In the wake of the attack on Israel by Hamas terrorists, America’s elite universities have made a very public point of downplaying the antisemitic spike that has surrounded pro-Palestinian protests by student activists.
Two such universities — Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania — have generated more than their share of disturbing headlines, sparking controversies that have distanced donors and top law firms who feel the schools are failing to protect their Jewish students.
According to an analysis conducted by OpenTheBooks and provided to Fox News Digital, “Harvard and UPenn, which have been among the colleges at the center of the storm, have received billions in federal payments over the past five years and billions more in federal tax breaks on their endowments.”
Given the much-publicized, unrestrained antisemitism on the campuses, some politicians are wondering whether those universities should lose their tax-exempt statuses.
OpenTheBooks founder Adam Andrzejewski believes it’s time to redefine “public charity.”
Are these wealthy universities operating in the public interest or their own special interest? Since these schools are educational charities under IRS code 501(c)3, Congress should hold hearings,” Andrzejewski told Fox News Digital.
“For example, Harvard and UPenn are now more federal contractor than educator, collecting more on government contracts and grants than undergraduate student tuition,” he explained. “With the U.S. taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks and federal payments into Harvard and UPenn exceeding $1 billion per year, it’s time to revisit the definition of a public charity.”
“Collectively, these two schools have gamed the tax code for vast institutional enrichment,” he stated.
Between 2018 and 2022, Harvard benefited from $3.13 billion in total federal payments, including federal grants and contracts, OpenTheBooks discovered. UPenn raked in $4.38 billion in payments.
“The universities also received generous tax breaks on their endowments,” Fox News Digital reports. “During those same years, Harvard’s endowment totaled $50.9 billion, and the university received $2.17 billion in special federal tax treatment. UPenn’s endowment totaled $20.7 billion, and it received $1.28 billion in special federal tax treatment during that time.”
“Who knew that you were subsidizing the wealthy Ivy League?” Andrzejewski asked. “They don’t need taxpayer help.”
As BizPac Review reported, Harvard students who signed a letter in support of Hamas found their names and faces gracing the digital displays on a “doxxing truck” that drove through the campus and trolled student leaders’ homes.
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) October 27, 2023
Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer and his wife resigned from the executive board of Harvard’s Kennedy School “in protest of the shocking and insensitive response by the president of the university, who did not condemn the letter by student organizations who blamed Israel for the massacres.”
A number of billionaire investors and company owners called on Harvard to release the names of all students who signed the letter so that they’ll know who not to hire in the future.
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) October 13, 2023
Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan “withdrew his offer to participate in Harvard’s fellowship programs,” according to Fox News Digital. “Students are also planning to sue Harvard, among other universities, for not doing enough to address the ‘explosion’ of antisemitic incidents on campus, Business Insider reported.”
At UPenn, groups on campus held a “Palestine Writes” festival featuring speakers with a history of making antisemitic remarks.
In response to concerns voiced by several students, UPenn President Liz Magill and school leaders issued a statement insisting that they “unequivocally — and emphatically — condemn antisemitism as antithetical to our institutional values.”
Many university donors were not impressed and called for Magill’s resignation.
“To say I am disgusted by statements of support for Hamas that we’ve seen in recent days is an understatement,” Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a previous statement obtained by Fox News Digital. “Celebrating, excusing, or downplaying the horrific rape, torture and murder of innocent people is the same thing as supporting violence or even calling for it.”
“Some organizations that have celebrated the unspeakable acts of terror that claimed the lives of 30 Americans and hundreds of Israeli men, women and children currently enjoy tax-exempt status in the United States,” Smith continued, “and their statements call into question the academic or charitable missions they claim to pursue.”
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