harvard treats speech on campus. We are committed to free expression and making space for a wide range of views and voices and opinions. [inaudible] institutions.

KEVIN KILEY: Well, thank you, Dr. Gay. But I — I asked if you understand why people are troubled. And you proceeded to try to defend yourself, which suggests to me that you don’t really understand and haven’t adequately tried to. So, I’m going to ask you a few questions and I’d really appreciate a yes or no answer if you could.

Do you believe Hamas is a terrorist organization?

CLAUDINE GAY: Hamas is a terrorist organization.

KEVIN KILEY: Senator Schumer, in a speech a few days ago, characterized the October 7th as a vicious, bloodcurdling, premeditated massacre of innocent men, women, children and elderly. Do you agree with that characterization?

CLAUDINE GAY: That characterization is accurate. And I have condemned the heinous and barbaric terrorist attacks.

KEVIN KILEY: Thank you. Senator Schumer also said that when students on college campuses across the country who wear a yarmulke or display a Jewish star are harassed, verbally vilified, pushed, and even spat upon and punched. That is antisemitism. Do you agree with him that that’s antisemitism?


KEVIN KILEY: Do you acknowledge that some incidents of that nature have been occurring on Harvard’s campus?

CLAUDINE GAY: I have been talking with students over the last couple of months and they have shared searing testimony about some of the things that they have experienced.

KEVIN KILEY: And I’m glad you’ve made that outreach, but if you were talking to a prospective students family or a Jewish students family, right now, could you look them in the eye and tell them that their son or daughter would be safe and feel safe and welcome on your campus?

CLAUDINE GAY: We are absolutely committed to student safety.

KEVIN KILEY: Yes, but I didn’t ask that question about your commitment. I said, could you look them in the eye right now, the family of a prospective Jewish student, and assure them that their son or daughter would feel safe and welcome on your campus?

CLAUDINE GAY: We are taking every step to ensure their physical and their psychological safety. And I stand by that.

KEVIN KILEY: So yes or no to my question, though. Did you want to answer it? I guess not.

CLAUDINE GAY: I answered your question.

KEVIN KILEY: If — would you say that a person who is an avowed neo-Nazi is someone that you would want to be part of the Harvard community?

CLAUDINE GAY: Those are not consistent with Harvard’s values, but at the same time we allow a wide berth for free expression on a variety of views.

KEVIN KILEY: The question was, would you want such a person, who was an avowed neo-Nazi, to be part of the Harvard community, yes or no?

CLAUDINE GAY: Those are not consistent with Harvard values.

KEVIN KILEY: So you would not want such a person to be part of the community?

CLAUDINE GAY: Those are not consistent with Harvard values.

KEVIN KILEY: Would you want someone who has called for the eradication of the Jewish people to be part of the Harvard community?

CLAUDINE GAY: Again, those are not consistent with Harvard values, where we are committed to making [inaudible] on our campus [inaudible] for anti-Semitism.

KEVIN KILEY: Would you want someone who has called for the elimination of the State of Israel to be part of the Harvard community?

CLAUDINE GAY: There is no place at Harvard for antisemitism.

KEVIN KILEY: But the elimination of the State of Israel, someone who advocates for that, is that someone you’d want to be part of the Harvard community?

CLAUDINE GAY: There is no place for antisemitism at Harvard.

KEVIN KILEY: You’re not answering my questions very well, Dr. Gay. So I’ll move on. You’ve said today that you’re proud of Harvard’s initial response, the initial steps Harvard has taken in the immediate aftermath of October 7th. But one of your predecessors, Dr. Larry Summers, was anything but proud. He said that in his 50 years of Harvard affiliation, I have never been as disillusioned and alienated as I am today.

The silence from Harvard’s leadership has allowed Harvard to appear, at best, neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently in the aftermath of October 7th?

CLAUDINE GAY: So to be clear about what I was doing on October 7th, it was identifying whether or not we had any faculty [inaudible] —

KEVIN KILEY: Is there anything you would have done differently?

CLAUDINE GAY: Had I known that the statement issued by the students would have been wrongly attributed to the university, I would have spoken sooner about it. But I was focused on action that weekend, not statements.

KEVIN KILEY: Well, I appreciate you saying that. But it’s clear from me — from your testimony, President Gay, I don’t think you’re a person of any kind of prejudice yourself, but you clearly seem to believe that you need — that the forces of anti-Semitism are a constituency that needs to be catered to. I think that’s clear from your silence, from the carefully parsed statements, from the Orwellian passive voice.

And unfortunately, that message was heard loud and clear by the forces of anti-Semitism on your campus, and has reverberated across American higher education and seeped into our broader culture. So we need fundamental, cultural change on university campuses. And I yield.


Thank you, Mr. Kiley. Thank you, Mr. Kiley. Mr. DeSaulnier, you are recognized for five minutes.

MARK DESAULNIER: Thank you, Madam Chair. I want to thank the witnesses and just comment, I guess this is the best and worst of times, from my perspective for this committee, that looking at the panel and the positions you hold are not something that I could have imagined when I went to college many years ago. So thank you for your vocations.

I mean that with all sincerity, not your careers. Dr. Gay, I want to just mentioned last night, I had a wonderful conversation with a dear friend, who I started my friendship with at your institution. Gabby Giffords and I were both in state and local government. We went to that program and it was a wonderful experience.

And it was one of those examples of where academia interacted with the real world, in the world of action. So I want to thank you for that. Dr. Nadell, I wanted to talk to you as somebody from the bay area, and very involved with technology for many years, about its impact on our public discourse, on hatred on anti Semitism, on racism.

I’m reflecting on a Berkeley professor, Michael Goldharbor, I think. Let me check, yeah. Yes, he’s the Cassandra of the internet, according to the New York Times, where 30 years ago, he predicted that once people started to connect with technology, that the sociology of reality and knowledge would change.

And I would say this hearing is a comment to that. So could you comment on social media’s impact on anti Semitism and hatred, both in academia and as you see it in your research?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you for the question. Social media has been, probably the most destructive force for spreading anti-Semitism ever imaginable, in certainly in my own lifetime. When a pop star like Kanye West can put out a few messages that are anti-Semitic, and he has millions and millions of followers, and in the wake of that Jewish students were also feeling terribly unsafe and insecure.

