The New McCarthyism: Congress Grills Columbia Univ. President Amid Crackdown on Pro-Palestine Speech

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In nearly four hours of grueling congressional testimony before the Republican-led Committee on Education and the Workforce, the president of Columbia University, Nemat “Minouche” Shafik, said she had taken serious action against accusations of antisemitism on campus in recent months amid Israel’s assault on Gaza, including dismissing or removing five faculty members from the classroom, suspending 15 students and suspending two student groups — Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. Shafik’s visit to Capitol Hill is the latest in a series of hearings on alleged antisemitism at elite U.S. private schools. In December, similar hearings led to the resignations of the presidents of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. Our guests Nara Milanich and Rebecca Jordan-Young, both professors at Barnard College and Columbia University, respond to the televised hearings. “What happened at those hearings yesterday should be of grave concern to everybody,” warns Jordan-Young. “What we got was a live performance [of President Shafik] throwing the entire university system under the bus.” Adds Milanich, “Antisemitism here is being used as a wedge. It’s being used as a Trojan horse for a very different political agenda.”

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