Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

    Bill Ackman accuses Harvard, MIT, and UPenn’s presidents of believing that ‘genocide depends on the context’: ‘They must all resign in disgrace’

    Bill Ackman (left) called for the resignation of college presidents such as Harvard’s Claudine Gay (right) on Tuesday. Gay had participated in a congressional hearing on Harvard’s on-campus antisemitism on the same day.

    Bill Ackman has had it with the presidents of Harvard, MIT and UPenn.The presidents were grilled by Congress over their colleges’ response to the Israel-Hamas war.Ackman said all three should “resign in disgrace” for saying that “genocide depends on the context.”

    Bill Ackman has called for the resignation of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania’s presidents following their congressional hearing on antisemitism on Tuesday.

    The billionaire singled out the three college presidents in a post written on X, formerly Twitter, after their testimonies on Capitol Hill.

    “The presidents’ answers reflect the profound educational, moral and ethical failures that pervade certain of our elite educational institutions due in large part to their failed leadership,” Ackman wrote on X.

    “They must all resign in disgrace,” he added.

    The presidents of @Harvard, @MIT, and @Penn were all asked the following question under oath at today’s congressional hearing on antisemitism:

    Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate [your university’s] code of conduct or rules regarding bullying or harassment?


    — Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) December 5, 2023

    The three presidents were repeatedly asked by Rep. Elise Stefanik during the Tuesday congressional hearing if calling for the genocide of Jews violated their universities’ rules on bullying and harassment.

    “If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment,” said University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill.

    Harvard and MIT presidents Claudine Gay and Sally Kornbluth replied similarly to Stefanik’s question.

    “It can be, depending on the context,” Gay replied when asked the same question.

    “I have heard chants which can be antisemitic depending on the context when calling for the elimination of the Jewish people,” Kornbluth said earlier when Stefanik asked if she’d heard chants of “Intifada” on campus. The term is a reference to previous Palestinian uprisings in Gaza.

    Ackman wrote in response to the clip: “If a CEO of one of our companies gave a similar answer, he or she would be toast within the hour.”

    “Why has antisemitism exploded on campus and around the world? Because of leaders like Presidents Gay, Magill and Kornbluth who believe genocide depends on the context,” Ackman continued.

    The hedge fund manager added in a later post that the three institutions would be far better off if they ditched their presidents — quickly.

    “The world will be able to judge the relative quality of the governance at @Harvard, @Penn, and @MIT by the comparative speed by which their boards fire their respective presidents,” he wrote on X.

    Ackman has spent the last two months being vocal on social media on what he believes to be the rise of antisemitism on college campuses. The billionaire has recently become an avowed critic of the response by colleges toward the Israel-Hamas war.

    The Harvard alumnus in October asked his alma mater to out a group of students who signed a pro-Hamas letter blaming Israel for the militant group’s terrorist attack on Israel on October 7.

    Ackman also offered his services to Gay, saying in an open letter on November 4 that he could help address antisemitism at Harvard.

    But Ackman had clearly soured on Gay after Tuesday’s hearing.

    “To think that these are the leaders of Ivy League institutions that are charged with the responsibility to educate our best and brightest,” he wrote in his post.

    Representatives for Ackman, Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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