MIT Jewish Student Leader Will Attend State of the Union as Guest of Speaker Mike Johnson

'If we do not stand up to antisemitism now, our universities and our country will be less safe,' says Talia Khan

MIT student Talia Khan speaks at the U.S. Capitol on December 5, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
March 6, 2024

MIT Israel Alliance president Talia Khan will attend the State of the Union as a guest of House Speaker Mike Johnson, the Louisiana Republican told the Washington Free Beacon.

"Talia Khan has courageously exposed the pain many Jewish students are experiencing as antisemites and Hamas sympathizers are supported by Democrat-backed university administrators," Johnson said in a statement. "I’m proud to have Talia join me as my guest for the State of the Union as House Republicans stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters against antisemitism."

Khan, a graduate student at MIT, spoke at a bipartisan House Education and Workforce Committee panel on Thursday, imploring federal lawmakers to hold universities accountable for the wave of campus anti-Semitism seen in the wake of Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

At MIT, one particular student group—the Coalition Against Apartheid—has taken over campus buildings in unsanctioned protests that led to the group's suspension last month. Khan highlighted the group when she testified before Congress in December, saying the Coalition Against Apartheid's "antisemitic rhetoric has shifted the culture on campus to such an extreme of intolerance," one that prompted 70 percent of MIT's Jewish students to hide their identities, according to a poll.

Khan said she is "grateful to Speaker Johnson for standing by Jewish students and academics during this time" and urged Americans to "see support of Jewish students as a nonpartisan issue."

"The rampant antisemitism we are now seeing on campuses all across the country reflects a deep moral rot at the core of our nation's higher educational institutions," she said in a statement. "Those attacking Jewish students not only hold dangerous and unacceptable antisemitic views, but also harbor attitudes completely antithetical to American values."

"If we do not stand up to antisemitism now," Khan continued, "our universities and our country will be less safe, secure, and prosperous for generations to come."

In addition to Khan, Johnson's State of the Union guests include freed Hamas hostage Mia Schem and the parents of detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.