House committee opens antisemitism probe of Northwestern

May 13, 2024
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A few days after summoning Northwestern University President Michael Schill to testify in a hearing next week, the House Education and Workforce Committee announced it is opening an investigation into how the university has responded to reports of antisemitism on campus.

Representative Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the committee, requested a batch of documents Friday with a deadline of May 17. The committee has specifically asked for documents and communications since April 24 related to the pro-Palestinian encampment that students set up on campus, along with any video or audio recordings or police body-camera footage. Additionally, the committee wants any documents related to antisemitism incidents on campus since Oct. 7. The committee is also seeking information about donations to Northwestern from Qatari sources.

In a 13-page letter, Foxx criticized Schill for negotiating with students who built the encampment. While some university leaders have called in campus and local law enforcement to clear out the protesters, students at Northwestern were allowed to remain in their encampment until June 1 if they took down the tents. The university agreed in turn to provide scholarships for five Palestinian undergraduates. In response to the university’s agreement with the student protesters, seven members of the president’s committee to prevent antisemitism resigned.

“The unlawful pro-terror encampment, dubbed the ‘Northwestern Liberated Zone,’ disrupted campus life and became a hotspot for pervasive antisemitic harassment and hostility,” Foxx wrote. “Rather than enforcing university rules and disciplining those who violated them, Northwestern’s leaders surrendered to the violators in a shameful agreement.”

Foxx, who has asked several university leaders to testify before her committee, added Schill and Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway to the witness list for the upcoming May 23 hearing after both reached agreements with protesting students.



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