The American Congress announced Thursday the opening of an investigation into the management of three of the most prestigious American universities, including Harvard, after a parliamentary hearing devoted to anti-Semitism on their campuses, shaken by strong reactions to the war between Israel and Hamas.
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The American Congress announced, Thursday, December 7, that it would open an investigation into the management by three prestigious universities, including Harvard, of what it describes as “endemic anti-Semitism” on their campuses, where the conflict between Israel and the Hamas unleashes passions.
The presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been under fire since a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday devoted to this issue.
Several of the most renowned universities in the United States have been ordered by donors to clearly condemn demonstrations by pro-Palestinian students.
During the hearing, a Republican elected official likened the calls from certain students for the “intifada” – a term referring in particular to the first Palestinian revolt against the Israeli occupier – to an exhortation for a “genocide against the Jews in Israel and around the world.
Unconvinced by the counter-arguments of Claudine Gay, president of Harvard University, who defended freedom of expression on campus, elected official Elise Stefanik demanded her resignation. This call has since been relayed by several influential figures in the American political class.
Another excerpt from the hearing, during which the three presidents did not respond concretely to the question of whether “calling for the genocide of the Jews violates the code of conduct” of their universities, was also broadcast on loop on the major television channels. American information.
On Thursday, the committee responsible for education issues in the House of Representatives found that the responses of university presidents to what they describe as “endemic anti-Semitism” on campuses were “unacceptable”.
“The members of the commission are deeply concerned about their governance and their inability to take measures to provide Jewish students with the safe educational environment to which they are entitled,” ruled the group, in the hands of Republicans.
An investigation was therefore opened to identify the “individual and institutional failings” of these elite academic institutions.
Several of the leaders interviewed have since published press releases or videos, forced to clarify their comments.
“Some have confused the right to free expression with the idea that Harvard would condone calls for violence against Jewish students. I want to be clear: calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any other ethnic group or religious, are despicable,” said the Harvard president.
These calls “have no place at Harvard and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held accountable,” she said.