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GOP Chairwoman Criticizes Harvard’s ‘Woefully Inadequate’ Reaction to Anti-Semitism Investigation

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce criticized Harvard University for its response to the committee’s anti-Semitism investigation. Committee chairwoman Virginia Foxx called the university’s submission, which included publicly available documents, “woefully inadequate.”

Chairwoman Virginia Foxx’s Statement

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Chairwoman Virginia Foxx expressed her dissatisfaction with Harvard’s response, consisting of letters from nonprofits and student handbooks. She stated that this response did not substantively address the committee’s request.

Harvard’s Obligation to Comply

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Foxx emphasized that Harvard must provide the remaining documents promptly. She warned that failure to do so might lead to compulsory measures by the committee.

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Committee’s Request for Records

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The committee had requested Harvard to provide records on how it handles incidents targeting Jewish individuals on campus. This included all reports of anti-Semitic acts and records of investigations and disciplinary actions.

Evidence of Pervasive Anti-Semitism at Harvard

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In her letter, Ms. Foxx mentioned evidence suggesting that anti-Semitism has been a long-standing issue at Harvard. A report by the AMCHA Initiative found Harvard had the highest rate of threats based on Jewish identity among surveyed campuses.

Recent Controversies at Harvard

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The request follows a controversial congressional hearing and the resignation of Harvard President Claudine Gay. Her resignation was linked to allegations of plagiarism and mishandling anti-Semitism at the university.

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Lawsuit Against Harvard by Jewish Students

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Following Ms. Gay’s resignation, a group of Jewish students filed a lawsuit against Harvard. They accused the university of severe and pervasive anti-Semitism, claiming it violated their civil rights.

Allegations in the Lawsuit

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The lawsuit alleges that pro-Hamas students and faculty conducted anti-Semitic marches on campus. It claims that Harvard has a double standard against Jews, failing to protect them from harassment.

Accusations Against Harvard Faculty

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The lawsuit accuses Harvard of hiring professors who support anti-Jewish violence and propagate anti-Semitic propaganda. It alleges these professors teach through a lens that unjustly categorizes Jews as oppressors.

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Harvard’s Task Force on Anti-Semitism

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In response to the allegations, Harvard appointed Derek Penslar to lead an anti-Semitism task force. Penslar’s appointment has faced criticism due to his previous statements about Israel.

Surge in Anti-Semitic Incidents

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The Anti-Defamation League reported a significant increase in anti-Semitic incidents in recent months. There was a notable rise in incidents on college campuses compared to the same period last year.

Department of Education Investigations

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The U.S. Department of Education has opened civil rights investigations into multiple schools, including four Ivy League universities. These investigations follow allegations of anti-Semitism or Islamophobia.

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Harvard’s Criticism over Student Groups’ Statement

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Harvard has faced intense criticism after over 30 of its student groups blamed Israel for the Oct. 7 attack. The groups accused Israel of being entirely responsible for the conflict with Hamas.

Impact of the Oct. 7 Attack

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The Oct. 7 attack by Hamas resulted in over 1,200 civilian casualties, including Americans. This event has intensified scrutiny and criticism of academic institutions like Harvard.

Committee’s Ongoing Investigation

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The House Committee on Education and the Workforce continues its investigation into anti-Semitism at Harvard. The committee seeks a more thorough and substantive response from the university to address these serious concerns.

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