WATCH: Penn President Liz Magill Tries Redo on Antisemitism: ‘I Was Not Focused’

Liz Magill, president of the University of Pennsylvania, during a House Education and the
Haiyun Jiang/Bloomberg via Getty

University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill released a video Wednesday clarifying that calling for the genocide of Jewish people would, in fact, be harassment — after dodging the question the day before, in her testimony on Capitol Hill.

Magill and the presidents of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology each declined to say whether advocating for the genocide of Jews — as implied by pro-Palestinian slogans like “from the river to the sea,” which eliminates Israel — is permissible on campus.

The backlash was intense, especially as Jewish students — such as Penn senior Eyal Yakoby — told journalists in the Capitol about the fear they felt due to extreme anti-Israel and antisemitic protests on campus since the Hamas terror attack October 7 in Israel.


Earlier on Wednesday, Harvard president Claudine Gay tried to assuage critics — but simply repeated what she had said the day before: that calls for the genocide of Jews were abhorrent, and that harassment or threats would be punished. She did not clarify whether calls for the genocide of Jews were to be considered, in themselves, harassment, under the university’s code of conduct.

Magill addressed that question, saying that such calls would be considered harassment, and said she had not been “focused” during the hearing. (In fact, she and the other university presidents had seemed very focused on reciting their talking points.)

As the UK Daily Mail pointed out, Magill did not apologize to the campus or to the Jewish community for her lack of focus.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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