And we have seen this over and over. And we’ve seen it harnessed, not only from the left, but we’ve also seen it harnessed from the right — social media and various chat forms, various different platforms were used to create the Unite the Right rally in 2017. And of course, the — the man who’s been convicted of murdering 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue also posted on social media that he wasn’t waiting any longer and he was going in. So it’s been terrible.

MARK DESAULNIER: And there’s been so much really good research and writing on the subject matter in the last 10 years, where I’m thinking about the Shallows from Nichols car in 2005, where his research shows that globally, our skulls are actually decreasing, because of how we retain and absorb information. So all of this, on the educational side, and I’ll ask maybe starting with Dr. Gay, this is about the short term, political moment that we’re in. But I’m equally concerned with — and I’ve had this conversation with the chair and the — and the ranking member, about what you see in education, that our brains are changing, because how neuroscience and everything we’ve learned, because of research about how this works in the last 50 years.

But until the Congress figures out how we roll in this and this — and in this committee, what is it doing to our — the young people In Nicholas Carr’s book, in the Chaos Machine, Susan Lynn a distinguished member of your faculty. I just had a lovely conversation about her book, about who’s minding our kids.

I can’t help but ask this question, because it’s part of the larger, long term problem that this committee really should be dealing with in a nonpartisan, thoughtful way. What do you see when it comes to cognitive development in your students?

CLAUDINE GAY: So recognizing that I’m not an expert, particularly on adolescent development or on social media, but will share an observation, which is that one of the things that’s been laid bare over the last couple of months is how ill equipped the community is, and has been, to deal with dialog in moments of crisis.

And instead, what is substituted for that is the social media-fication of dialogue — it’s intemperate, it’s ahistorical, and just mean, and it’s a way of engaging that has been deeply socialized through social media and is reflexive for a lot of the students on our campus.

MARK DESAULNIER: Dr. Kornbluth, just because I just finished a book, Reestablishing Conversation, by one of your faculty who talks about this — maybe you can just briefly.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: No, I agree completely with President Gay. And I would say that social media is like a drug — right? — It’s addictive and it reinforces, over and over again, messages, regardless of their truth. And so as educational communities, we need to strive for making sure our students know truth, and speak to each other as human beings.

MARK DESAULNIER: That’s beautiful. Thank you, Madam Chair. Hopefully, we can have a further discussion about that particular issue in this committee. I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Mr. DeSaulnier. Mr. Bean, you’re recognized for five minutes.

AARON BEAN: Thank you very much, and good afternoon to you, and good afternoon, panelists. Thank you so much for being here and your testimony today. There’s a problem in your testimony. And I don’t know if you know it. You’ve testified that you value free speech so much that it doesn’t harm — very good. Thank you very — it came off, Madam Chair.

Your testimony today — you’ve all testified that you value free speech, so long as it doesn’t interfere or harm students. You’ve said that you’ve created a — a very safe haven and you value safety for your students. The problem is, the evidence doesn’t support your testimony. Just as we started our meeting, the videotape showed what’s really happening on your campus.

Says — the — America sees what’s happening, not only on your campuses but a campuses across America. And then just today, we had some courageous students, some of which are still in this room today, courageous students that testified, on your campuses, contradicting your testimony that it’s a safe space.

It’s not a safe space. Can you imagine trying to be a Jewish student on campus, and just go into the library, going to class, going to wherever on — just being scared to death. That’s real. That’s real. So these videos and the testimony just doesn’t add up. Here is some things that are — we’ve seen, America has seen.

There are these anti-Jewish campus organizations called Students for Justice in Palestine. They’ve been suspended and kicked off many campuses, but none of yours, since October 7th. Their purpose is to just harass and intimidate Jewish students into retreating from campus Life. President Gay, there are numerous videos of Students for Justice in Palestine.

St Harvard, they’re known as Palestine Solidarity Committee. Assaulting, intimidating Jewish students on your campus — when Palestine Solidarity Committee took over University Hall, instead of removing them, your administration gave them burritos. President Kornbluth, in one of the most absurd, crazy campus incidents over the past two months, a viral video went — of a math professor at MIT, handing his lecture over to MITs version of Students for Justice in Palestine, the MIT for Palestine Coalition, who invoked lies and just called for hatred and harm against Jewish students.

And he sat and watched this. So here’s your chance to tell America who’s gotten fired, what organizations you’ve kicked off your campus. Does anybody want to jump in and say, we kicked them off or we’ve expelled students? Anybody want to jump in? You’ve all also said that you value academic diversity, but you have no idea how many of your professors are liberal or how many of your professors are conservative.

So how do you know? If you don’t know that, that’s a pretty important piece of information. If you don’t know that, how do you know that you’re academically diverse? Anybody jump in — just go for it. I just happened to have The Harvard Crimson, which did a study of their professors on — on Harvard campuses.

This is dated last year. Eighty percent of professors either identified as liberal or very liberal. Eighty percent of the — of the faculty there, versus 1 percent identified as conservative, 0 percent identified as very conservative. So 80 percent versus 1 percent. President Gay, is that the type of academic diversity that you brag about at America’s leading institution, Harvard?

CLAUDINE GAY: We seek to have a very diverse campus on every —

AARON BEAN: Eighty percent versus 1 percent, you would say that’s diverse?. Madam chair, I’d like to yield the remaining of my time to the gentlewoman from New York, Ms. Stefanik.

ELISE STEFANIK: Thank you. Dr. Gay, according to the Hillel College Guide, the Crimson Freshman Survey, and even Harvard’s own Education Next Journal, the population of Jewish undergrads at Harvard has plummeted, from roughly 25 percent in the 1980s to between 5 and 10 percent now. Why is that?

CLAUDINE GAY: That is not data that we collect as part of the admissions process. So I can’t speak to those numbers or to the trajectory.

ELISE STEFANIK: So what is the percentage of students who are Jewish at Harvard in undergraduate now?

CLAUDINE GAY: We do not collect religious affiliation as part of the admissions process.

ELISE STEFANIK: Do you not rely on data collected by Harvard Hillel, which you visited for, for the first time, after October 7th? I’ll just be honest with you, when I was a freshman, I enjoyed going to Harvard Hillel, and had the opportunity to celebrate Shabbat dinners with my fellow undergrads. The fact that it took you until after October 7th to go to Harvard Hillel is unacceptable.

Yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Mr. Moran, you’re recognized for five minutes.

NATHANIEL MORAN: Thank you, Madam Chair. Dr. Gay, I’d like to direct my questions to you, if that’s Ok? In an open letter to members of the Harvard community, that’s posted on Harvard’s website, you stated the following, quote, ‘anti-Semitism has no place at Harvard,’ end quote. You also said, quote, ‘we are committed to doing the hard work to address the scourge,’ end quote.

Just a moment — just moments ago, when Representative Kiley asked you questions, you reaffirmed one of those statements, and said, there is no place at Harvard for anti-Semitism. Will you now reaffirm those statements today, with me?


NATHANIEL MORAN: Good. Are these mere words, or is Harvard willing to put action behind these words?

CLAUDINE GAY: We are acting on that commitment.

NATHANIEL MORAN: Tell me how you’re acting on that commitment, in a very specific manner.

CLAUDINE GAY: Well, to begin with, the immediate actions that are focused on the physical security of our students and our campus; there’s enhanced police presence; 24, 7 threat monitoring; coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement; and when necessary, we close the gates of Harvard Yard, so that outside actors are limited in their ability to use our campus as a platform.

We have also —

NATHANIEL MORAN: When you talk about — when you talk about outside actors, let’s talk about the inside actors. So you’ve had a number of students and student organizations that have made many, many anti-Semitic statements in the past few months, and past years, frankly. And it’s gone, in my opinion, without any response from the university.

President gay, a report by AMCHA initiative for the 2021-2022 academic year, found that Harvard saw the most anti-Semitic incidents — that’s 25 — of any university surveyed. You were dean at the time, correct?

CLAUDINE GAY: Sorry, what was the date? I —

NATHANIEL MORAN: 2021 and 2022?

CLAUDINE GAY: Yes, I was. I was dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, yes.

NATHANIEL MORAN: In 2022, after the editors of The Harvard Crimson endorsed the antisemitic BDS movement, which seeks the destruction of Israel, a group of 49 faculty penned a letter defending the Crimson editors. Did you ever speak out against BDS during that time?

CLAUDINE GAY: The university, and I am clear in our positions about BDS, we do not support that position. It’s counter to academic freedom and at odds with the openness that is part of our strength as an institution.

NATHANIEL MORAN: Well, when you say — you said it earlier, and you reaffirmed to me the statement, there’s no place at Harvard for anti-Semitism. Well, those words really ring meaningless, if those folks remain at Harvard that promote antisemitism. Would you agree?

CLAUDINE GAY: We do not sanction individuals for their political views or their speech. When that speech crosses into conduct. that violates our behavior based policies — bullying, harassment and intimidation — we take action.

NATHANIEL MORAN: Have any students been expelled or disciplined for bullying, harassment, or these actions that you’re listing?

CLAUDINE GAY: I can assure you we have robust student disciplinary processes.

NATHANIEL MORAN: No, no, no, no. I’m going to —

CLAUDINE GAY: And we used —

NATHANIEL MORAN: I didn’t ask about you — I did not ask about your process. I asked, if any students had been disciplined or removed from Harvard, as a result of the bullying and the harassment that’s taking place, based on their antisemitic views in the past months, since the October 7th attack?

CLAUDINE GAY: We consistently apply our policies.

NATHANIEL MORAN: So have any students — can you give me a number? — has it been two, 10, 20, or have there been zero students that have been actually disciplined for their activity, not their speech, their activity?

CLAUDINE GAY: Students have been held to account for any episode in which they violated our behavior based policies.

NATHANIEL MORAN: Do you know approximately how many of those students have been held to account, in your mind? Or is that something you’re going to keep from public view? I’m not asking for the identification of students. I just want to know, how many people — how many students actually have been held to disciplinary standard.

CLAUDINE GAY: I’m happy to have my office follow up with some specific numbers, if that would be helpful to.

NATHANIEL MORAN: You that would be very helpful. I’m frankly, surprised that you can’t appear before this body, having — going to talk about this issue, and not be prepared to tell us whether or not any students, or to the extent, or how many have actually been disciplined for their anti-Semitic behavior in the past months.

But you can’t tell me that?

CLAUDINE GAY: What I can assure you, is that we use our policies, we use our processes, and we hold students to account for their behavior.

NATHANIEL MORAN: Recently, a coalition of student groups on your campus posted an open letter that placed the sole blame of the Hamas attack on Israel. In fact, in that letter, they said, quote, that they —

JOHN JAMES: Thank you, sir. The gentleman’s time has expired.

NATHANIEL MORAN: I yield back. Thank you.

JOHN JAMES: I’d like, now, to acknowledge myself for five minutes for questions. I came across an opinion article in the Michigan Daily of U of M student paper, written by an anonymous source with Michigan In Color. The article stated, in the opening paragraph, the following — on October 7th, Palestinians in Gaza launched a surprise attack on the on the Colonizing Force of Israel, one of the largest ever Palestinian liberation operations in modern history.

They invaded colonial settlements, bulldozed territorial walls, and captured Israeli soldiers. Although any violence is unconscionable, the rebellion was unavoidable. This makes me think of a recent book written by Barry Weiss, that seeks to define antisemitism. Antisemitism successfully turns Jews into the symbol of whatever a given civilization defines as its most sinister and threatening qualities.

When you look through the dark lens, you can understand how, under communism, the Jews were the capitalists; how under Nazism, the Jews were the race contaminates; and today, when the greatest sins are racism and colonialism, Israel, the Jew among nations, is being demonized as the last bastion of White, racist colonialism, a unique source of evil, not just in the region, but the world.

Whatever the role the Jews are needed for, well, that’s the part they are forced to play. And that’s the part they are forced to play on your campuses, which is why you’re here today. Now I know this article did not come out on your campuses, but this rhetoric is in lockstep with much that we’ve seen on campuses today, and much of the heinous attacks against Jews we’ve seen throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

I want to ask, for the record, because many of us here on Capitol Hill hear, from our public and our constituents, that you are failing to create space where issues of the day are debated without fear of cancellation or ostracization. Are you all concerned about the anti-Semitic rhetoric that we’re seeing on these college campuses around the nation, at each of your own?

