Anti-Semitism on American campuses: the president of the University of Pennsylvania resigns

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill criticized for her positions on anti-Semitism on campus, resigned on Saturday. Elizabeth Magill has been in the hot seat since Tuesday and her sworn testimony at a US Congressional hearing on the rise ofanti-Semitism on American college campuses.

“I am writing to inform you that President Liz Magill has voluntarily resigned from her position as president of the University of Pennsylvania,” said Scott Bok, chairman of the board of trustees of the University of Philadelphia, who himself resigned. The constitutional lawyer will remain in post until an interim president is appointed, she also remains a tenured faculty member of the university’s law faculty, ranked 14th best university in the world according to the Shanghai ranking.

“Former President Liz Magill made an unfortunate misstep last week (…) after five hours of aggressive hearing before a congressional committee. After that, it was obvious that her position was no longer tenable and she and I decided it was time for her to leave,” he wrote.

“There are two left”

“One less.” There are two left. This is only the very beginning of the fight against the omnipresent rot of anti-Semitism which has destroyed the most “prestigious” higher education establishments in America”, reacted on X (ex-Twitter) the elected official Republican from New York, Elise Stefanik, at the origin of the controversy.

One down.
Two to go.

This is only the very beginning of addressing the pervasive rot of antisemitism that has destroyed the most “prestigious” higher education institutions in America.

This forced resignation of the president of @Penn is the bare minimum of what is required.…

— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) December 9, 2023

On Tuesday, Liz Magill, Harvard University President Claudine Gay, and Machusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth testified before a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. While attempting to maintain a protective line on free speech, all three recognized that sanctions against a student or teacher who calls for the genocide of Jews depends on the “context.” Magill adding that “if the speech becomes a behavior “, that is to say in the event of an act, “it may be harment” under the UPenn code of conduct.

Calls for the resignation of leaders, accused of moral bankruptcy, had multiplied. Donors have threatened to no longer support prestigious private universities.

Magill released a video on Wednesday in which she expressed her regret. “I was not focused on – but I should have been – the irrefutable fact that a call for the genocide of the Jewish people is a call for some of the most terrible violence that human beings can perpetrate. It’s evil. Plain and simple,” she said in this video, reiterating her commitment to “creating a safe, secure and supportive environment so that all members of our community can thrive.”

Harvard president apologizes

Claudine Gay apologized Friday evening in an interview with Grimson, Harvard student newspaper. “When words amplify distress and pain, I don’t know how we can feel anything other than regret,” she ures in this interview, saying, then, “caught in a prolonged and combative exchange on the procedures” to the detriment of the heart of the fight, namely that threats “will never go unanswered”.

Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States increased by about 400 percent in the two weeks following the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7 and the Israeli response that led to a war in Gaza, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said this week that incidents motivated by Islamophobia and prejudice against Palestinians and Arabs have increased 172% since the start of the war compared to the same period last year .

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