State Legislators Vote to Slash Budget at Penn Following University’s Failure to Take Stance Against Anti-Semitism

Pennsylvania State House Withholds Funding from University in Response to Anti-Semitism Controversy

In a dramatic move to confront anti-Semitism, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to withhold more than $33 million in funding from the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school. The decision came in response to the university’s perceived ambivalence regarding anti-Semitism, as reported by The Associated Press.

This action came after the resignation of the university’s president, Liz Magill, on December 9. Magill faced pressure to step down after she refused to clearly denounce campus anti-Semitism during testimony before Congress.

Although the funding received simple majorities in two votes, it failed to meet the state constitutional requirement of a two-thirds majority. Most Republicans opposed the funding, while all Democrats supported it.

Republican floor leader Bryan Cutler of Lancaster stated that Magill’s resignation was a start, but emphasized that more needs to be done to combat anti-Semitism at the university. He argued that until the university takes tangible steps to root out and denounce anti-Semitism, he could not support the funding.

The funding cut is not permanent, according to a spokesman for Cutler’s office. There will be an additional process to decide whether the funding will be agreed to in the future.

The controversy stemmed from Magill’s response to a question from Rep. Elise Stefanik during her congressional testimony. When asked whether calling for the genocide of Jews violated Penn’s rules or code of conduct, Magill’s response was deemed as ambiguous and unsatisfactory.

Despite issuing an apology, Magill resigned, while Harvard’s president, Claudine Gay, who made similar comments, remains in her position with the support of the university’s board and faculty and students.

Penn Vet Chief Communication Officer Martin Hackett expressed disappointment over the funding cut, emphasizing that the school has continued to fulfill its educational and service missions to the Commonwealth.

With the funding cut, many may view the move by the legislature as draconian. However, given the prevalence of anti-Semitism on university campuses, the decision to halt the funding can be seen as a step in the right direction in combating this issue.

Anti-Semitic incidents, including physical harassment and threats directed at Jewish individuals, have occurred at some U.S. universities. This has highlighted the lack of accountability by many academics who often claim academic freedom as they promote harmful causes.

The move by the Pennsylvania legislature to address anti-Semitism could serve as a model for other states to follow. Lawmakers must confront issues such as critical race theory, diversity, equity, and inclusion, the denigration of Western civilization, and censorship on university campuses.

While addressing various concerns, combating anti-Semitism must be the top priority. Some Republicans have introduced bills aimed at combating anti-Semitism at Pennsylvania state educational institutions, and legislators across the country should take notice of these efforts.

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