Elon Musk slams Ivy League presidents: 'Clearly, genocide calls are harassment’ - Hindustan Times
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Elon Musk slams Ivy League presidents: 'Clearly, genocide calls are harassment’

Dec 06, 2023 05:28 PM IST

Musk, previously accused of anti-Semitism, pointed out the universities' attempts to find nuance in such a serious matter.

After the recent congressional hearing on antisemitism, Elon Musk criticized the presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT for their responses regarding calls for violence against Jews on their campuses through a tweet on social media platform X. Musk, previously accused of anti-Semitism, pointed out the universities' attempts to find nuance in such a serious matter, emphasizing that calling for genocide constitutes harassment.

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk(REUTERS)
Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk(REUTERS)

The hearing, led by the Republican-led House Committee on Education and the Workforce, focused on alleged antisemitic incidents following the Israel-Hamas conflict. This conflict, triggered by Hamas' attack on Israel, led to a surge in nationwide tensions, resulting in protests and violence in the United States.

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The three university leaders, relatively new in their roles, faced criticism for not explicitly stating that calling for the genocide of Jews constitutes a violation of their harassment policies. Elon Musk joined the discourse, emphasizing, "Calling for the genocide [death] of anyone obviously constitutes harassment."

This exchange during the congressional hearing has sparked considerable controversy, with the presidents' conditional responses drawing scrutiny. The questioning, led by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, unfolded against the backdrop of rising antisemitic incidents following the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The aftermath of the October 7 events triggered protests and violence across the United States, leading to heightened tensions. A joint report by the Anti-Defamation League and Hillel International highlighted a decline in the sense of safety among Jewish students on campuses, emphasizing the need for effective responses from educational institutions.

While the university leaders acknowledged the surge in antisemitic incidents and committed to addressing various forms of hate, the nuanced nature of their responses during the hearing has raised concerns. Critics argue that such a critical issue demands a more unequivocal stance against calls for violence, particularly considering the alarming increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents.

As campuses grapple with these challenges, college and university leaders globally are navigating the delicate balance of safeguarding freedom of expression while combating bias, hatred, and ensuring a safe environment for all students.

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