Here are the answers Harvard, Penn, MIT presidents gave when asked if calls for genocide against Jews are against campus rules. (HINT: none of them are 'yes')

'It is a context-dependent decision.'

During a Tuesday hearing on campus anti-Semitism, Rep. Elise Stefanik repeatedly asked the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT multiple times whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” violates each university’s rules or code of conduct.

Each of the three university presidents refused to answer “yes,” after being asked multiple times whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” violates their own university policies. All three presidents repeatedly suggested that the answer to the question lies in the ‘context’ surrounding the call for genocide. Two suggested that the speech must turn “into conduct” in order to violate the rules. 

Campus Reform has compiled a list of each president’s answers to the question of whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” is against the rules on their own campuses. 

MIT President Sally Kornbluth: 

  • “When targeted at individuals, not making public statements.”

  • “I have not heard calling for the genocide of Jews on our campus.”

Regarding chants for ‘intifada’ on campus: 

  • “I’ve heard chants, which can be anti-Semitic, depending on the context, when calling for the elimination of the Jewish people.”

  • “That would be investigated as harassment if pervasive or severe.”

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill: 

  • “If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment, yes.”

  • “If it is directed, and severe or pervasive, it is harassment.”

  • “It is a context-dependent decision, congresswoman.”

  • “If the speech becomes conduct, it can be harassment, yes.”

  • “It can be harassment.”

Harvard University President Claudine Gay: 

  • “It can be, depending on the context.”

  • When asked what context would be necessary for a rule violation, Gay answered that the call for genocide must be “targeted at an individual.”

  • “Anti-Semitic rhetoric, when it crosses into conduct, it amounts to bullying, harassment, intimidation. That is actionable conduct, and we do take action.”

  • “Again, it depends on the context.”