Congress Continues Antisemitism Theater With Northwestern, President on the Hot Seat

There was another performance of antisemitism theater during a hearing by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Republican members were able to make three university presidents extremely uncomfortable and in some cases expose their hypocrisy by questioning their actions during the pro-Palestinian/Hamas protests on campus. 

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In truth, the committee has yet to get serious about antisemitism on campus. If they did, they’d bore in on why the Palestinian cause on campus is so well funded and investigate just who is doing the funding.

Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) took a stab at uncovering some of that information. He questioned Northwestern President Michael Schill about the propriety of the school receiving $600 million from the pro-Hamas, pro-Iranian government of Qatar.

“Do you think it’d be a good idea for the University of Northwestern to partner with a government that harbors terrorist Hamas, and Iranian operatives who fund terrorism? Yes or no?” Owens asked Schill.

“I’m not going to engage in yes or no answers,” Schill responded.

“Obviously, you don’t have a problem with that,” Owens said.

That’s not what he said, but a follow-up question to Schill might have been, “Why can’t you answer yes or no?” The answer is so obviously “no” that Schill not being able to say that raises questions about what kind of strings were attached to that $600 million.

“I’m really quite offended by you telling me what my views are,” Schill interjected. 

Owens is filling in the spaces Schill left blank. What did he expect?

“Let me get you aware of it then. Because Al Jazeera, because of their pro-Hamas reporting, the Secretary of State Anthony Blinken asked the Qatar prime minister to tone down Al Jazeera’s anti-Israel incitement,” he said.

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Northwestern was one of a handful of schools that capitulated to the demands of the pro-Palestinian protesters and promised to study the question of divestment from Israel. This drew a sharp rebuke from Adam Lehman, the president and chief executive of Hillel International. Lehman understood the need to de-escalate the situation but capitulation was unnecessary.

“At the same time, it has been truly insult upon injury to have institutions of higher education literally cave to the demands of students and non-students who so brazenly violated every rule in the book — and in a way that specifically directed harassment, intimidation, and silencing of so many other students,” Lehman said.

Schill defended the deal. “We had to get the encampment down,” Schill said. “The police solution was not going to be available to us to keep people safe, and also may not be the wisest solution as we’ve seen at other campuses across the country.”

What we’ve seen at other campuses was a restoration of order with minimal bloodshed.

Fox News:

The House Education and Workforce Committee previously requested information from the school related to its ties with Al Jazeera, which is funded by the Qatari government, after students and alumni penned a letter arguing the partnership may have violated the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952, the Washington Free Beacon previously reported. The act outlines that Americans cannot provide “training, expert advice, or assistance” to terrorist organizations. 

The Qatar embassy released a statement Thursday on social media stating that for months, “Qatar has been the target of disinformation campaign that aims to weaken our partnership with the US and undermine Qatar’s important work as global mediator. Together with the US, we will not let it succeed.”

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Schill was also asked about Northwestern’s associate journalism professor Steven Thrasher who has openly supported Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel. 

“If the Jews being shot and shoveled into ovens could just break through that wall, of course, they would kill anyone they found partying right on the other side of it! And, of course, they would take women and children hostage and drag them back into their hell inside if doing so would give them leverage to free their fellow Jews from torture and death!” he wrote. 

Thrasher is still teaching at Northwestern.

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