Congressional committee demands MIT address allegations of 'pervasive' antisemitism

Investigation into MIT’s handling of antisemitic incidents raises concerns over the safety and inclusivity of Jewish students on campus.

Congressional committee demands MIT address allegations of 'pervasive' antisemitism
AP Photo/Steven Senne
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The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has formally requested the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to submit a comprehensive collection of documents. This request comes as part of an investigation into the institution's handling of antisemitism and its perceived failure to safeguard Jewish students adequately.

Led by Representative Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., the Committee reached out to MIT President Sally Kornbluth and MIT Corporation Chair Mark P. Gorenberg, expressing concerns over what has been described as pervasive antisemitism on campus. This action follows several troubling incidents and developments that suggest a hostile environment for Jewish students at MIT

"The inadequacy of MIT's response to antisemitism on its campus is deeply concerning," stated Foxx in her letter to the university leadership. The concern escalates following statements by President Kornbluth on December 5, which the Committee believes demonstrate a reluctance by MIT to address antisemitism earnestly.

Despite the backlash from these statements, the MIT corporation defended Kornbluth, praising her leadership and commitment to combating antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate. However, Foxx pointed out a discrepancy between this assessment and the experiences reported by Jewish students at MIT. A survey highlighted that a significant number of Jewish students have faced antisemitism, and many feel uncomfortable expressing their Jewish, Israeli, or pro-Israel identities openly on campus.

Specifically, the Committee criticized the actions of the MIT Coalition Against Apartheid (CAA), particularly following their statements after the October 7 terrorist attacks, which seemed to justify violence and resist oppression, directly implicating the Israeli regime.

Foxx condemned MIT's failure to denounce the CAA’s apparent endorsement of terrorism and highlighted several instances of disruptive and aggressive behavior by the group towards Jewish students, including a recent protest that breached MIT's rules.

Moreover, the Committee criticized MIT for what appears to be selective enforcement of rules and instances of faculty and staff making antisemitic remarks or justifying terrorism, further questioning the integrity of MIT’s leadership in addressing antisemitism.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman was among MIT's many critics, and called for the presidents of MIT, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard to resign following their failure – if not outright refusal – to address these concerns,

A comprehensive list of documents has been requested by the Committee, covering reports of antisemitic acts, disciplinary actions, meeting minutes, policies on donations from foreign sources, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives since the beginning of 2023. The deadline for MIT to comply is set for March 22.

In response, MIT has acknowledged the receipt of the Committee’s letter and is currently reviewing it, telling Fox News, "MIT is committed to providing a response to the Committee’s questions."

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