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MIT Under Scrutiny For Disregarding Campus Jew-Hatred

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ignored numerous complaints of antisemitic discrimination, according to harrowing testimony provided during a “round table” meeting on campus antisemitism at the US Capitol on Thursday.

Held by the US House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the meeting marked another phase in Congress’ investigation of antisemitism at US colleges and universities, an inquiry that aims to determine whether administrators have willfully ignored bigotry when Jews are its victims.

In December, the committee questioned three presidents of elite universities — Claudine Gay of Harvard University, Elizabeth Magill of University of Pennsylvania, and Sally Kornbluth of Massachusetts Institute of Technology — about their efforts to address the problem. While Gay and Magill were ultimately forced to resign from their positions, Kornbluth evaded scrutiny. The testimony of one Kornbluth’s students, Talia Khan, suggested that higher education watchdogs should have focused on on her as well.

“In the past five months, I’ve become traumatized,” Talia Khan, a student, told the committee. “MIT has become overrun by terrorist supporters that directly threaten the lives of Jews on our campus. Members of the anti-Israel club on our campus has stated that violence against Jew who supports Israel, including women and children, is acceptable. When this was reported to president Kornbluth and senior MIT administration, the issue was never dealt with. Then, administrator pleaded ignorance when we reminded them that no action had been taken, saying that they either forgot about it or missed the email.”

Khan went on to recount MIT’s efforts to suppress expressions of solidarity with Israel after Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, which included ordering Jewish students to remove Israeli flags from public display while allowing Palestinian flags to fly across campus campus. It is a “scandal” Khan explained, alienating both Jewish students, staff, and faculty, many of whom resigned from an allegedly farcical committee on antisemitism. Staff were ignored, Khan said, after expressing fear that their lives were at risk, following an incident in which a mob of anti-Zionist amassed in front of the MIT Israel Internship office and attempted to infiltrate it, banging on its doors while “screaming” that Jews are committing genocide.

“No action was taken to discipline this behavior,” Khan explained. “We have DEI administrators, an inter-faith chaplain, and faculty who have openly supported Hamas as martyrs, harassed individual Jewish students online, and publicly supported antisemitic blood libel conspiracy theories. The MIT administration seems only to listen to those faculty and members of the MIT corporation who help them continue to gaslight Jewish students and faculty, telling us we’re being over dramatic and should just, quote, ‘Go back to Israel if we don’t feel safe studying here.’”

In the past, Kornbluth has suspended anti-Zionist groups for breaking campus rules, but she has always maintained that she does not disagree with the content of their speech.

The committee also heard statements from Jewish students of Tulane University, University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, Columbia University, Rutgers University, The Cooper Union, and Harvard University.

“I hope that our universities will wake up and realize that a lot of what they have been doing in our interactions is lip service and placation,” Tulane University Yasmeen Ohebsion told The Algemeiner early Friday morning, during an interview about the meeting. “Words are shallow if action doesn’t follow them.”

Noting that campus administrators “have failed Jewish students by repeatedly brushing hate against Jews under the rug,” Hannah Schlacter, a second-year student at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, called on Congress to address campus antisemitism through legislation.

“I’d like to see Congress create legislation that allows accountability to occur,” Schlacter said in a statement to The Algemeiner. “One possibility is that if the Department of Education opens an investigation into a university regarding discrimination, the Congress freezes the university’s nonprofit tax status and federal funding until the issue is resolved.”

https://www.algemeiner.com/2024/03/01/massachusetts-institute-of-technology-accused-of-ignoring-antisemitism/