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@EdWorkforceCmte Continues Antisemitism Investigation with Letter to MIT

WASHINGTON – Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sent a letter to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) President Sally Kornbluth and MIT Corporation Chair Mark P. Gorenberg requesting documents and information regarding MIT’s response to numerous antisemitic incidents on campus and its administration’s failure to protect Jewish students and faculty.

(Chairwoman Foxx signs letter to MIT with Jewish student Talia Khan in attendance)
In the letter, Foxx writes: “We have grave concerns regarding the inadequacy of MIT’s response to antisemitism on its campus. In testimony before the Committee on December 5, 2023, Dr. Kornbluth made numerous statements that further called into question the Institute’s willingness to address antisemitism seriously. … Despite widespread public criticism of Dr. Kornbluth’s testimony, the MIT Corporation issued an endorsement.”
The letter continues: “The MIT Corporation’s assessment stands at odds with the experiences of many Jewish MIT students. A survey of 75 Jewish students found that 59 percent had experienced antisemitism since October 7, and 73 percent did not feel comfortable publicly being Jewish, Israeli, or supportive of Israel on MIT’s campus. … When asked to rate whether ‘the MIT administration’s actions have been adequate to help you feel safer on MIT’s campus’ on a scale of one (not at all) to five (completely), 74 percent of students chose one or two. … MIT has cited its supposed commitment to free speech as limiting its ability to take action against antisemitism on its campus. However, the Institute has demonstrated a clear double standard in how it has tolerated antisemitic harassment and intimidation. … MIT’s hypocrisy and selective enforcement of Institute rules… exposes the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of its leadership’s rationalizations for their inaction towards antisemitism on campus.”
The letter details numerous antisemitic incidents at MIT, including:
  • The anti-Israel student group Coalition Against Apartheid has disrupted classes, harassed Jewish students, promoted violence, and violated other MIT rules in the course of conducting anti-Israel demonstrations and other activities.  
  • MIT invited Dalia Mogahed, who has endorsed Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, to lecture on Islamophobia. Mogahed wrote that “resistance, including struggle against a colonial occupation force, is not only acknowledged under international law but explicitly endorsed” and that [a]s an occupied population, Palestinians inherently possess the right to resist.” 
  • Multiple MIT faculty and staff have made antisemitic remarks and justified Palestinian terrorism, including MIT Postdoctoral Associate Afif Aqrawabi, who has made numerous virulently antisemitic statements on social media, including: “Zionism is a mental illness,”  “[t]here's no need for such evil to infect our world, for what?! So that Israeli's [sic] can continue to consider themselves God's chosen people, supreme to the rest, and deserving of your tax money to fund their lifestyle?!”; “[d]on't be afraid of these Zionist cucks! They bark loudly but are the weakest among us.”  
Foxx concludes by requesting information, which includes:
  • All reports of antisemitic acts or incidents and related documents and communications since January 1, 2021
  • All documents referring or relating to the findings and results of any disciplinary processes, changes in academic status, or personnel actions by MIT toward MIT students, faculty, staff, and other MIT affiliates related to conduct involving the targeting of Jews, Israelis, Israel, Zionists, or Zionism since January 1, 2021; 
  • All documents and communications since January 1, 2021, referring and relating to antisemitism and/or Israel involving the MIT Corporation.
  • All documents and communications since January 1, 2021, referring and relating to antisemitism, involving the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Division of Student Life, Institute Community and Equity Office, and/or MIT Police.  
To read the full letter, click here.

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