Calls for Jewish Genocide Are ‘Context-Dependent,’ Ivy League Heads Say

(Dmytro “Henry” AleksandrovHeadline USA) The presidents of three top universities in the United States said during a high-profile congressional hearing that calling for the genocide of Jewish people may not be against the universities’ codes of conduct because the situations are “content-dependent.”

Even though three leaders from Harvard University, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania [Penn] acknowledged that Jewish and Israeli students started feeling extremely unsafe on college campuses since Oct. 7, 2023, they still didn’t define what kinds of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel speech could be formally disciplined on campus, the Jerusalem Post reported.

All three presidents said that the answer depends on the context when they were asked directly by Rep. Elise Stefanik, RN.Y. if calling for the genocide of Jews is against the universities’ respective codes of conduct.

“It is a context-dependent decision,” Penn President Liz Magill said.

The response led Stefanik to reply.

“Calling for the genocide of Jews is dependent on the context? That is not bullying or harassment? This is the easiest question to answer ‘yes,’ Ms. Magill,” she said.

When asked the same question, Harvard President Claudine Gay said that the university would take action only when “speech crosses into conduct,” while MIT President Sally Kornbluth said that such language would only be “investigated as harassment if pervasive and severe.”

However, the presidents admitted that anti-Semitism was a serious problem on their campuses that had grown more severe since Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel that happened on Oct. 7, 2023.

“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 chants in recent demonstrations,” Kornbluth said.

Testimonies of the presidents came amid increased tensions on college campuses all around the country since Pro-Palestinian students and faculty — including in Harvard, Penn and MIT — have made headlines for speech and actions on campus that a range of critics have called anti-Semitic or inappropriate.