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Chairwoman Foxx Presses University Presidents on Unlawful Encampments, Pervasive Antisemitism

WASHINGTON – Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) delivered the following statement, as prepared for delivery, at a hearing titled "Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos":

"In Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises, two characters are discussing bankruptcy.

"'How did you go bankrupt?' asks Bill.

"'Two ways,' Mike responds, 'Gradually then suddenly.'

"No three words better apply to the decline in postsecondary education that has transpired—gradually then suddenly. These three little words paved the road that led to today’s hearing.

"Over the course of years—decades even—universities gradually nurtured a campus culture of radicalism, in which antisemitism grew and became tolerated by administrators. The Committee has been steadfast in its dedication to attacking the roots of antisemitic hatred, including anti-Israel DEI bureaucracies and questionable foreign funding.

"Then, suddenly, over the course of weeks—days even—universities burst into antisemitic chaos. October 7 ignited a powder keg of pro-terror campus fervor, a shocking spectacle for the American public.

"Suddenly, the radicalized zealots found a cause and group that they could graft their hate onto. Somehow Jews fit neatly into DEI’s oppression matrix, thereby justifying antisemitism.

"In the months following October 7, radicalized students have harassed, assaulted, and intimidated their Jewish peers. These antisemitic protests have led to hijacking buildings, erecting unlawful encampments, disrupting classrooms, and cancelling commencements. They have been the principal agents of anti-Jewish harassment and violence and have made an absolute mockery of so-called university leaders.

"That’s why the Committee is yet again calling for accountability from those in charge of universities, today with Mr. Michael Schill of Northwestern University, Dr. Gene Block of UCLA, and Dr. Jonathan Holloway of Rutgers University.

"Each of you should be ashamed of your decisions that allowed antisemitic encampments to endanger Jewish students. Mr. Schill and Dr. Holloway, you should be doubly ashamed for capitulating to the antisemitic rulebreakers.

"Our job today is first and foremost to hold those who are supposed to be in charge to account.

"Dr. Gene Block, you will testify to the horrific, violent events that unfolded at UCLA, leading to 243 arrests. You cleared the encampment only after a violent riot erupted. For days, you stood by as Jews were assaulted and illegal checkpoints blocked access to campus in broad daylight. Your actions were too little, too late.

"Second, the Committee will highlight the concessions universities doled out to rulebreakers. Dr. Holloway, you accepted eight of 10 encampment demands, including an egregious amnesty deal to Rutgers students and faculty involved in the encampment. I would like to know what sort of message you think that sends to your Jewish students.  

"Mr. Schill, you cut a disgraceful deal with the encampment that prompted seven Jewish members of your own Antisemitism Advisory Committee to resign in protest.

"You and President Holloway struck deals that guarantee jobs and admissions to Palestinians in apparent violation of federal antidiscrimination law. I’d like to know how you think your quotas comply with the Civil Rights Act.

"Those who are in charge of universities who negotiate with pro-terror protestors are not doing their jobs. Taxpayer dollars have no business funding universities without principles that align with the principles of this country. Each of you refused to enforce your own rules, preserve campus safety, and protect Jewish students.

"Finally, I want to make one thing clear. The purpose of these hearings is not to enact 'right wing cancel culture,' as purported by the Left. The purpose is to end antisemitic violence and harassment on campus, full stop.

"Hearings with college presidents are meant to help guide postsecondary education policies going forward that meet the needs and respect the rights of all students. We will certainly keep your answers to our questions in mind as the Committee conducts further business."


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