And I don’t think we can state enough, individually, if you can give me maybe 15 to 10 seconds, what each of you are doing. Just remind us of what you’re doing on your college campuses — 10, 15 seconds for each of you, please. Nothing — Ok, great. Some of your peers have turned a blind eye, or even permitted anti-Semitic speech by faculty, students, and outsiders on campus.

The question today is, again, what you’re doing about it. I got silence a couple of seconds ago. Maybe you’ve been given a couple of seconds to think about it. But I’ll make this easier. Would each of you commit to conducting a review of what is taught, and promptly report back to this committee with recommendations, on how to address these topics?

Ok, I’ll take silence as a no. I want to — to — to — to just say that, I’m greatly concerned that students are being taught to view certain groups as oppressors, and now apparently that includes Jewish people. And the silence on my two direct questions, I think, serves as — as a glaring answer for your lack of commitment for — for standing — standing in opposition.

I fear our future and the future of our nation, when oppression is used so generally to green light reverse discrimination by people that hide behind your institutions and this institutional leaders themselves. So with that, I’m just going to go ahead and — and move on, because I don’t think you have any satisfactory answers for me. The House is currently in a series of votes, and members need to be on the House floor.

As such, the committee shall stand in recess until immediately following this last vote. I urge my colleagues to return quickly to the hearing, following votes. And I appreciate the patience of our witnesses and the audience. I would ask that you all remain in your seats, so our witnesses are able to leave.


VIRGINIA FOXX: The committee will be in order. I thank everyone for your patience while we recessed to go vote. I now recognize Ms. Chavez-DeRemer for five minutes.

LORI CHAVEZ-DEREMER: Thank you, Madam Chair, for holding this, unfortunately, necessary hearing. President Gay, Magill, Kornbluth, while I appreciate your testimony, I am a bit confused. In each of your testimonies, you addressed anti Semitism on your campuses in the present and future tense, as if there’s no underlying cause predating October 7th, which explains why many of your students were at the — were at the ready to harass, threaten and attack Jewish students.

Are we really to believe that Semitism didn’t exist on your campuses before the Hamas attack? As Presidents of the universities, your jobs don’t stop at fundraising and promoting academic success. The cultures of your campuses have no greater influence than you and what you choose to prioritize. And at an educational institution, the most powerful mover of culture is the education itself.

The opportunities to learn about people’s history provide students the best chance to challenge preconceptions, biases, and inspire curiosity to understand rather than villainize. At each of your schools, there are numerous classes focused on Latino, Black, Indigenous and AAPI history. The existence of such classes is necessary, speaks to your commitment to these communities, the commitment to the amplification of those voices.

Minority groups need their voices at the table. The Jewish people make up 2.4 percent of America’s population and are only 0.2 percent of the global population. For the past 5,000 years, they have actu — they have been enslaved, lynched, and systematically murdered. Dring that same time, they have relentlessly improved the course of humanity, selflessly contributing to societies which eventually — betrayed them.

And yet, President Gay, your university, Harvard, teaches only two courses on the history and culture of the Jewish people at the undergrad level. And one of those classes is focused on portraying all Jews who support Israel’s existence as colonialist and racist. Compared to the roughly 125 classes Harvard offers on Latino, Black, indigenous, and AAPI history.

The discrepancy feels odd. But you’re not alone. President Magill, the University of Pennsylvania offers three classes on Jewish history to undergrads. And President Kornbluth, MIT only offers two classes on Jewish history to your undergrad students. This gives the impression that your deans and professors view Jews as an exception, that their voice as a minority group isn’t worth amplifying.

This near erasure of Jewish history from offered courses is chilling to me. Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania offer its students an incredibly limited opportunity to learn about the 5,000 years of Jewish history. It’s no wonder so many of your students see Jews as having less humanity than the rest of us. In denying the Jewish voice a seat at the table in denying your student body equitable access to Jewish history, you have created a hostile environment for Jewish students.

If you provide your students real opportunities to learn about Jewish history at the same rate as you teach the history of groups, there will be waitlists for those classes that would provide students the appropriate venue to discuss, debate, and learn. It will inspire your students to have meaningful discussions amongst themselves about the full history of Jewish people.

President Gay, Magill, and Kornbluth, you can assemble all the task forces you want and organize countless students discussions on the issue. But I can assure you that your students, especially your Jewish students, those options come across as lazy and disingenuous. None of you have presented solutions which would address the causes for antisemitism at your schools.

In your testimonies, I’ve heard no self-reflection or acknowledgment of failure. President Gay, in your testimony, you said that you — you’re guided by a simple mantra, asking why not. To the three of you, I encourage you to think of one simple question, why not teach Jewish history? And Madam Chair, I will yield the rest of my time.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Chavez-DeRemer. A study — a study from — a 2021 study from Jay Green and James Paul at The Heritage Foundation, examined the social media feeds of 741 DEI personnel at 65 universities. Those DEI staff interacted with almost three times as many posts about Israel as about China.

Of those interactions about Israel, 96 percent were critical, while 62 percent of the interactions about China were favorable. What is your reaction to the fact that the DEI staff on your campuses appear more favorably disposed to one of the most oppressive regimes in the world than they are to Israel? Dr. Gay?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you, Congresswoman. Our DEI office, and all the professionals in that office, are committed to being a resource for the entire campus community. All of our students, all of our faculty, all of our staff, their priority is ensuring that everyone feels a sense of belonging. And they do that work motivated by a commitment to safety, security to — to well-being, and not within an ideological framework.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. The time is up. You can go — Mr. Comer, you are recognized for five minutes.

JAMES COMER: Thank you, Madam Chair. Many of our country’s top universities and colleges are for sale. That’s a fact. And our biggest foreign adversaries know it. Take, for instance, China and the Chinese Communist Party — they have used so-called Confucius Institutes on college campuses to spread CCP propaganda. Now we’re learning about billions of dollars flooding into our universities and colleges from countries supporting terrorists, terrorists that hate what our country stands for.

