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House calls on MIT, Harvard presidents to resign over campus antisemitism, with 125 Democrats voting against

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives called on the presidents of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to resign after they declined to say clearly in a congressional hearing that their schools would take action against those calling for the genocide of Jews.

The vote Wednesday night was 303-126, with three voting “present.” All but one of the votes against the resolution were by Democrats, including seven of the caucus’ 24 Jewish Democrats. The three voting “present” were likewise Democrats, and the one Republican voting against was Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

The lead initiator of the resolution was Rep. Elise Stefanik, the New Yorker who is the third-ranked Republican in the House and whose questioning of the presidents of Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania last week elicited their qualified comments on what they would do if people at their universities called for the genocide of Jews.

Liz Magill, the Penn leader, has since resigned and the resolution called on the other two to follow suit. Harvard President Claudine Gay has apologized for her remarks at the hearing, and following a lengthy meeting earlier this week, Harvard’s board chose to keep her in office. MIT’s board has likewise affirmed its continued support of President Sally Kornbluth, who is Jewish.

A number of the Jewish Democrats said the resolution was disingenuous because Stefanik has failed to confront antisemitism in her own party, echoing conflicted sentiments some liberal Jewish figures have expressed in the wake of the hearing.

Jamie Raskin, from Maryland, was one of the seven Jewish Democrats voting against. He took aim at Stefanik, a leading supporter of former President Donald Trump, for never calling out Trump for his associations with antisemites, including Nick Fuentes, a Holocaust denier who recently called for the execution of Jews.

“Still waiting for a serious response from Rep. Stefanik. Will she denounce virulent antisemitism in the GOP, including calls for Jewish genocide from Trump’s dinner guest at Mar-a-Lago Nick Fuentes, leader of the America First Political Action Conference?” Raskin wrote Wednesday on X.

Other Jewish Democrats voted for the nonbinding resolution because they agreed with its contents, but said it was meaningless political posturing.

North Carolina’s Kathy Manning, who voted for the measure, called for practical legislation instead of nonbinding resolutions. She previously accused Stefanik of copying portions of a letter Manning had circulated about the hearing.

“I have no interest in meaningless resolutions that do nothing to address the underlying issue of antisemitism,” she said on the House floor before the vote. “We don’t need throwaway resolutions, we need effective solutions.”

Stefanik lambasted those Democrats who did not support the bill.

“The world is watching as Members from both sides of the aisle stand resolutely with the Jewish people to condemn antisemitism on university campuses and the morally bankrupt testimony of the Harvard, MIT, and Penn university presidents during last week’s House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing,” she said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “It is disappointing and revealing that 128 Democrats chose to vote against condemning antisemitism on college campuses and the pathetic and abhorrent testimony of the university presidents.”


The post House calls on MIT, Harvard presidents to resign over campus antisemitism, with 125 Democrats voting against appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Russia Extends Invitation to Palestinian Factions for Talks in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Photo: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

i24 NewsRussia has extended invitations to various Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, for discussions on the Israel-Hamas conflict and broader issues in the Middle East.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov announced the initiative on Friday, highlighting Moscow’s desire to engage with all major players in the region amid heightened tensions.

The invitation included a dozen Palestinian groups and is slated for “inter-Palestinian” talks scheduled to commence on February 29.

Bogdanov, serving as President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East, emphasized the inclusivity of the invitation, stating, “We invited all Palestinian representatives — all political forces that have their positions in different countries, including Syria, Lebanon, and other countries in the region.”

Among the invitees are Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, alongside representatives of Fatah and the broader Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The invitation comes at a critical juncture as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues to escalate, drawing international attention and concern. Russia’s proactive stance in convening discussions reflects its growing criticism of Israel and its Western allies, underscoring Moscow’s efforts to assert its influence in the region.

The post Russia Extends Invitation to Palestinian Factions for Talks in Moscow first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Netanyahu: Those Who Want us to Desist from Rafah Op Are Telling Us to Lose

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023. Photo: ABIR SULTAN POOL/Pool via REUTERS

i24 NewsHamas drops its “delusional” demands, productive hostage talks could begin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday, stressing Israel would not agree to the terror group’s current demands.

WATCH: PM Netanyahu delivers a statement after Hamas suspended negotiations pic.twitter.com/nxISPb4JUm

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) February 17, 2024

“I insist that Hamas should abandon its delusional demands – and when it does, we will be able to move forward,” Netanyahu said in a statement live on TV.

“Those who want us to desist from the Rafah operation,” the leader said in an apparent reference to the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden, “are telling us we should lose. We won’t be dictated to.”

The post Netanyahu: Those Who Want us to Desist from Rafah Op Are Telling Us to Lose first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Iran Unveils New Air Defense Weaponry

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani speaks at a press conference during the unveiling of a new surface-to-surface 4th generation Khorramshahr ballistic missile. Photo: Reuters/West Asia News Agency

i24 NewsIran demonstrated new weaponry on Saturday, including what it said was the locally made Arman anti-ballistic missile system and the Azarakhsh low-altitude air defense system, said the official IRNA news agency. Saturday’s unveiling ceremony of the two vehicle-mounted systems was held in the presence of Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani.

“With the entry of new systems into the country’s defense network, the air defense capability of the Islamic Republic of Iran will increase significantly,” said IRNA.

Video of the new Azarakhsh SHORAD engaging a target drone

It’s radar has a detection range of 50km, with 25km for it’s EO/IR suite https://t.co/cZSCk4AmZj pic.twitter.com/7gEnZh0uef

— Iran Defense|نیروهای مسلح جمهوری اسلامی ایران (@IranDefense) February 17, 2024

The Arman missile system is said to be able to “simultaneously confront six targets at a distance of 120 to 180 km,” while the Azarakhsh missile system “can identify and destroy targets up to a range of 50 km with four ready-to-fire missiles.”

The announcement comes amid tensions across the Middle East, with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis attacking vessels linked to the United States, UK and Israel in the Red Sea in a show of solidarity with the Gaza Strip.

Iran unveils domestically-manufactured Arman anti-ballistic missile and Azarakhsh low-altitude air defense system https://t.co/69YBsGqT0F pic.twitter.com/PVWlw0sIuj

— Press TV (@PressTV) February 17, 2024

The U.S. and its allies in the Middle East are concerned with Iran’s growing role at the international global arms market, The Wall Street Journal said on Friday. The transformation of the industry, boosted by Russia’s “purchase of thousands of drones that altered the battlefield in Ukraine, has helped Tehran scale up its support of militia allies in Middle East conflicts,” read the report.

The post Iran Unveils New Air Defense Weaponry first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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