Headline RoundupDecember 6th, 2023

Ivy League Presidents Face Questions Over Handling of Antisemitic Incidents

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took questions about a rise in antisemitic incidents on their campuses in a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Key Quotes: Harvard president Claudine Gay said antisemitic acts are "at odds with the value of Harvard, but … we embrace a commitment to free expression even of views that are objectionable, offensive, hateful."  MIT president Sally Kornbluth said the school will confront antisemitism and Islamophobia "with equal energy and in parallel."

For Context: Some groups at Harvard and elsewhere staged pro-Palestine demonstrations and condemned Israel's response after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. Harvard is now under federal investigation for allegedly ignoring acts of antisemitism.

How the Media Covered it: CNN (Lean Left bias) referred to "alleged" incidents of antisemitism at the schools; many other sources didn't say "alleged," implying that the acts in question were confirmed as antisemitic. Many headlines from left-rated sources said the presidents face a "grilling" from Congress. Headlines from right-rated sources often highlighted specific quotes and negative reactions to the campus leaders' testimonies. Some framed the presidents as unwilling to condemn students "calling for the genocide of Jews." National Review's news section (Lean Right bias) said the "focus on freedom of speech within higher education is new for these presidents," and highlighted how Harvard "ranked dead last in the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression’s (FIRE) 2024 college free-speech rankings." Read more about Israel-Palestine ideological differences.

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