Skip to Content

Press Releases

@EdWorkforceCmte Questions UPenn’s Failure to Address Antisemitism as Investigation Ramps Up

UPenn Given Until February 7 to Produce All Documents Requested

WASHINGTON – Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sent a letter to University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees Chairman Ramanan Raghavendran and Interim President Dr. Larry Jameson requesting documents and information regarding the University of Pennsylvania’s (Penn) abysmal response to antisemitism on its campus.
In the letter, Foxx writes: “In testimony before the Committee on December 5, 2023, Penn’s then-President, M. Elizabeth Magill, made numerous statements that further called into question the university’s willingness to address antisemitism seriously. When asked whether calling for the genocide of Jews would violate Penn’s code of conduct, Ms. Magill replied that ‘it is a context-dependent decision.’ … While Ms. Magill and Mr. Scott L. Bok, then-Chairman of Penn’s Board of Trustees have both since resigned, Penn’s institutional failures regarding antisemitism extend well beyond two leaders.”
The letter continues: “Penn’s failure to address antisemitism on its campus has been harshly and widely rebuked. … In defense of this disgraceful record, Penn has cited its supposed commitment to free speech. … However, Penn has demonstrated a clear double standard by tolerating antisemitic vandalism, harassment, and intimidation, but suppressing and penalizing other expression it deemed problematic.”
Foxx concludes by citing examples of a deeply troubling pattern of antisemitic incidences at Penn, including:
  • An individual was arrested for vandalizing Penn Hillel (Penn’s center for Jewish life) and shouting antisemitic obscenities, including “fuck the Jews” and “they killed JC.”
  • Multiple Penn staff members received antisemitic emails threatening violence against Penn Hillel and Lauder College House, a dormitory named in honor of a family of prominent Jewish philanthropists, prompting an FBI investigation.
  • Hundreds of “Missing Cow” posters were posted on Penn’s campus, appearing to mock widely distributed “Kidnapped” posters featuring Israeli hostages abducted by Hamas.
  • Associate Professor of Arabic Literature Huda Fakhreddine publicly celebrated the attack on the morning of October 7, tweeting in Arabic that “while we were asleep, Palestine invented a new way of life.”
  • Creative writing instructor Ahmad Almallah led a crowd of protestors in chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “when people are occupied, resistance is justified” at an October 16, 2023, anti-Israel protest.
  • Penn Students Against the Occupation released a “Statement of Solidarity with Palestine” which asserted, “[t]he settler state has been inflicting violence on Palestinians and their land since its inception, and therefore bears sole responsibility for the violence which has been taking place this week,” and “Palestinians, like all oppressed peoples, have the right to resist their oppressors by any means necessary.”
To read the full letter, click here.

Stay Connected