Ivy League antisemitism: Why UPenn is failing its Jewish students

November 1, 2023

By Tim Worstall

Antisemitism in American colleges isn’t restricted to students signing onto statements supporting Hamas and their terrorist slaughters. Before this happened, there was the “Palestine Writes” festival at the University of Pennsylvania. The Ivy League is the same as more recent events; the antisemitism is the same, just the location and example changes.

We do have a problem in academia here.

 That specific event: “While the event’s stated aim is to celebrate Palestinian culture, it has become a platform for deeply problematic content, including speakers with well-established records of antisemitic rhetoric, along with programs and materials that present distortive and bigoted views of Israel and Zionism.” That people exercise their free speech rights isn’t quite the problem; it’s who supports it: “The Kelly Writers House, Penn Cinema and Media Studies Department, the Middle East Center, and Near Eastern Language and Cultures Department are sponsoring or supporting the event.”

However, it’s what happens next that shows us what the real problem is—actual and real antisemitism on campus. So, people protest. And what illustrates is the surprise from so many. “The only surprising thing about these donors’ actions is that they seem genuinely shocked that antisemitism and anti-Western values have been normalized at America’s most elite institutions. “Didn’t everyone know? Most colleges – and it’s worse the higher up we go toward the Ivy League – have become places where the pro-Palestinian, Fatah, Hamas position is the default. As with conservatives being the distinct minority among faculty, so is anything that describes Israel as anything other than the colonialist oppressor.

The result has been that donors are pulling their money. “The University of Pennsylvania is desperately trying to rally donor support after many of its deep-pocketed benefactors closed their checkbooks over the Ivy League school’s failure to quickly condemn Hamas’ terror attack on Israel — weeks after it played host to a controversial pro-Palestinian festival, according to a report. “ 

The fundamental problem is that those chanting “From the river to the sea” don’t realize what they’re doing wrong. The environment in which they live has this idea so embedded that they think it is normal to celebrate Palestinian terrorism. It’s that whole academia that is at fault, not one or two faculty or even certain subjects. The whole environment is polluted.

Donors are pulling their money, too: “To Mr. Rowan and others, the administration had lost its moral compass and overlooked the concerns of the university’s Jewish community. He called for donors to cut their gifts to $1 as an unmistakable symbolic protest — and demanded the resignation of Ms. Magill and Scott L. Bok, the chairman of the board of trustees. “There has been a gathering storm around these issues,” Mr. Rowan said on CNBC. “You know, microaggressions are condemned with extreme moral outrage, and yet violence, particularly violence against Jews — antisemitism — seems to have found a place of tolerance on the campus, protected by free speech.”

 Parts of the faculty, the students, still don’t grasp the complaints: “Several hundred University of Pennsylvania faculty, students, and other supporters of Palestinians walked out of classes Monday morning and called on the university to do more for its Palestinian students. They were particularly upset that president Liz Magill’s statement to the campus community on Sunday, denouncing antisemitism and calling out the Hamas attacks on Israel the week before, never mentioned Palestinians or the deaths of people in Gaza.”

They’re still not grasping it, are they? They also complain about donors not continuing to send their money as if there’s a right to have the money despite the views.

That’s why Accuracy in Media is getting to work. With one click, supporters like you can send an email to the UPenn Board of Trustees and tell them to take action against antisemitism on campus. 


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