UPenn Loses $100M Donation After President Refuses to Condemn Calls For Jewish Genocide

Brittany M. Hughes | December 8, 2023
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Turns out encouraging violent, hateful people to call for the outright extermination of an entire ethnic group isn’t a particularly profitable take, as one major university president just found out this week.

Shortly after her major foot-in-mouth feat of verbal gymnastics in front of Congress this week, in which she refused to answer whether students calling for the genocide of the Jews would violate her school’s policy against harassment, University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill is now being asked to resign her position, a demand made even more pointed by the fact that a major donor has now pulled a $100 million gift to the school over her blunder.

In a letter to the school, Ross Stevens, founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management, said he’s pulling the $100 million in limited partnership units with his company because of the school’s stated stance on allowing anti-semitism on its campus, as admitted this week in Magill’s testimony, saying it violates his company’s policy against harassment.

“Among the rules applicable to Stone Ridge are its own anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and the laws of New York state that prohibit workplace discrimination and harassment. For example, Stone Ridge strict prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment based on, among other things, religion. “This prohibition applies to physical conduct, verbal conduct…and visual and/or written conduct,” the letter reads in part.

The letter stated that both Stevens and his company “are appalled by the University's stance on antisemitism on campus,” adding that “Its permissive approach to hate speech calling for violence against Jews and laissez faire attitude toward harassment and discrimination against Jewish students would violate any policies of rules that prohibit harassment and discrimination based on religion, including those of Stone Ridge.”

Related: Dave Portnoy Says He Won't Hire MIT, UPenn, Or Harvard Grads After Schools Refuse To Condemn Antisemitism

Magill and two other university presidents, including MIT’s Sally Kornbluth and Harvard’s Claudine Gay, refused to condemn anti-Semitism and calls for ethnic cleansing against the Jews on their respective campuses when pressed on the issue during a congressional hearing Tuesday. When asked point-blank whether calls for genocide against Jews would violate UPenn’s policy against harassment, Magill told Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik that only “if the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment, yes.”

When pushed to give a simple “yes” or “no” answer, Magill repeated, “It is a context-dependent decision, congresswoman,” openly admitting that there is a “context” in which UPenn would consider calls for the death of Jews to be acceptable on its campus.

Magill then tried to backtrack those comments in a video posted to X later this week, where she called anti-Semitism “evil,” but stopped short of apologizing to the Jewish community.

“I was not focused on, but I should have been, the irrefutable fact that a call for genocide of Jewish people is a call for some of the most terrible violence human beings can perpetrate,” Magill said Wednesday. “It’s evil, plain and simple.”

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