ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 150

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White House raps US university heads for refusing to say calls for genocide of Jews are harassment

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Harvard President Claudine Gay, left, speaks as University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill listens, during a hearing of the US House Committee on Education on Capitol Hill, December 5, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Mark Schiefelbein)
Harvard President Claudine Gay, left, speaks as University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill listens, during a hearing of the US House Committee on Education on Capitol Hill, December 5, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Mark Schiefelbein)

The White House appears to rebuke the presidents of three top American universities, who refused to explicitly say that calls for genocide of Jewish people violate campus rules on harassment and bullying during a congressional hearing yesterday.

Asked if such calls are against the codes of conduct of Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania, all three presidents said the answer “depends on the context.”

“We just witnessed the worst massacre suffered by the Jewish people since the Holocaust, the latest atrocities in a heartbreaking, genocidal pattern that goes back thousands of years,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates says in a statement, weighing in on the growing controversy surrounding the hearing.

“It’s unbelievable that this needs to be said: calls for genocide are monstrous and antithetical to everything we represent as a country,” he says.

“Any statements that advocate for the systematic murder of Jews are dangerous and revolting – and we should all stand firmly against them, on the side of human dignity and the most basic values that unite us as Americans,” Bates adds, while avoiding direct mention of the university heads.

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