For example, the US Department of Education data shows that Qatar, a key backer and ally of Hamas, is one of the largest investors in US universities. It has given more than $5 billion to US institutions of higher education since 2001. Ms. Magill, data from the Department of Education shows UPenn has received more than $1.5 billion from foreign sources.

Earlier you shared with Representative Steele that Penn does not accept gifts from the government of Qatar, but has received gifts from alumni who reside in Qatar. Do you know the total amount of those gifts from alumni in Qatar?

LIZ MAGILL: Thank you for the question, Congressman Comer. We of course, follow all of the laws and we accept no gifts that are inconsistent with our academic mission, that would create any interference with doing what we do at Penn. What I know about Qatar, is what I mentioned earlier, is that I’m not aware of any government gifts, and we have a few alumni in Qatar.

The number I have in front of me is about $2,000 a year from the donors that we have, the private individuals in Qatar.

JAMES COMER: Does Penn have a policy to not accept donations or gifts from countries that harbor or support terrorists?

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman Comer, our — we are guided by the federal government on this matter, and we follow all of the rules.

JAMES COMER: Dr. Kornbluth, this report from the National Contagion Research Institute and the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy shows MIT received a total of $859 million from foreign sources, between 2014 and 2019. Has MIT accepted money from Qatar?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: So all of our — as I said previously, all of our funds are for open, publishable research. We maintain full control over the research being conducted. I would have to get you the specific funding on Qatar, via the staff, after this session. It’s publicly available information in the public record.

JAMES COMER: Well, does MIT have a policy of not accepting money from countries that harbor or support terrorists?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: So our review of all foreign money is seen through the lens of national security, economic security, and human rights.

JAMES COMER: So I take it, no, then. Do you — do you — your university think it’s a good policy to accept donations from countries that support and/or harbor terrorists?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: I’ve told you what our policy is. Thank you.

JAMES COMER: I ask unanimous consent to submit this report, Madam Chair, titled The Corruption of the American Mind, into the record.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Without objection.

JAMES COMER: Dr. Gay, how much money does Harvard receive from foreign sources that support Hamas or have links to terrorist organizations, like Qatar, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority?

CLAUDINE GAY: Excuse me — sorry, Congressman. Harvard has policies that govern the acceptance of gifts and contracts, beginning with respecting federal law, which means that we don’t accept gifts or contracts from entities that are on restricted lists. But then we go further, and only accept gifts that align with our mission and that provide autonomy for our research and our faculty.

We have alumni all over the world. And their philanthropy supports student aid and scholarships and cutting edge research.

JAMES COMER: Ok, well, does — the Department of Education reports that Harvard has received more than $19 million from Qatar, $2.5 million from Lebanon, and more than $1.5 million from the Palestinian Authority, as of October 2023. As university President, do you think Harvard should be accepting money from countries that support terrorists?

CLAUDINE GAY: Again, we have strict policies that govern the gifts and contracts that we accept. We comply fully —

JAMES COMER: But do you have a personal opinion —

CLAUDINE GAY: — federal law. And we will not accept gifts that do not align with our mission, and retain —

JAMES COMER: So, will you make a commitment to not accept money from countries that we know support terrorists?

CLAUDINE GAY: We follow federal law.

JAMES COMER: The anti Semitism on college campuses across the country, including your campus, has been shocking to witness. And that goes to all the witnesses I have asked questions to. We’ve seen the celebration of terrorism on all of your campuses, including from faculty. But when we see how much foreign money, including from our most dangerous adversaries, is going into our colleges and universities, maybe we shouldn’t be that surprised.

Who — you need to immediately reevaluate the sources of foreign donations, and recognize the poisonous effect that this is happening on your campuses? Thank you, Madam Chair, and I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Mr. Comer. Mr. Burlison, you are recognized for five minutes.

ERIC BURLISON: Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you for the witnesses that are here today. In response to the ongoing harassment of Jewish students, including supporting a, quote, ‘National Day of Resistance,’ the Anti-Defamation League and the — sent a letter to colleges and universities around the country, urging them to investigate the activities of their local campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.

Several universities followed through with that. And as a result, some universities kicked those chapters off their campuses. In some instance, Columbia University suspended the SJP and the Jewish Voice for peace. What steps have your universities taken to address the — the Students for Justice in Palestine?

Dr. Gray — Dr. Gay?

CLAUDINE GAY: Thank you for the question. So as I indicated earlier, I reject so much of the hateful and reckless speech. But we don’t want — we —

ERIC BURLISON: I do not want a long an — I just want to know — have you taken any steps, like have you followed suit with these other universities to remove this hateful organization from your — from your campus?

CLAUDINE GAY: We do not punish students for their views. But we hold them accountable for their conduct and behavior. And any conduct that violates our rules against bullying, harassment, or intimidation we take action.

ERIC BURLISON: So your answer is — is no. Does it not — does it not concern you that your policies say that intimidation is a factor for — for removal? And yet, this group, clearly, their very presence is an intimidating factor to Israeli students. Do you have any concerns?

CLAUDINE GRAY: I’m concerned about students who don’t feel safe and welcome on our campus, and wanting to make sure — and I want to make sure that they receive all the support that they need. And when other students transgress and violate our policies, they will be held accountable.

ERIC BURLISON: Thank you. Ms. Magill, can you tell me, your university, have you taken actions to remove these Students for Justice in Palestine?

LIZ MAGILL: Thanks for the question, Representative Burlison. We have similar policies, which is that any — any organized student group must comply with the rules of the university. And if they have violated those rules, they can be non-recognized.

ERIC BURLISON: Ok. And then, Mrs. Kornbluth same — same question.

SALLY KORNBLUTH: So as far as I know, we do not have an SJP chapter. We do have students who are allied with or interested in advocating for the Palestinian cause, but we are not aware of any national links of that group.

ERIC BURLISON: Thank you. My next line of inquiry has to do with the lack of reporting standards, when it comes to these foreign contributions, as was mentioned by my colleague. I understand that Harvard and MIT are under section seven — 117 investigations. A New York Post article just recently revealed that MIT received over $859 million in foreign funding.

I think Harvard received similar numbers, nearly — nearly — nearly $900 million. And as was stated, some of this money is coming from countries in the Middle East that have a history of large contributions to fund these academic centers, called the Middle East Studies Centers. Are — are you — has Harvard taken any money to fund the Middle East Study Centers?

