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‘Disgraceful’: Rep. Foxx criticizes Northwestern for deal with pro-Palestinian activists

President downplays special hiring, scholarships for 

Northwestern University’s deal with pro-Palestinian activists is “disgraceful,” according to Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.

The North Carolina representative made the comments to open Thursday’s House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on “Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos.”

The hearing included Northwestern President Michael Schill, as well as the leaders of Rutgers University, and the University of California Los Angeles.

President Schill, during questioning by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, said the concessions were part of normal programming. He also said during his opening statement he made the agreement as the best way to end the encampment without further problems.

Northwestern agreed to provide five full-ride scholarships to Palestinian students, hire “two [Palestinian] faculty per year for two years,” and provide a house for Middle Eastern and Muslim students. The school also agreed to re-establish an investment advisory committee for its holdings, which will include students.

The elite university in Evanston, Illinois previously did not respond to multiple email and phone inquiries from The College Fix in the past weeks, asking about the legality of the Palestinian-only scholarships, potential funds for Israeli students, and for other general comments.

But during the hearing, Schill said the hiring of Middle Eastern professors was part of a longstanding initiative to support academics from “war-torn countries.” He made similar comments about the agreement to give full-ride scholarships to Palestinian students and said Israelis would have the same opportunity.

“It is not a new program,” he said, saying the Buffet Institute program has previously supported students from war-torn countries. He also said during the house for Muslim students was already in the works, due to their need for a place for prayer. He said the school had worked with Jewish students, Catholics, and Lutherans to help them obtain a proper place.

Rep. Foxx had asked Schill how the “quotas comply with the Civil Rights Act.”

The agreement came after students camped out on Deering Meadow for weeks, as previously reported by The College Fix.

Schill criticized the “despicable spike in antisemitism” on college campuses following the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack. He said he was “personally” “alarmed” due to losing family members in the Holocaust. He said he had family who lived in Israel. The university will modify its student handbook to address conduct issues and said it is creating a task force on antisemitism.

The university did not give into the student’s demands, Schill said, and noted that the school declined to divest from Israel.

He said during the hearing the advisory board to investments had existed before, the school already intended to restart it, and Northwestern has no plans to boycott or divest from Israel.

Jewish advocate calls agreement ‘outrageous,’ and ‘horrifying’

A City University of New York law professor who advocates against antisemitism criticized the deal in a phone interview with The Fix last week.

The deal “is a commitment to increasing antisemitism,” Professor Jeffrey Lax told The Fix.

He leads Students, Alumni, and Faculty for Equality on Campus, a group in support of Jewish individuals at CUNY.

Lax called it “outrageous” that Northwestern “even negotiat[ed] with people who have committed violence, people who have called for death to America, death to Zionists.”

The professor questioned how Northwestern would find suitable candidates, citing a poll that found only 10 percent of Palestinians in Israel believe Hamas committed war crimes. “How are you going to find the 10 percent,” he asked rhetorically during the interview.

He said “the whole concept to begin with is horrifying to me that they’re even negotiating with them to begin with…”

The pro-Palestinian activists are “not the victims, the victims are Jewish people who can’t walk to class safely, the victims are Americans whose values are being lied about, being misrepresented.”

“So, to bring in more of these people, I don’t know how you do that statistically,” he said, commenting on the scholarships for Palestinian students.

“I’m very pro-immigrant, my parents are immigrants, but it has to be done the right way, people have to be brought in with vetting and making sure they want to assimilate to American values and Western culture,” he said. “And they’re not going to come here and repeat the same antisemitic and anti-American tropes that these protesters are spewing.”

He said further:

I’d like to first hear what their plan is to make sure they’re bringing in people who support the right of Jews to live and that of Americans as Americans to live their lives because all I hear at these rallies is “death to America,” “death to Israel,” and just horrible tropes used to Americans and Israelis and Jews.

“I think it’s despicable what they’re doing, irresponsible, and it’s only going to exacerbate the problem,” he said. “It rewards people for doing something that is illegal and wrong and terrible and discriminatory and at some times, violent.”

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IMAGE: U.S. House Committee on Education and Workforce/YouTube

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Morgan Kromer is a student at Columbia College Chicago where she studies journalism. Previously she was an associate editor at Missouri Baptist University’s student news organization.