Smiley face
Weather     Live Markets

House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik accused Columbia University President Dr. Nemat “Minouche” Shafik of attempting to cover up for a professor who celebrated the Oct. 7 attacks, during her congressional testimony. Stefanik warned that misleading Congress is a felony and criticized Shafik for failing to take action against the pro-terrorist and antisemitic professor, Joseph Massad. She accused Columbia of trying to cover up Shafik’s lies on the matter and called for immediate action to remove Massad, who had made hateful statements. Stefanik described Shafik’s testimony as a refusal to address rampant antisemitism on campus and an affront to Jewish students and faculty at Columbia.

During a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing, House Republicans questioned Shafik about the antisemitism at Columbia and specifically about Professor Joseph Massad’s article praising the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas militants in southern Israel as “awesome.” Shafik testified that Massad had been spoken to by the head of his department and his dean, who told him his language was unacceptable. However, Massad later contradicted this, stating that he had received support from his department chair and deans based on death threats he had received. He also claimed not to have been contacted by the university regarding any investigation until he learned of it during the hearing.

Stefanik pressed Shafik on why Massad remained listed as chair on the university’s website if he had been removed from the position. Shafik initially claimed Massad was no longer chair but later recanted, saying she needed to confirm his current status. Stefanik questioned Shafik about whether she would commit to removing Massad as chair, to which Shafik said she would confirm his current status before replying. Massad reportedly stated he intended to remain on the committee for another three-year term and that he would be leaving his role as chair due to term limits, without any disciplinary action.

The issue of Professor Massad’s celebration of the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas militants as “awesome” has raised concerns about antisemitism at Columbia University. House Republicans grilled President Shafik over the university’s response to Massad’s statements and the lack of disciplinary action taken. Stefanik accused Shafik of misleading Congress and failing to address the seriousness of the situation, which she described as an affront to Jewish students and faculty. Despite claims that Massad faced consequences for his article, his statements to the media contradicted Shafik’s testimony, leading to further questions about the university’s handling of the situation.

The controversy involving Professor Joseph Massad and his article praising the Oct. 7 attacks has sparked a heated debate over antisemitism and free speech on college campuses. The conflicting statements from President Shafik and Massad regarding disciplinary action and leadership roles have raised questions about transparency and accountability at Columbia University. House Republicans have called for a thorough investigation into the matter and for swift action to address any instances of antisemitism or support for terrorism within the academic community. The university’s response to these allegations will likely have far-reaching implications for the campus climate and relations with the Jewish community.

© 2024 Globe Echo. All Rights Reserved.