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McConnell: In Ivy League, basic grasp of history, theology, geography ‘in very short supply’

“If moral clarity does not prevail—in the ivory tower and in the Biden administration—this could go down as a particularly shameful moment in our history,” the Senate minority leader said.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 6, 2014. Credit: Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 6, 2014. Credit: Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock.

Top U.S. colleges are making headlines for all of the wrong reasons, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

“They’re still finding new ways to embarrass themselves with vile, antisemitic radicalism. Beginning, of course, with yet more alarming declarations, like: ‘Burn Tel Aviv to the ground.’ ‘Freedom for Palestine means death to America.’ ‘Oct. 7 is going to be every day for you,'” he said.

Students are supporting terror groups, like Hamas and Hezbollah, according to the Senate minority leader.

“They’ve been joined on the picket lines by faculty members for whom radical antisemitism is merely an extension of their day jobs in post-modern indoctrination. Last week, Columbia’s encampment was even visited by a member of Congress, who accused some Jewish students of being, ‘pro-genocide,'” he said.

“It’s unclear whether the student radicals or the shadowy groups organizing these disruptions are actual ‘fifth columns’ for adversaries trying to corrode American society from within or just unwitting pawns,” he added. “What is clear is that basic comprehension of history, theology and geography is in very short supply in the Ivy League.”

McConnell noted antisemitism at Columbia University, Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Los Angeles.

“The hateful ideas pouring out of campus encampments are not new to America’s universities,” he said. “The world’s oldest form of hate has been alive and well in higher education for quite some time now.”

McConnell noted the “vile” boycott Israel movement and “the establishment of outfits like the Rutgers Center for Security, Race and Rights,” which he called “forces of bigotry” that “have been on the move.”

“These forces have powerful friends: President [Joe] Biden’s nominee for the Third Circuit, Adeel Mangi, has long been a patron of the Rutgers center,” he said. “In fact, as new evidence indicates, he’s played a much more active and enthusiastic role than he described to our colleagues on the Judiciary Committee.”

“Let’s get it straight: Radicalism has no place in higher education or on the federal bench,” McConnell said.

“Antisemitism is not a nuanced academic theory. It is not just one of many ‘difficult viewpoints,’ as the White House press secretary seemed to suggest yesterday in reference to campus disruptions,” he added. “It is not justified by political disagreements with Israel and its government. It is not entitled to take over campuses and make life miserable for Jewish students.”

“If moral clarity does not prevail—in the ivory tower and in the Biden administration—this could go down as a particularly shameful moment in our history,” he added.

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