House Republicans Call for University Leaders To Testify as Anti-Israel Protests Sweep Nation

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)
May 1, 2024

House Republicans on Tuesday called for the presidents of Yale University, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Los Angeles, to testify in front of Congress amid anti-Israel protests across college campuses nationwide.

"The [House Education and Workforce Committee] has a clear message for mealy-mouthed, spineless college leaders: Congress will not tolerate your dereliction of your duty to your Jewish students," the committee’s chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R., N.C.) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Republican-led House committee will hold a hearing on May 23—titled "Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos"—to hear testimony from Yale president Peter Salovey, University of Michigan president Santa Ono, and UCLA president Gene Block, according to the statement.

"No stone must go unturned while buildings are being defaced, campus greens are being captured, or graduations are being ruined," Foxx said of the anti-Israel demonstrations that have recently sprung up at many of America’s top universities, including Columbia University, Yale, Michigan, UCLA, and Harvard University.

"College is not a park for playacting juveniles or a battleground for radical activists," the North Carolina Republican added. "Everyone affiliated with these universities will receive a healthy dose of reality: Actions have consequences."

The House committee late last year summoned Harvard president Claudine Gay, Penn president Liz Magill, and MIT president Sally Kornbluth in response to unprecedented spikes in anti-Semitic incidents on their campuses. 

The three university leaders sparked national controversy when they suggested to the committee that calling for the genocide of Jews would not necessarily violate their schools’ code of conduct. Magill resigned just days after the hearing, while Gay fended off initial pressure but stepped down after allegations of plagiarism in her academic work surfaced.