President Joe Biden’s administration said Wednesday that it condemned the apparent reluctance of leading university presidents to state in Congress that calls for the genocide of Jewish people would violate their respective campuses’ codes of conduct.
As Breitbart News reported, the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology testified about antisemitism on Wednesday but were evasive in many of their answers. They said specifically that calls for the genocide of Jews — as in calls to destroy Israel — might be permissible, depending on “context.”
That elicited bipartisan condemnation, and the White House condemned the reluctance of the university presidents to punish calls to murder all Jews.
The Hill reported:
The White House on Wednesday scolded the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for their responses a day earlier at a House on antisemitism hearing.
“It’s unbelievable that this needs to be said: Calls for genocide are monstrous and antithetical to everything we represent as a country,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said.
“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 added.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre later echoed that condemnation when asked about the issue in a briefing:
Calls for genocide are unacceptable, it’s vile and it’s counter to everything this country stands for. I can’t believe I even have to say that. I can’t believe I even have to say that. I shouldn’t have to. We’ve talked about this — we have witnessed the worst massacre on October 7th. We witnessed the worst massacre suffered by the Jewish people since the Holocaust, and the latest in a heartbreaking pattern that goes back thousands of years. So statements that advocate for the systemic murder of Jews are appalling, and we should all stand against them. We should all stand against them. And so just on the human side of things, you’re talking about human dignity, right? You’re talking about the most basic values that unite us as Americans. And so I should not have to be saying this at the podium, this should be something that we should — this should be who we are, right? And how we move forward. We should be calling out, calling out this type of hate.
Both Harvard and Pennsylvania attempted to walk back their stances Wednesday.
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.