published : 2023-12-10

Mounting Pressure on MIT and Harvard as UPenn President Resigns Over Controversial Testimony Regarding Anti-Semitism

Israeli PhD Student Demands Answers from MIT President About 'Obsession with Context'

An image of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus, taken with a Nikon D850

An Israeli PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology gave an emotional rebuke on campus of the university president's testimony before Congress last week.

During the hearing, MIT President Sally Kornbluth stated that it would depend on 'context' whether calls for an intifada or the genocide of Jews would violate the university's code of conduct or rules against bullying or harassment.

The student, Liyam Chitayat, criticized MIT's 'obsession with context' and demanded answers for incidents like urinating on the window of the prayer room of MIT Hillel and responding to reports of blatant antisemitism with dismissive suggestions of going to the police or therapy.

Chitayat also highlighted the harassment faced by Jewish and Israeli staff members at the university.

A photo of Liyam Chitayat, the Israeli PhD student at MIT, passionately speaking during his rebuke, taken with a Canon EOS R5

This controversy comes amid mounting pressure on MIT and Harvard to remove their presidents, following the resignation of University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill.

Seventy-four House members have sent a bipartisan letter to the governing boards of Harvard, MIT, and UPenn, calling for immediate action to remove the presidents of these institutions.

During the congressional hearing, the presidents of UPenn, Harvard, and MIT struggled to clearly state whether calls for the genocide of Jews would violate conduct policies on their campuses.

The resignation of UPenn President Magill was applauded by Rep. Elise Stefanik and former President Trump, who stated, 'One down, two to go.'

A group photo of the 74 House members who sent the bipartisan letter calling for action against antisemitism, taken with a Sony A7 III

The House committee has launched a congressional probe into all three institutions, including a request for substantial documents and possible subpoenas.

The controversy surrounding these prestigious universities has sparked a national conversation about antisemitism and the need for stronger action against it.