Updated Apr 30, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Congress seeks Yale, UCLA and Michigan testimony on Gaza protests

Rep. Virginia Foxx and House Speaker Mike Johnson speaking into microphones outdoors.

House Education and Welfare Committee Chair Virginia Foxx and House Speaker Mike Johnson at Columbia University on April 24, 2024. Photo: Selcuk Acar/Anadolu via Getty Images.

A Republican-led House committee is inviting leaders from Yale University, the University of Michigan and the University of California Los Angeles to testify in May about pro-Palestinian demonstrations on their campuses.

Why it matters: It's part of an intense focus on college antisemitism in Congress as hundreds of protesters at colleges across the country have been arrested.

  • Presidents of Columbia, Harvard, MIT and Penn have testified in front of the committee in the months since the Israel-Hamas war started in October.
  • The presidents of Penn and Harvard resigned from their positions in the weeks after appearing.
  • The war has coincided with and rising hate crimes in the U.S against Jewish and Muslim people.

Driving the news: House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said Wednesday she will hold a hearing on May 23 entitled "Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos."

  • Foxx said she will invite Yale president Peter Salovey, University of California Los Angeles chancellor Gene Block and UMich president Santa Ono to testify.
  • Spokespeople for the three universities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

What they're saying: "The Committee has a clear message for mealy-mouthed, spineless college leaders: Congress will not tolerate your dereliction of your duty to your Jewish students." Foxx said in a statement.

  • "College is not a park for playacting juveniles or a battleground for radical activists. Everyone affiliated with these universities will receive a healthy dose of reality: actions have consequences."

Zoom out: Antisemitism has been top of mind for lawmakers in both parties in recent weeks.

Editor's note: This developing story has been updated to reflect that an updated committee advisory says University of California Los Angeles chancellor Gene Block, not University of California system president Michael Drake, has been asked to testify.

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