MIT Goes Easy on Foreign Students Who Violated the Civil Rights of American Students in Order to Protect Their Visas
Last Thursday, an anti-Israel group calling itself the Coalition Against Apartheid (CAA) staged a “demonstration” on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). CAA took over a campus building, during which the insurrectionists “obstruct[ed] Jewish students from attending classes.” The action was part of CAA’s demonstration of support for Hamas and their opposition to Israel’s efforts to expel the terror group from their base in Gaza. Rather than take action against students engaging in blatant civil rights violations, “Jewish students specifically were warned not to enter MIT’s front entrance due to a risk to their physical safety,” by school officials. Ominously, the event that denied Jewish students the right to enter and attend class at one of the most prestigious American universities coincided with the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany.
After four hours of occupying the campus building, MIT officials ordered the CAA to leave the building and threatened to suspend students who refused. Not only did the insurrectionists continue to occupy the building, “the CAA proceeded to invite more students and non-MIT protestors to join them in calling for a violent uprising (‘Intifada’).”
Several hours later, university president Sally Kornbluth backed off her threat to suspend students who not only took over a campus building, but had barred the entry of a specific group of students based on their religious identity. Her reason for not carrying through on her threat had to do with the fact that a significant number of the insurrectionists blatantly violating the civil rights of other students are foreign nationals. Suspension might have jeopardized their student visas.
“Because we later heard serious concerns about collateral consequences for the students, such as visa issues [emphasis added], we have decided, as an interim action, that the students who remained after the deadline will be suspended from non-academic campus activities. The students will remain enrolled at MIT and will be able to attend academic classes and labs,” Kornbluth wrote to “Dear members of the MIT community.” (It is questionable how dearly many members of that community feel their presence is valued these days at MIT and other universities, where radical ideologies, supported by radical faculty and student groups seem to be in charge.)
President Kornbluth’s actions (or lack thereof) may also be an indication of something else she and other university heads value: Massive amounts of foreign money pouring into their coffers. China remains the largest foreign funding source of American universities, but cash from oil rich Middle East nations are also an important part of academia’s business model. According to a report by a think tank with ties to Israel, between 1986 and 2022, Qatar has steered $5.2 billion into American universities, while Saudi Arabia has contributed just shy of $3 billion. On the list of beneficiaries, MIT ranks 12th, having raked in $176,661,346 during this period.
MIT has as much as admitted that campus actions in support of Hamas that included intimidation and violence directed against Jewish students include significant numbers of foreign nationals who are here on student visas. And, very likely, MIT is not the only school that for ideological and fiduciary reasons is going to extraordinary lengths to shield them from having their visas revoked. That should be of grave concern to all Americans.