House Representatives Call on MIT to Provide Records on ‘Pervasive’ Antisemitism: ‘We Have Grave Concerns’

Credits: New York Post

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce is requesting a significant amount of documentation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) regarding its handling of antisemitism on campus and its alleged failure to protect Jewish students.

The Committee, led by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., sent a letter to MIT President Sally Kornbluth and MIT Corporation Chair Mark P. Gorenberg on Friday, expressing concerns about what it described as “pervasive” antisemitism at the university.

The Committee’s request for documents follows a series of incidents at MIT that have raised alarm bells about the university’s response to antisemitism. Rep. Foxx stated in the letter, “We have grave concerns regarding the inadequacy of MIT’s response to antisemitism on its campus.”

House Representatives Call on MIT (Credits: West Side Rag)

The Committee’s interest was sparked by comments made by Kornbluth on December 5, which the Committee found troubling. In response to the backlash, the MIT Corporation issued a statement supporting Kornbluth, stating that she had done “excellent work in leading our community, including in addressing antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate.”

Despite the MIT Corporation’s support, the Committee cited a survey of 75 Jewish students, which found that 59% had experienced antisemitism since October 7, and 73% did not feel comfortable publicly expressing their Jewish identity or support for Israel on MIT’s campus.

The Committee’s concerns also stem from the actions of the MIT Coalition Against Apartheid (CAA), which issued a statement following the October 7 terrorist attacks, holding “the Israeli regime responsible for all the unfolding violence” and affirming “the right of all occupied peoples to resist oppression and colonization.”

Rep. Foxx criticized MIT’s leadership for failing to condemn CAA’s “endorsement of Hamas’ terrorism” and listed several examples where CAA had disrupted classes, harassed Jewish students, promoted violence, and violated MIT rules.

House Representatives Call on MIT (Credits: NBC News)

In response to CAA’s actions, MIT eventually suspended the group for violating the Institute’s rules on February 13, 2024. However, the Committee alleges that MIT is not enforcing this suspension, citing a recent protest on February 12 where CAA engaged in “hateful chants” and a subsequent blockade of MIT’s main entrance on March 3.

Rep. Foxx also raised concerns about MIT faculty and staff making “antisemitic remarks” and justifying “Palestinian terrorism,” accusing MIT of hypocrisy and selective enforcement of its rules.

The Committee’s request for documents includes reports of antisemitic acts or incidents, disciplinary processes, MIT corporation meetings and minutes, policies concerning donations from foreign sources, and products of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts since January 1, 2023.

MIT has acknowledged receipt of the Committee’s letter and stated that it is examining the request. The university has committed to responding to the Committee’s questions.