CLAUDINE GAY: We receive support from a variety of sources. And our alumni are all over the world, including in the Middle East, who support our activities on campus.

ERIC BURLISON: Well, an analysis has indicated that there is a direct correlation between the universities that have received money for these Middle East Study Centers, and the activity of the SJP. So I would highly encourage you to examine — and I’ll ask — I’ll just ask it directly. Is it because of the money that you’re receiving from these foreign countries that you’re not kicking these — this — these hate groups off campus?

CLAUDINE GAY: Our donors do not influence how we run the university, how we enforce our policies, or how we keep our students safe.

ERIC BURLISON: Thank you. I yield the rest of my time to my colleague from New York.

ELISE STEFANIK: Dr. Gay does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules on bullying and harassment?

CLAUDINE GAY: The rules around bullying and harassment are quite specific. And if the context in which that language is used, amounts to bullying and harassment, then we take — we take action against it.

ELISE STEFANIK: Can you say yes to that question of, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules on bullying and harassment?

CLAUDINE GAY: Calling for the genocide of Jews is anti-Semitic.


CLAUDINE GAY: And that is anti-Semitic speech. And as I have said, when speech —

ELISE STEFANIK: And it’s a yes?

CLAUDINE GAY: Crosses into conduct —

ELISE STEFANIK: And it’s a yes. I’ve asked the witnesses —

CLAUDINE GAY: When speech crosses — when speech crosses into conduct, we take action.

ELISE STEFANIK: So, is that a yes? Is that a yes? The witness hasn’t answered, Madam Chair. Is that a yes? You cannot answer the question.

CLAUDINE GAY: When speech crosses into conduct —

VIRGINIA FOXX: I’m — I’m sorry.

CLAUDINE GAY: We take action.

VIRGINIA FOXX: I’m — I’m sorry, Dr. Gay. I have to cut you off.

CLAUDINE GAY: Of course.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Ms. — Mr. Williams, you’re recognized for five minutes.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: Thank you, Madam Chairman. I have the unfortunate distinction of being a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a visiting student at Harvard University for a year. The purpose of this hearing is to assess the health of our most elite, and until recently, esteemed educational institutions in this country.

We raised a question whether your institutions and others like them deserve to enjoy the benefits of partnerships with our government, research investment, student loan guarantees, tax free status for the — for your endowments, funding for veterans to receive educations tied to their prior service, like myself, or their ongoing service.

It’s been stated several times that this runs in the tens of billions of dollars across higher education, perhaps even into $100 billion. Dr. Gaye, you’ve repeatedly, in your testimony today, have claimed that you believe in accountability, that acts of hate are personally abhorrent to you, that you follow federal law, that you believe all parts of your community must feel safe and secure, and that education is the solution for anti-Semitism.

Does this accurately reflect your views?

CLAUDINE GAY: I’ve expressed those views, yes.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: And those are your testimony today. How long have you been president of Harvard?

CLAUDINE GAY: Five months.


CLAUDINE GAY: Five months.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: Um-hmm. What is your annual budget?

CLAUDINE GAY: For the entire university?


CLAUDINE GAY: About $6 billion, pretty close to that.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: $6 billion. How many employees?

CLAUDINE GAY: We have 19,000 faculty and staff.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: And how long is the — how large is the university endowment?

CLAUDINE GAY: It is just over $50 billion.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: And how long is Harvard been in existence?

CLAUDINE GAY: 387 years.



BRANDON WILLIAMS: 87. Sorry. I cut you by 50 there. You’ve said that education is the solution — all of you agreed, actually, that education is the solution for anti-Semitism, yet your educational institution under your leadership and previous leaders is seething with hateful and threatening anti-Semitic demonstrations. But these are only — as I mentioned, these are only against the Jewish students, no one else, just Jews at your school, yet you say you believe in accountability.

Should the federal government keep shoveling money and privilege to institutions like yours that fail so profoundly in their mission? Your mission is to educate. Education’s the solution. You have 387 years, and you’ve arrived at this place of virulent anti-Semitism and hate. Why should the federal government continue to partner with you in — on such a failed accomplishment or lack of accomplishment?

CLAUDINE GAY: The federal university partnership is not only a critical source of the success of all American higher education, it also is —

BRANDON WILLIAMS: Well, maybe we should redirect it to the ones that are, because there are other universities that are succeeding. I’m trying to get at the heart of, if education is the solution, you don’t seem to be accomplishing that solution, even though you’ve had a 30 — 387 year run up to stamp out anti-Semitism. What happened?

Is it leadership?

CLAUDINE GAY: We have work to do to build the community that our students and our faculty deserve.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: Well, it’s — it’s — I’m looking backwards. I’m saying how did you arrive here? If education is your mission and anti-Semitism is your result, how did you arrive here? Let me — let me help. 100 years ago, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, other Ivy League schools actually publicly and actively began restricting Jewish enrollment.

But now I’m proud to say that Syracuse University in my district resisted this trend and did not implement those kinds of policies. But today we actually see the fruit of those decisions — of those decisions. And it seems to me that the leadership that we need needs moral clarity to understand the moment that we’re in. And I’m not really hearing that, frankly, from anyone.

Ms. Magill, how long have you been the president of University of Pennsylvania?

LIZ MAGILL: Just under a year and a half, Congressman.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: And the — and the budget and employees there?

LIZ MAGILL: About $12 billion. Because we have a very large health system, we have about 45,000 employees.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: The — the endowment, please?

LIZ MAGILL: About $20 billion.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: Do you not have enough resources to complete your — your mission, your stated goal of education?

LIZ MAGILL: We have many resources that we invest in the education of our 30,000 students.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: So, if education’s the mission and education’s the solution, how did U Penn arrive at this horrible place, that actually I’m ashamed to be an alumni of your university?

LIZ MAGILL: I’m very sorry to hear that, Congressman.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: I’m not alone.

LIZ MAGILL: We have — we have work to do. I agree.

BRANDON WILLIAMS: Well, I keep hearing that. I think you have a need for leadership or a need of federal intervention to cut off the resources that allow this continued failed — this mission that’s failed to continue. I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you. Ms. Houchin, you’re recognized for five minutes.

