Rutgers joins growing list of schools under GOP House investigation for antisemitism

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(JTA) – A Republican-led House committee has launched its latest in a series of investigations into campus antisemitism, this time focusing on Rutgers University.

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The House Education and Workforce Committee, chaired by North Carolina GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx, issued a long list of document requests to the New Jersey state school’s leadership Wednesday. Rutgers, whose flagship campus is in New Brunswick, has one of the largest populations of Jewish students of any public school in the country, according to Hillel International.

Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, Foxx has previously launched investigations into schools including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — the schools at the center of a December hearing on antisemitism put on by the committee that led to the resignation of two of the schools’ presidents. The committee has also investigated the University of California, Berkeley, following high-profile allegations of antisemitism. The committee has taken the additional step of subpoenaing Harvard for related documents, saying the university was not cooperating with its request.

“Rutgers stands out for the intensity and pervasiveness of antisemitism on its campuses,” Foxx wrote in her letter to the school’s leadership. “Rutgers senior administrators, faculty, staff, academic departments and centers, and student organizations have contributed to the development of a pervasive climate of antisemitism.”

“Rutgers takes claims of antisemitism, and all forms of bias and intolerance, very seriously,” a university spokesperson said in a statement about the documents request. The university is also the subject of a Department of Education Title VI discrimination investigation into allegations involving antisemitism near the beginning of the war.

Of particular interest to the committee is Rutgers’ center for Muslim and South Asian studies, called the Center for Security, Race and Rights. The center, Foxx claimed, “has become notorious as a hotbed of radical antisemitic, anti-American, anti-Israel, and pro-terrorist activity,” citing examples of faculty statements and activities, many of which predated Oct. 7.

The center frequently distributes pro-Palestinian talking points. On Wednesday it promoted a lecture defending the phrase “From the river to the sea,” a frequent pro-Palestinian chant that proponents say is a call for Palestinian freedom but that Jewish groups depict as an antisemitic call for the destruction of Israel.

The committee also demonstrated an interest in investigating the university’s diversity, equity and inclusion office’s approach to Jewish-themed issues, and the school’s handling of its Students for Justice in Palestine chapter. Rutgers officials suspended the school’s SJP chapter last semester.


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Bernhard H. Rosenberg
Bernhard H. Rosenberg
3 months ago

Bernhard Rosenberg
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joe_j._gindi_testimony.pdf (house.gov)