University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees member Marc Rowan is urging the school's leaders to step down over rampant antisemitism following the attack on Israel, Breitbart reported. The billionaire and Apollo Global Management CEO is also calling on fellow donors to withhold contributions until UPenn addresses it.
Rowan is an alumnus of the prestigious Wharton Business School and has personally donated $50 million to the school. However, his support might end if President Liz Magill and Board of Trustees Chair Scott Bok keep their jobs.
In a letter to the UPenn newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian, Rowan took umbrage with the Palestine Writes Literature Festival that included writers who have urged "death to Israel." This was held just weeks before the Hamas terror organization killed at least 1,300 Israelis in a coordinated attack.
"It took less than two weeks to go from the Palestine Writes Literary Festival on UPenn’s campus to the barbaric slaughter and kidnapping of Israelis," Rowan said in the letter. "The polarizing Palestine Writes gathering featured well-known anti-Semites and fomenters of hate and racism, and it was underwritten, supported and hosted by various UPenn academic departments and affiliates," he went on.
"At a gathering supposedly focused on Palestinian arts, culture and poetry, the presenters focused on Jews, Israel and Zionism," Rowan charged. He went on to blame the administration for this aspect.
"President Magill’s allowing of UPenn’s imprimatur to be associated with this conference, and her failure to condemn this hate-filled call for ethnic cleansing, normalized and legitimized violence that ranged from the targeting of Jewish students and spaces here at UPenn to the horrific attacks in Israel," Rowan wrote. His solution is for donors to turn off the money spigot.
"I call on all UPenn alumni and supporters who believe we are heading in the wrong direction to ‘Close their Checkbooks’ until Magill and Bok resign," Rowan said. "Join me and many others who love UPenn by sending UPenn $1 in place of your normal, discretionary contribution so that no one misses the point."
The CEO and billionaire said he already has 4,000 alumni behind him who undersigned a letter to UPenn suggesting the school has gone off the rails with Magill at the helm. He said as much on CNBC last week, stating that Magill "is just not capable of exercising moral leadership here because she feels academic pressure, peer pressure."
Meanwhile, Rowan believes the university is leaning on trustees to resign from the board in an effort to keep these critics under wraps. "We are, at Penn, a bastion of preferred speech," Rowan said.
In response to these revelations, UPenn has claimed it will root out and eliminate antisemitism at the school. "The university has publicly committed to unprecedented steps to further combat antisemitism on its campus, reaffirmed deep support for our Jewish community, and condemned the devastating and barbaric attacks on Israel by Hamas," a statement from Vice Chairwoman Julie Platt promised.
UPenn is not the only institution of higher learning that's experiencing controversy over this conflict. Harvard University is experiencing fallout following a pro-Palestinian statement issued by the institution, Fox News reported. "People have asked me where we stand," Harvard president Claudine Gay began in a video statement titled " "Our Choices."
"So let me be clear. Our university rejects terrorism. That includes the barbaric atrocities perpetrated by Hamas," she said.
"Our university rejects hate. Hate of Jews. Hate of Muslims. Hate of any group of people based on their faith, their national origin, or any aspect of their identity. Our University rejects the harassment or intimidation of individuals based on their beliefs," Gay said. She then went on to claim the attacks didn't happen "in a vacuum" before outlining all of the reasons Hamas's attack was justified.
Many academic institutions have historically been antisemitic. However, the recent attack on Israel has proven that the prejudice still persists, especially with radical leftists in charge.