Tuesday, July 23, 2024

In the US, the president of the University of Pennsylvania resigned four days after being investigated by Congress


University of Pennsylvania (Penn) President Elizabeth Magill resigned on Saturday, December 9, four days after she testified before Congress about anti-Semitic abuses on Penn, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology campuses. MIT). Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Republican from New York state, is investigating whether the call for the genocide of the Jews violates the university’s regulations on intimidation or harassment.

Elizabeth Magill’s response, so quiet, provoked a universal outcry. “If speech turns into behavior, it can be harassment.”He announced, explaining that Tuesday, December 5, is the end of qualifying “depending on context”. This statement about the “context” was fueled by anti-Semitic comments at a Palestinian literary festival this summer that lacked a positive reaction, and he refused to cancel it.

Elizabeth Magill, 57, was the first university president to be swept away by the turmoil. As of Wednesday evening, he was trying to minimize the damage. “I focused on the long-standing principles of our university, aligned with the U.S. Constitution, which says that speech alone is not objectionable. I was not focused on the indisputable fact, but I should have been that calling for the genocide of the Jewish people is a call for the most atrocious violence that human beings can commit. It is evil, simple. , He apologized in a video.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers In the United States, three presidents of prestigious universities have been accused of “downplaying” anti-Semitic abuse on their campuses.

This lawyer, trained at Yale, passed Stanford, and came to Penn in 2022 as a champion of free speech. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution (“ Congress makes no laws (…) Freedom of expression should be curtailed »), making it an almost absolute right, unlike in Europe where freedom of expression is limited.

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Congressional hearings are prepared with attorneys who must not deviate from the legal framework their clients have agreed to in advance. Conclusion: Elizabeth McGill, like her colleagues from Harvard and MIT, got lost during her exam.

Angry billionaire donors

Elizabeth McGill had been under fire for weeks from wealthy donors to her university. Roland Lauder, Estee Lauder’s successor and president of the World Jewish Congress, announced in October that he would freeze his donations: “I have spent the last forty years of my life fighting against anti-Semitism throughout the world. I never in my imagination thought that I would fight him in my own university. » Former US Ambassador to China John Huntsman added “closed the checkbook”Estimate that « [le] Moral relativism [de l’université] » He returned it “unidentified”.

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