ERIN HOUCHIN: Thank you, Madam Chair. Thank you to the witnesses for testifying today. I want to just say how frustrated I am that this hearing is even necessary. I would be naive to recognize — not to recognize, though, anti-Semitism on our university campuses, including my home state. As you may know, this fall two members of the Indiana University student government published a resignation letter due to the blatant anti-Semitism of the student body president.

According to their firsthand testimony, this student body president was intentionally neglecting the experience of Jewish students on campus by not only refusing to meet or work with Jewish students, but by actively ignoring the voices of those who tried to bring attention to their issues and the concerns for the well-being of their Jewish students.

It’s especially appalling when we recognize that 10 percent of Indiana University’s student body is Jewish. Campus life in the United States has become a daily trial of intimidation and insult for our Jewish students. A hostile environment that began with statements from pro-Palestinian student organizations justifying terrorism has now rapidly spiraled into death threats and physical attacks, leaving Jewish students alarmed and vulnerable.

At least 124 anti-Semitic incidents have been reported on campuses since October 7th, and that’s likely a severe undercount. The response to this has been empty rhetoric. Words have been weak. Action has been slow. No action has resulted in Jewish students feeling safe or welcome. This is an — example is why I’m an original co-sponsor of a Congressional resolution condemning the support of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations at our institutions of higher education.

We will not tolerate the creation of a hostile environment for our Jewish students, faculty, and staff on college campuses. If you won’t do it, then we will take action ourselves. Madam Chair, I’d like to yield the balance of my time to the gentlewoman from New York.

ELISE STEFANIK: Dr. Kornbluth, does — at MIT, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate MITs code of conduct or rules regarding bullying and harassment, yes or no?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: If targeted at individuals, not making public statements.

ELISE STEFANIK: Yes or no, calling for the genocide of Jews does not constitute bullying and harassment?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: I have not heard calling for the genocide for Jews on our campus.

ELISE STEFANIK: But you’ve heard chants for intifada?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: I’ve heard chants, which can be anti-Semitic depending on the context when calling for the elimination of the Jewish people.

ELISE STEFANIK: So, those would not be according to the — MITs code of conduct or rules?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: That would be investigated as — as harassment, if pervasive and severe.

ELISE STEFANIK: Ms. Magill, at Penn, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn’s rules or code of conduct, yes or no?

LIZ MAGILL: If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment, yes.

ELISE STEFANIK: I am asking specifically. Calling for the genocide of Jews, does that constitute bullying or harassment?

LIZ MAGILL: If it is directed and severe or pervasive, it is harassment.

ELISE STEFANIK: So, the answer is yes?

LIZ MAGILL: It is a context dependent decision, Congresswoman.

ELISE STEFANIK: It’s a context dependent decision? That’s your testimony today? Calling for the genocide of Jews is, depending upon the context, that is not bullying or harassment? This is the easiest question to answer yes, Ms. Magill. So, is your testimony —

LIZ MAGILL: If it — if it —

ELISE STEFANIK: That you will not answer yes?

LIZ MAGILL: If it is — if the —


LIZ MAGILL: If the speech becomes conduct, it can be harassment, yes.

ELISE STEFANIK: Conduct meaning committing the act of genocide? The speech is not harassment? This is unacceptable, Ms. Magill. I’m going to give you one more opportunity for the world to see your answer. Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn’s code of conduct when it comes to bullying and harassment, yes or no?

LIZ MAGILL: It can be harassment.

ELISE STEFANIK: The answer is yes. And Dr. Gay, at Harvard, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules of bullying and harassment, yes or no?

CLAUDINE GAY: It can be. Depending on the context.

ELISE STEFANIK: What’s the context?

CLAUDINE GAY: Targeted as an individual, targeted as — at an individual, severe, pervasive.

ELISE STEFANIK: It’s targeted at Jewish students, Jewish individuals. Do you understand your testimony is dehumanizing them? Do you understand that dehumanization is part of anti-Semitism? I will ask you one more time. Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules of bullying and harassment, yes or no?

CLAUDINE GAY: Anti-Semitic rhetoric, when it crosses into conduct —

ELISE STEFANIK: And is it anti-Semitic rhetoric —

CLAUDINE GAY: Anti-Semitic rhetoric, when it crosses into conduct, that amounts to bullying, harassment, intimidation. That is actionable conduct, and we do take action.

ELISE STEFANIK: So, the answer is yes, that calling for the genocide of Jews violates Harvard code of conduct, correct?

CLAUDINE GAY: Again, it depends on the context.

ELISE STEFANIK: It does not depend on the context. The answer is yes. And this is why you should resign. These are unacceptable answers across the board.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Mr. Scott, you’re recognized for five minutes.

BOBBY SCOTT: Thank you. Freedom of speech protects not just popular speech. I’ve heard many of you refer to that. Can you comment on what speech is protected and what speech is not protected, starting with Dr. Gay?

CLAUDINE GAY: Speech is protected, and that — that protection extends even to speech we find objectionable and offensive and — and even outrageous. It’s when speech crosses into conduct that violates our very clear policies around bullying, harassment, intimidation —


CLAUDINE GAY: That it becomes actionable.

BOBBY SCOTT: Now, when it’s targeted and creates imminent threats of violence —


BOBBY SCOTT: That can actually be criminal.


BOBBY SCOTT: But the Title VI standard, isn’t that — it doesn’t require all of that. You can just have a — you can have much less of a standard to create a violation of Title VI. When do you know — what is the Title VI standard for when speech violates Title VI and creates a hostile environment?

CLAUDINE GAY: I cannot recite that from memory.

BOBBY SCOTT: Does anybody know from — the kinds of things that would constitute a Title VI violation?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yeah, a hostile environment that prevents the students from attaining their educational acquisition.

BOBBY SCOTT: Students have a right to feel safe on campus. Would the standard of a hostile environment apply to all students or just Jewish students?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: All students.

BOBBY SCOTT: Dr. Magill, a lot has been said about some of the speakers that have been invited. Who invites the speakers?

LIZ MAGILL: Congressman, it varies. It might be a student organization. It might be a faculty member. It might be a staff member.


LIZ MAGILL: It might be my office.

BOBBY SCOTT: Well, does your office always control who the speakers — which speakers are invited?

