House Education Committee chair demands answers after Northwestern University caves to anti-Israel agitators

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., the chairwoman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, sent a letter to Northwestern University leaders on Friday, demanding answers on an agreement reached with anti-Israel agitators. In the letter, Foxx announces her committee has opened an investigation into the university’s “response to antisemitism and its failure to protect Jewish students.” She demands documents and communications concerning the encampment and alleged antisemitic incidents that have taken place at Northwestern since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, in addition to other materials. “I have grave concerns regarding Northwestern’s persistent failure in addressing antisemitism,” Foxx writes. The letter comes after Northwestern’s top administrators — including President Michael Schill — have faced intense criticism over an agreement with student protesters to end an illegal encampment on campus. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY HIT WITH FEDERAL COMPLAINT AFTER CAVING TO ANTI-ISRAEL MOB’S DEMANDS”Most recently, Northwestern’s decision to capitulate to antisemitic, pro-terror encampment organizers prompted seven members of Northwestern’s antisemitism advisory committee to resign in protest and for three national Jewish organizations, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Louis D. Brandeis Center, and StandWithUs, jointly to call for President Schill’s resignation or removal,” Foxx’s letter states.The so-called “Northwestern Liberated Zone” was established on April 29, 2024, by a group of students and faculty who staged an unauthorized five-day anti-Israel protest and encampment on Deering Meadow at Northwestern University in Illinois. It was part of the nationwide movement that began at Columbia University with students and Hamas supporters demanding that institutions of higher learning fully divest from Israel and condemn the war in Gaza.Under the agreement, Northwestern said it plans to cover the full cost of attendance for five Palestinian students who attend the school for the duration of their undergraduate careers.The agreement also provides for immediate temporary space for [Middle East and North Africa] MENA/Muslim students and a house for MENA/Muslim students that is conducive to community building as soon as practically possible, or sometime after 2026.NORTHWESTERN PROFESSOR, WHOSE SCHOOL GAVE IN TO ANTI-ISRAEL AGITATORS, IS SON OF NOTORIOUS TERRORIST RADICALSNorthwestern’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) celebrated the deal as “a landmark victory made in our struggle for palestinian liberation,” and, Foxx’s letter notes, “an important step toward our ultimate goal: divestment from Israel (emphasis in original).” “The unlawful pro-terror encampment, dubbed the ‘Northwestern Liberated Zone,’ disrupted campus life and became a hotspot for pervasive antisemitic harassment and hostility,” Foxx writes. “Rather than enforcing University rules and disciplining those who violated them, Northwestern’s leaders surrendered to the violators in a shameful agreement.”After a strong condemnation of the agreement, Foxx cites several examples of alleged “crimes and antisemetic incidents” that have occurred at or around the encampment, including assault, obstruction of justice, harassment and theft.Such incidents include an April 25 confrontation when protesters physically resisted Northwestern University Police officers who attempted to clear the encampment. Faculty members participated in the demonstration, including Steven Thrasher, the Medill School’s Daniel H. Renberg Chair of Social Justice in Reporting. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT CALLS ON STUDENTS TO CONDEMN ANTISEMITIC PHRASES; SCHOOL GROUP CLAPS BACKOn the same day, a Jewish Northwestern student was reportedly assaulted by an encampment member while recording the encampment, according to video posted on X. Other Jewish students reported harassment from protesters, including a woman who said she was “told to go back to Germany and get gassed,” and a student wearing a yarmulke who reported being spat at as he walked past the encampment.Foxx’s letter also points to antisemitic incidents at Northwestern University that predate the encampment, including a Jewish student who was “called a terrorist and a colonizer” after she wrote an op-ed discussing antisemitism at the university. It also cites a statement from Northwestern’s SJP issued in response to the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which stated, “the occupied and oppressed have the undeniable right to resist and seek their freedom without stigmatization as instigators and terrorists.” Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, killed 1,200 Israelis as they brutally raped, tortured and murdered their way through southern Israel during the Oct. 7 attack, taking some 250 captives back to Gaza.SEVERAL ANTISEMITISM COMMITTEE MEMBERS RESIGN AFTER NORTHWESTERN MAKES DEAL WITH ANTI-ISRAEL AGITATORSThe letter notes at least seven other examples of alleged antisemitic incidents at Northwestern that took place before the encampment and at least 13 that happened since April 25. “The record makes clear that President Schill and other Northwestern leaders have not only failed to address the pervasive antisemitic harassment and disruptions of a safe learning environment that have plagued the University in a serious manner, but have also surrendered to the malefactors responsible for this hatred and chaos,” Foxx writes. “This is an unacceptable dereliction of duty.” Northwestern University did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Schill wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune published Thursday that stated that “University presidents are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the wave of protests and tent encampments on our campuses.”The column was titled “Here’s why I reached an agreement with Northwestern protesters.”Schill wrote that anti-Israel protesters at Northwestern “asked for several changes to university policy, including divestment from Israel and the end of an academic program that focused on Israeli innovation. We said a flat no to both. But we did say we understood their isolation and alienation and wanted to work with them to improve life at Northwestern for Muslim students and students from the Middle East and North Africa.””Ultimately, we came to an agreement that they would take down the tent encampment and bring the demonstration into compliance with our rules and regulations,” Schill said, adding that the school has agreed to “establish a house for Muslim and Middle Eastern students to eat, pray and socialize, something already enjoyed by our Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Black and female students,” among other changes.Fox News Digital’s Greg Norman, Greg Wehner and Jon Street contributed to this report.
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