The View’s Sunny Hostin DEFENDS Harvard, MIT and UPenn presidents for shocking remarks on college antisemitism and says calls for genocide ‘don’t break the law’

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Hostin said schools ‘must’ follow the law and not go ‘beyond it’ with their rules 
  • She was blasted by co-host Alyssa Farah Griffith, who condemned the testimony
  • Harvard President Claudine Gay walked-back her comments after outrage  

Sunny Hostin shocked co-hosts on The View today by defending the embattled presidents of Harvard, UPenn and MIT for their remarks on antisemitism, claiming the universities are powerless to act against calls for Jew genocide. 

The three university leaders are facing growing calls for their resignations over comments about campus antisemitism yesterday. 

While all three condemned antisemitism, they claimed calls for the genocide of Jewish people were not a breach of their codes of conduct, and therefore allowed. 

Amid a boycott of donors and swell of public backlash, Harvard President Claudine Gay walked-back her remarks today.

Hostin believes she spoke rightfully. 

Sunny Hostin defended the college presidents of UPenn, Harvard and MIT today, saying they are powerless to go beyond the law with their codes of conduct 

Harvard President Claudine Gay at the congressional hearing yesterday where she said calling for the genocide of Jews does not violate the school's code of conduct

Harvard President Claudine Gay at the congressional hearing yesterday where she said calling for the genocide of Jews does not violate the school’s code of conduct

During a segment on the show today, she said their remarks followed suit with the First Amendment, which protects all forms of speech. 

‘Free speech, many people may feel uncomfortable with it, the most heinous speech is the most protected speech. What you heard was them saying it depends on the context – if someone yells at a crowd racial slurs or calls for genocide in a public place, that is protected speech. 

‘The law protects that kind of language. In my opinion, college is the perfect place to have these uncomfortable places,’ she said. 

When co-host Alyssa Farah Griffith pointed out that the universities can go ‘further’ than the law in their codes of conduct for acceptable behavior, Hostin claimed she was wrong. 

‘No they can’t. It can’t go against the Constitution of the United States. The code of conduct must adhere to law,’ Hostin quipped. 

When co-host Alyssa Farah Griffith pointed out that the universities can go ‘further’ than the law in their codes of conduct for acceptable behavior, Hostin claimed she was wrong

Sara Haines said the silence of the schools on the issue of antisemitism is 'defeaning'

Sara Haines said the silence of the schools on the issue of antisemitism is ‘defeaning’ 

Whoopi Goldberg condemned the college presidents too. She said there is 'no grey area' when it comes to threatening violence

Whoopi Goldberg condemned the college presidents too. She said there is ‘no grey area’ when it comes to threatening violence

She then used an argument about a KKK member not facing jail for racist remarks. 

‘The law is the law – a lot of people don’t understand the law,’ she pushed on. 

Farah Griffith hit back: ‘This is about campus codes of conduct not the law. They can go a lot further.’

She blasted the congressional testimony as ‘the most stunning’ she’d ever heard. 

‘All three must resign,’ fumed Farah Griffith. 

Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Sara Haines also blasted the school presidents’ for their comments. 

‘These are students at school – this is not the government intervening in free speech. There are examples of people that were let go from their jobs without any due process, professors that said something that made a college student uncomfortable. 

Students protesting for the liberation of Palestine 'by any means necessary' at a protest in New York on Nov 15

Students protesting for the liberation of Palestine ‘by any means necessary’ at a protest in New York on Nov 15 

‘We were all quick to respond to this. The silence is deafening to me,’ said Haines. 

Behar, likening the abuse of Jewish students to discrimination against other races, said: ‘These students should feel safe and not be at the mercy of these attacks. 

‘I protested back in the day but we were not intimidating anybody.’ 

Goldberg also condemned the leaders for their remarks. 

‘There is no justification – either it is or it isn’t. It’s not grey. It’s not a grey area. 

‘We have to figure out how to work [free speech] so that everybody gets protected,’ she said. 

When asked if the calling of genocide of Jewish people constituted bullying or harassment, all three school leaders said yesterday that it depends on ‘the context’. 

Gay said it would only rise to a violation of rules if hate speech crossed into ‘conduct’. 

After ferocious backlash and a donor boycott, Gay released a statement today insisting she’d been misunderstood. 

‘There are some who have confused a right to free expression with the idea that Harvard will condone calls for violence against Jewish students. 

‘Let me be clear: Calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any religious or ethnic group are vile, they have no place at Harvard, and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held to account,’ she said. 

Neither UPenn nor MIT have corrected their president’s comments. 

It came as the White House joined condemnation of the women’s remarks. 

‘It’s unbelievable that this needs to be said: calls for genocide are monstrous and antithetical to everything we represent as a country. 

‘Any statements that advocate for the systematic murder of Jews are dangerous and revolting – and we should all stand firmly against them, on the side of human dignity and the most basic values that unite us as Americans,’ Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement.

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