LIZ MAGILL: Well, we don’t prevent a speaker from coming to campus following the guidance of the United States Constitution based on the views that we think they’re going to express. We sometimes condemn those views if they’re deeply inconsistent with our values. But we don’t censor or prevent speakers from coming based on the views, even if they’re offensive.

BOBBY SCOTT: And Dr. Gay, you said several students are — are — are subject to disciplinary actions. Typically, how long does that disciplinary action take to be completed?

CLAUDINE GAY: So, the process, we try to move with all deliberate speed, but it varies depending on the complexity of the incident. It could be a matter of days or weeks, or it could be a bit longer than that. And the — the range of consequences vary, but up to and including expulsion from Harvard.

BOBBY SCOTT: Several comments have been made that the campuses are full of anti-Semitism, and that’s the only problem on campus.

Again, the university presidents’ comment on that?

CLAUDINE GAY: It is not the only problem on campus. It’s particularly acute at this moment. And as I’ve mentioned before, students have offered searing testimony about what they’ve been experiencing, but it’s not just anti-Semitism. It’s also Islamophobia and frankly, just hostility to individuals who are visibly Muslim or Arab or Palestinian.

And then we also have other student communities that feel marginalized not just in this moment but have been struggling to feel a sense of belonging at Harvard for some years including students of color.

BOBBY SCOTT: Ms. Magill.

LIZ MAGILL: I would describe very much the same experience at the University of Pennsylvania, as Dr. Gay described.

BOBBY SCOTT: Dr. Kornbluth?

SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yes, racism, Islamophobia, anti-LGBTQ sentiment. One thing if I might add about free speech on campus with these issues is that the best way to fight negative speech is more speech, to have speakers and individuals who fight anti-Semitism and can speak to our students on campus.

BOBBY SCOTT: Thank you. Yield back. Thank you, Dr. Foxx. I want to thank our witnesses for participating in today’s hearing. Protecting students from discrimination and harassment is central to fostering a safe and welcoming campuses. Regrettably, following the October 7th, attacks, college campuses have experienced a disturbing rise in incidents of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

It’s great to have the opportunity to hear directly from campus leaders on what they are doing to be more proactive and prevent incidences of violence and harassment on campus, and I applaud President Biden’s leadership and the administration for actively helping institutions protect students as part of the White House’s national strategy to combat anti-Semitism.

Under the President’s direction, the Department of Education has provided additional guidance to colleges and universities on how to uphold their obligation under title six of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and better address anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination on campus. They’ve already opened about 15 Title 6 investigations in recent incidences on campus since October 7th. And finally, as members of Congress, we also have the responsibility to condemn discrimination as we see it and we should fully fund the Office of Civil Rights so that they will have the resources to investigate these cases.

Thank you, Madam Chair, and I yield back.

VIRGINIA FOXX: Thank you, Mr. Ranking Member. Post-secondary education has never been held in such low esteem in our country as it is today. Indeed, I do not refer to colleges and universities any longer as higher education because it’s my opinion that higher order skills are not being taught and learned, and I think today’s hearing indicates that.

And I think Mr. Williams was on to something in his line of questioning about why are we here at this stage when you all talk about education being the answer to the problems. Now, I want to remind everyone why we’re here. I started the hearing by recognizing the students we have in the audience today. You’re the ones bearing the brunt of the hate that is festering on our campuses.

You’re the reason we’re calling attention to these issues and will continue holding college leaders accountable for failing to protect you. You’re heroes, and I thank you for your courage. One of the students here today is Talia Kahn. She’s an undergraduate alumna of MIT and currently a graduate student there and she wrote a letter to the committee.

I request unanimous consent to submit her full letter for the record. Without objection. I encourage all the members to read it. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to read the whole thing, but I want to give you a sample. Quote, “I’m a Jewish student, the daughter of a Jewish mother and an Afghan Muslim father.

I’d like to bring to your attention my perspective as a Jewish student currently immersed in an extremely toxic atmosphere at MIT,” end quote. She goes on to describe a litany of violence, harassment and bullying against Jewish students on MITs campus, in-action by the MIT administration. She then concludes with a plea for help from the MIT administration.

Quote, “unfortunately, I have been put in charge of working to keep MIT students feeling safe. I have been put in charge of advocating for hundreds of frightened students afraid of retribution. I want to stop being told about the most recent anti-Semitic incident and feeling like I have to push and push to report it, even though nothing ever gets done.

This should not be my job. Sally Kornbluth, please, let me be a student again. It is your job to keep Jewish students safe, not mine,” unquote. Talia, thank you for sharing your ordeal with this committee. Talia happens to be a student at MIT. Unfortunately, her story isn’t unique to that campus. Horrific acts of hate, violence and intimidation are happening at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and institutions all over the country, and institutional leaders are failing to meet the movement with courage, clarity or decisive action.

I also ask unanimous consent to submit for the record a Wall Street Journal op-ed from this past Sunday by Lance Morrow. The op-ed is called, quote, “The New Anti-Semitism is the Oldest Kind,” end quote. Without objection. This op-ed is clear eyed about the threat we face. Talking about the anti-Semitism of the post war era, Morrow said, quote, “America’s anti-Semites in those days were more fools than monsters,” unquote.

Then he says, quote, “the anti-Semitism that is poured forth onto the country’s streets and campuses in the autumn of 2023 is a different thing, a reversion to a politics of aggressive, unapologetic hate. Of course, the new Jew haters, especially young people on campuses, think of themselves as perfectly virtuous.

What is a thousand times worse, they think of their Jew hatred as righteous. It’s morally fashionable among them,” unquote. And this brings me back to the beginning. Presidents Gay, Magill and Kornbluth, you have real and important practical challenges. These are real students sitting here and they need to be protected, but you also have a moral challenge.

It is fashionable among too many members of your campus communities to hate Jews. It is ideological acceptable. As you do the practical work of protecting your campus, you must also do the rhetorical work of changing hearts and minds. That’s your job as a campus president. That means being willing to risk your job to speak truth clearly, consistently and unapologetically, even when the Jew haters turned their hate to you.

We’ll now be watching, and I genuinely hope for the sake of our nation you will rise to meet the challenge. Without objection, there being no further business, the committee stands adjourned.

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