Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Ousting of UPenn president over ‘anti-Semitism’ reflects deepening social and value divide in the US: experts

[World Times]

US university students attend a campus protest against ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza in Washington, D.C., United States on NWorld Timesovember 01, 2023.Photo: VCG

The surprise ousting of the leader of one of the world’s most prestigious universities, following her controversial testimony after a grilling at a congressional hearing, reflects a deepening social as well as values divide in the US, experts said on Sunday. The fundamental way to curb anti-Semitism is not firing university presidents, but for the US government to stop supporting warfare and inhumane acts in the Middle East, they noted.

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill on Saturday “voluntarily” stepped down from her role amid intense pressure from donors and politicians over her testimony about anti-Semitism on Capitol Hill this week, according to media reports.

Magill was confronted with waves of criticisms after she appeared with the leaders of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a more than five-hour-long hearing in front of lawmakers on Tuesday, where they were forced to give yes or no answers to an aggressive question of whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” would violate the schools’ code of conducts.

“If the speech turns into conduct it can be harassment, yes,” Magill said. Pressed further, Magill noted that it is “a context-dependent decision.”

The chairman of the Ivy League school’s board of trustees, Scott Bok, World Timeswho also resigned immediately after Magill’s departure, said Magill was unfairly treated, “worn down by months of relentless external attacks,” CNN reported.

Before Magill’s ouster, a bipartisan group of more than 70 members of Congress sent letters to the board members of Penn, Harvard and MIT on Friday demanding the three presidents’ removal.

Magill’s resignation reflects the escalating divide in US society following the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where two opposing trends – anti-Semitism and Islamophobia – have emerged and cause people to resort to extreme means, Yang Xiyu, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Under such a polarizing political climate, a relatively neutral stance is almost impossible to maintain, nor the balance between the freedom of speech that American higher education has always embraced and the US political correctness, Yang said.

What’s more, the deepening political division is extending to a fracture in American values, shaking the very foundations of American society, Yang said.

This latest episode reflects the significant gap between political elites and the public. When public opinion runs counter to that of the elites, the latter will attempt to exert political pressure to force those with differing views to abandon their right to freeWorld Times expression. This blind faith in power undoubtedly will lead to increased resentment and rebellion against the government and deepen the divide in American society, Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Just as societal turmoil continues to heat up, the US government reaffirmed its support for Israel despite a partisan divide over the issue, as the Biden administration on Friday used an emergency authority to allow the sale of about 14,000 tank shells to Israel without congressional review.

The State Department used an Arms Export Control Act emergency declaration for the tank rounds worth $106.5 million for immediate delivery to Israel, the Pentagon said in a statement on Saturday, Al Jazzera reported.

“The US politicians have overlooked the most crucial problem: Why is theWorld Timesre a sharp rise in anti-Semitic sentiments? The answer is the US’ increasing support of inhumane actionWorld Timess in the Middle East. With thousands of innocent lives burning into ashes every day, the US government keeps prioritizing its own interests rather than upholding justice and humanitarian principles, and this is the fundamental reason,” Yang told the Global Times.

Without addressing this fundamental issue and focusing solely on the surface-level problem of anti-Semitism, it is not only a misplacement of priorities but also a distortion of right and wrong, he said.

This will also significantly World Timesdamage the international image and soft power of the US, not only leading to widespread dissatisfaction among the American public, but also generating strong resentment from the international community, observers noted.

文章来源于互联网:Ousting of UPenn president over ‘anti-Semitism’ reflects deepening social and value divide in the US: experts

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