Another big donor cuts ties with an Ivy League school for its ‘misguided moral compass’ involving Israel and Hamas

William of England
By William of England 7 Min Read

Now it’s David Magerman, who helped construct the buying and selling programs of Renaissance Technologies. He castigated Penn’s “misguided moral compass” in a letter to President Elizabeth Magill and board chair Scott Bok, citing the school’s internet hosting of the Palestine Writes Literature Festival final month and its response to the Hamas assault on Israel in October.

“People who care about morality and ethics should just leave institutions that show they don’t,” Magerman stated in a cellphone interview Tuesday. He added that he was “deeply ashamed” of his affiliation with the college and plans to stop all donations. 

The uproar roiling elite US universities is snowballing as schools try and steadiness free speech and condemnation of Hamas, which is designated a terrorist group by the US and the European Union. Penn is way from alone as a spotlight of the donor backlash and wider tumult, which has additionally affected faculties from Harvard University to Stanford University. 

At Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, the college president and board chair condemned feedback by Professor Russell Rickford, who described the Hamas terrorist assaults as “exhilarating” at an off-campus rally over the weekend. 

“This is a reprehensible comment that demonstrates no regard whatsoever for humanity,” President Martha Pollack and chair Kraig Kayser stated in an announcement. 

Tensions on campuses have continued because the battle within the Mideast worsens. Hundreds had been killed in an explosion Tuesday at a Gaza City hospital, with Israel and Hamas buying and selling blame. 

At Harvard, after the primary assaults by Hamas earlier this month, greater than 30 scholar teams issued an announcement blaming the violence solely on Israel. Larry Summers, a former college president, stated he was “sickened” by the college’s preliminary silence in regards to the feedback. He later tempered his criticism when Harvard President Claudine Gay issued three statements and condemned “the barbaric atrocities committed by Hamas.” But main donors Idan Ofer and Leslie Wexner severed ties with the Harvard Kennedy School.

Rowan, Penn

Nowhere has the backlash been stronger than at Penn. Apollo’s Rowan has led the cost demanding that Magill and Bok step down. The two leaders have reacted by calling conferences and trying to rally assist. Bok, chairman and chief govt officer of funding financial institution Greenhill & Co., stated in an announcement Monday that greater than 50 present and emeritus trustees supported Penn’s leaders after gathering for two digital conversations.

Magill reiterated Tuesday that she is taking motion to clarify that she and Penn stand “emphatically against the terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel and against antisemitism,” she stated in an announcement.

“I’ve said we should have communicated faster and more broadly about where we stand, but let there be no doubt that we are steadfast in our beliefs,” she stated.  

While Bok and Magill have defended Penn’s internet hosting of the Palestine Writes literature competition as a matter of free speech, Rowan accused Penn of asking board members to surrender their positions on the college for talking freely about their issues concerning the identical occasion. 

Magerman Letter

In a letter to Penn, Magerman hammered Magill and Bok for what he described as their “fierce support for the Hamas-affiliated speakers at the Palestine Writes festival, followed by your equivocating statements about the heinous acts of barbarism perpetrated by the same Hamas you allowed these speakers to promote.” 

He referred to Rowan’s name for their dismissal however stated such an end result can be “wholly inadequate.” 

“You have shown me who you are,” he stated, drawing a distinction with reactions from President Joe Biden, University of Florida President Ben Sasse and New York Mayor Eric Adams. 

Magerman labored at Renaissance Technologies for twenty years, the place he designed mathematical and statistical algorithms. He was compelled out from the secretive agency after clashing with CEO Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, who had been important monetary backers of former President Donald Trump and right-wing causes.

Lauder Concerns

Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, this week echoed the issues about Penn and stated he was reassessing his assist.

“I spent the past 40 years of my life fighting antisemitism all over the world and I never, in my wildest imagination, thought I would have to fight it at my university, my alma mater and my family’s alma mater,” he stated in a letter to Magill. “You are forcing me to reexamine my financial support absent satisfactory measures to address antisemitism at the university.”

An alumnus of Penn’s Wharton School, Jonathon Jacobson, despatched the college a $1 donation — a step Rowan had steered to donors as a approach to protest. Over the years, Jacobson and his spouse have been main donors, creating educational scholarships and taking the lead on serving to to rebuild the basketball program.

“The university that I attended and that shaped me is virtually unrecognizable today, and the values it stands for are not American ones,” Jacobson, founding father of funding agency HighSage Ventures, stated in a letter to Penn. “There has been a litany of issues over the last several years where the administration has shown no leadership, moral courage or an ability to distinguish between what is clearly right and clearly wrong.”

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