The University of Pennsylvania is coming under fire by those who oppose anti-Semitism for their hosting of the Palestine Writes festival over the weekend. According to the Washington Free Beacon, the university’s president, Liz Magill, seems to have become a major champion of free speech, but only as it relates to anti-semitism.
The Palestine Writes festival included a line-up of raging anti-Semites. Among them was the former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who has worn Nazi regalia and hung an inflatable pig featuring the Jewish star from the rafters at one of his concerts.
Magill released a statement acknowledging that “many have raised deep concerns” about the anti-Semitic views of some of the speakers in attendance. The school newspaper also wrote up the criticism referencing “past comments labeled as antisemitic by some.”
Hiding behind the cover of “free speech,” the university has not condemned antisemitism in regard to the festivalis, but their attempt to look like avid champions of the First Amendment is not working. Their past commentary on racism and the fact that a professor had her tenure revoked due to allegedly speaking politically incorrect shows their “free speech” advocacy only applies to some, and anti-Semites can be assured they will have a voice on campus.
The University of Pennsylvania has seen vandalism to their Chabad’s sukkah and Hillel buildings, and a swastika was found at a university building.
The Free Beacon reports, “Penn’s former president, Amy Gutmann, issued an official statement in the wake of George Floyd’s death, making clear that she wanted ‘Penn’s African American students, faculty, and staff to know how much they and their contributions to our community are treasured,’ while Magill offered no view on Waters and his allies at the Palestine Writes festival.”