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"If you're scared, just go back to Israel"

2023-12-06 (#189)

Listen to the incredible Talia Kahn, a student at MIT. When faculty members say, "If you're scared, just go back to Israel," it seems like MIT hasn’t failed in protecting Jewish students on Campus. It hasn't failed, because failure implies an attempt. "This is not my job" says Kahn. @MIT

Video Transcription:

Thank you so much, Representative Fox and

Representative Stefanik, for inviting me here today.

My name is Talia Khan.

I am an undergraduate alumna of MIT

and a current graduate student at MIT.

I am the daughter of a Jewish

mother and an Afghan Muslim immigrant father.

I am the proud president of the MIT Israel

Alliance, and I am a Jewish student current immersed

in an extremely toxic anti Semitic atmosphere at MIT.

The MIT administration, namely President Sally Kornbluff,

has failed to address the cris of

rampant anti Semitism on campus.

There is a radical anti Israel

group at MIT called the CAA.

In recent weeks, the CAA's antisemitic rhetoric has shifted

the culture on campus to such an extreme of

intolerance that 70% of MIT's Jewish students polled feel

forced to hide their identities and perspectives.

An Israeli student whose identity and personal info was sold

online for a bounty has not left his dorm room

in weeks out of fear due to death threats.

For my part, I was forced to leave my

study group for my doctoral exams halfway through the

semester because my group members told me that the

people at the Nova Music Festival deserved to die

because they were partying on stolen land.

After a postdoc at MIT said that Jewish Israelis want

to enslave the world in a global apartheid system, he

falsely claimed that Israel harvests Palestinian organs and implied that

the, quote, average Israeli is a Nazi.

The DEI officer of his department replied by

telling us that nothing he said was hate

speech and that the organ harvesting conspiracy theory

was, quote, confirmed. Day after day.

The MIT administration has failed to enforce its

own rules on anti Semitic actors such as

the Interfaith chaplain intimidating Jewish students.

DEI staff publicly declaring that Israel

has no right to exist.

Faculty dismissing student concerns for their safety by

telling them that if they are scared, they

should just go back to Israel.

CAA protesters blocking the hallways, storming the offices

of the MIT Israel Internship offices and harassing

the staff and faculty there and inviting dangerous

outsiders to campus to join them in yelling

hateful and violent chants.

This is the same climate of anti Semitism that

has led to massacres of Jews throughout the centuries.

This is not just harassment.

This is our lives on the line.

The MIT administration has punted disciplinary processes to a

faculty committee on discipline, which has thus far not

received a single one of our complaints.

MIT Admin has even failed to staff

a new task force against hate, which

will dually combat anti Semitism and Islamophobia.

This atmosphere is intolerable.

Jewish students do not believe that the

MIT administration has done an adequate job

to make students feel safe on campus.

President Kornbluff, please let me go

back to being a scientist.

Let me go back to being a student.

I don't want to have to keep

advocating for Jewish student safety on campus.

It's not my job.

It's your job.

Please do your job and act now.

And if you can't, I'm asking Congress to do it for you.

Thank you.

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