University of Pennsylvania was ordered on Wednesday to hand over documents relating to a federal investigation of antisemitism.
The letter, sent by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), on behalf of the US House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce, cited two reports by The Algemeiner as well as others to explain the basis of the committee’s inquiry.
“An environment of pervasive antisemitism has been documented at Penn dating back to well before the October 7, 2023, terrorist attacks,” said the letter. “Penn has demonstrated a clear double standard by tolerating antisemitic vandalism, harassment, and intimidation, but suppressing and penalizing other expression it deemed problematic,” Foxx continued.
Foxx is seeking from Penn “all reports of antisemitic acts or incidents” and “related communications” going back to 2021 that were sent to the university’s offices of the president, general counsel, dean of students, police department, human resources, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, among others. In addition to those items, she asked the university to “produce” all correspondence, including meeting minutes, shared by members of Penn’s University Task Force on Antisemitism, which was created only after anti-Jewish hatred at Penn reached crisis proportions.
Penn has had numerous antisemitism scandals during fall semester, before Oct. 7, starting with a torrent of outrage over its decision to host an extreme anti-Zionist festival that featured a mass of individuals accused of promoting antisemitic conspiracies and tropes to undermine the State of Israel. Several more incidents occurred over the following weeks, including the graffitiing of a swastika in a campus building and raiding of the school’s Hillel building by a crazed student who vandalized property and screamed antisemitic remarks.
Foxx went on to cite numerous examples of antisemitic hate speech Penn would not punish, including students’ chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” — a slogan widely interpreted as a call for the destruction of Israel, which is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, a professor’s saying during a rally held after Hamas’ atrocities became public that Israel “desecrates the memory of Holocaust victims,” and a political science professor’s promotion of Hamas on his Facebook page.
The Algemeiner has reported on several other incidents Penn’s administration ignored long before its former president, Elizabeth Magill, resigned after telling Foxx’s committee during a hearing that deciding whether calling for a genocide of Jews would violate school rules would be “context-dependent.” In March, for example, the anti-Zionist group Penn Against the Occupation (POA) hosted Mohammed El-Kurd during its “Israeli Apartheid Week.” Currently a columnist for the left-wing magazine The Nation, the 25-year-old El-Kurd has trafficked in antisemitic tropes, demonized Zionism, and falsely accused Israelis of eating the organs of Palestinians.
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce is also investigating other elite universities, including Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to determine whether administrators at those schools ignored antisemitic discrimination. The probes were announced after the committee grilled the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT about their plans to respond to rising anti-Jewish hate in their communities.
Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.
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IDF Announces Major Eyal Shuminov Killed by Anti-Tank Missile in Gaza
i24 News – During a raid on Gaza’s Zeytun neighborhood, Major Eyal Shuminov of the Givati Brigade was tragically killed by an anti-tank missile.
The incident occurred when IDF forces identified a Hamas terrorist on the roof of a building and subsequently eliminated him.
Major Shuminov, a company commander in the Shaked Battalion (424) of the Givati Brigade, hailed from Karmiel and was just 24 years old at the time of his death. The IDF announced that he fell in battle on the 24th of Adar HaSphad (February 24, 2024).
His death marks the loss of 238 IDF soldiers since the start of the ground invasion in Gaza.
Following his death, Major Shuminov was posthumously promoted from the rank of captain to the rank of major. The IDF has extended its condolences to Major Shuminov’s family and pledged to continue supporting them during this difficult time.
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Netanyahu: Cabinet Will Vote on Rafah Operation Next Week
i24 News – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed plans for a cabinet meeting next week to finalize the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) strategy for an operation in Rafah, including the evacuation of civilians from the area.
The decision comes amid ongoing negotiations with Hamas regarding the release of hostages held by the militant group.
In a statement posted on social media platform X on Saturday, Netanyahu emphasized the importance of reaching a new framework for the release of hostages and the completion of the elimination of Hamas battalions in Rafah. He underscored the necessity of a combination of military pressure and diplomatic negotiations to achieve these objectives.
“We are working to obtain another outline for the release of our hostages, as well as the completion of the elimination of the Hamas battalions in Rafah. That is why I sent a delegation to Paris, and tonight, we will discuss the next steps in the negotiations,” Netanyahu stated in his post.
אנו פועלים להשיג מתווה נוסף לשחרור חטופינו, וכן את השלמת חיסול גדודי החמאס ברפיח.
לכן שלחתי משלחת לפריז ונדון הערב בצעדים הבאים במו״מ,
ולכן בתחילת השבוע אכנס את הקבינט לאישור התוכניות המבצעיות לפעולה ברפיח, כולל פינוי האוכלוסייה האזרחית משם.
רק שילוב של לחץ צבאי ומשא ומתן תקיף…
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) February 24, 2024
The prime minister’s announcement signals a significant escalation in Israel’s approach to the ongoing conflict, with plans for a potential military operation in Rafah gaining momentum.
Netanyahu concluded his statement by reaffirming the government’s determination to achieve its goals in the war, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive strategy that combines military action with diplomatic efforts.
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IDF Chief of Staff: Fighting is Key for Negotiating Hostages’ Release
i24 News – In a recent assessment of the situation in the northern Gaza Strip, the Chief of Staff, alongside other military commanders, emphasized the crucial role of the ongoing fighting effort in negotiations for the release of abducted individuals.
During the assessment, which took place on Saturday, the Chief of Staff, accompanied by Major General Yaron Finkelman, commander of the Southern Command, and Lieutenant Colonel Itzik Cohen, commander of Division 162, discussed the progress and strategy in the conflict zone.
The Chief of Staff’s remarks shed light on the multifaceted approach being taken to deepen military achievements in the region. He highlighted the importance of returning to areas with improved intelligence to make more significant advancements, both tactically and strategically.
These efforts, he noted, not only target enemy combatants but also aim to dismantle infrastructure and clear territories to enhance operational effectiveness.
Addressing the ongoing negotiations for the release of abductees, the Chief of Staff emphasized the interconnectedness between military achievements and diplomatic endeavors. He underscored the pivotal role of the fighting effort in exerting pressure on Hamas, thereby potentially facilitating the release of kidnapped individuals.
“The fighting effort is the most effective action that helps those who carry and give in all kinds of places for the release of the kidnapped,” stated the Chief of Staff. “This is the lever we are taking down on Hamas, and you are taking it down very well.”
The Chief of Staff’s remarks underscore the complex interplay between military operations and diplomatic negotiations in conflict zones. While the focus remains on achieving military objectives, there is also a recognition of the broader strategic goals, including the safe return of abducted individuals.
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