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January 1, Harvard Alum Al Gore ‘Shocked’ At University President’s ‘Tone-Deafness’ During Antisemitism Hearing

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Former Vice President Al Gore criticized Harvard President Claudine Gay’s “tone-deafness” during last week’s congressional testimony on antisemitism. Gore, a Harvard alumnus, expressed his shock at the university leadership’s comments during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

Gore said, “I was shocked by the tone-deafness of those comments. And I think they got bad legal advice in putting together what they were going to say … they certainly do need to clarify that.”

He added, “We need to respect one another in our country and when statements of the kind that were — they were asked about come out, we need to stand against them and stand firm as Americans for respect for all of the communities that make up America.”

Gay, along with the presidents of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Pennsylvania, testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday about rampant antisemitism on their campuses following Hamas’ October 7 terror attacks on Israel. They faced sharp criticism and calls to resign under fierce Republican questioning about the rise of antisemitism.

During the House hearing titled, “Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism,” Gay shared a tense exchange with Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik.

Stefanik challenged Gay to answer whether a “Harvard student calling for the mass murder of African-Americans is not protected free speech at Harvard, correct?” and asked if she was familiar with the term “intifada.”

Gay said she considered that type of hateful speech “personally abhorrent” and admitted that speech calling for intifada, and therefore genocide against the Jewish people in Israel and around the world, was “at odds with the values of Harvard.”

However, she was not specific when Stefanik asked if those sorts of remarks were against Harvard University’s code of conduct.

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill resigned Saturday after days of criticism following her Congressional hearing.

Stefanik applauded the move and posted on social media, “This is only the very beginning of addressing the pervasive rot of antisemitism that has destroyed the most ‘prestigious’ higher education institutions in America.” She also called on “@Harvard and @MIT” to “do the right thing. The world is watching.”

Magill and Gay both attempted to walk back their rhetoric after they were hit for their comments during the testimony.

Why It Matters (op-ed)

Al Gore’s criticism of Harvard President Claudine Gay’s “tone-deafness” during the congressional hearing on antisemitism is a much-needed wake-up call. University leaders must not only condemn antisemitism but take decisive action against it.

The fact that Harvard’s president struggled to clarify her stance on hateful speech is deeply concerning. University campuses should be safe spaces for students of all backgrounds, and leaders must ensure that hateful ideologies do not take root.

This incident highlights the need for universities to address the rise of antisemitism head-on. It’s time for institutions like Harvard and MIT to take a stand and demonstrate that they will not tolerate such hatred on their campuses.

As our loyal readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions on this issue. Let your voice be heard and join the discussion below.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Robert Milan

    December 15, 2023 at 8:07 am

    Harvard and MIT should rid themselves of the hate mongers leading institutions of higher learning instead of turning them to institutions of bigotry and hate.

  2. laurie s kurs

    December 15, 2023 at 10:25 am

    It is incomprehensible to believe that in her position as the leader of the University – her reluctance, refusal, her resistance in affirming that ALL her students need to believe and feel…that everyone on campus is safe, respected and welcomed merely exposed her personal beliefs. Lacking any suggestion of sympathy or positing equal treatment for all her students…says it all. I daresay if the KKK was rallying on the campus, shouting hateful threats to her African-American students…she would have something to say…and would likely stop it. But, HAMAS supporters, chanting hateful slogans, and whose charter calls for death to Jews….GENOCIDE…NO PROBLEM!!
    Too bad ignorance prevails…. Posters with the slogan FREE PALESTINE….Free Palestine from WHOM???? Most of these “Hamas” activists have no clue!!! If ISIS was condemned by the world, and Hamas has been labeled a terrorist organization….. To have sympathy for a recognized terror organization, whose supporters are threatening your students, and you – as the leader – hem and haw basically defending HAMAS ———explains it all.

  3. Ed

    January 23, 2024 at 10:10 am

    Well said Laurie, your comments should be posted on the front page of every news paper, magazine or other forms of written media. We as a nation need to wake up not “woke” and realize the damage that these higher learning (I sometimes question that phrase) institutions are doing to our young people. We are all created equal and as such should respect our fellow human beings no matter their ethnic roots. It’s a sad commentary to how far we have digressed.

  4. Timothy

    January 23, 2024 at 10:34 am

    just like Algore is tone deaf to the socialism, that We the People are against paying for.

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