House Education chair presses Cardona to resign over response to antisemitism

Foxx stated that “Three month after the October 7 demonstrations and the subsequent disgusting antisemitic protests, it is not acceptable for Secretary Cardona to cowardly deny the antisemitic nature of the phrase, ‘from river to sea’.”

Virginia Foxx, a Republican from Virginia, is calling for Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s resignation after he refused to condemn the antisemitic chant used by pro Palestinian protesters.

Foxx, the chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, condemned Cardona for his remarks on Tuesday to a group Jewish reporters after he failed to say outright whether the phrase, “from the River, to the Sea, Palestine will be Free” should be deemed antisemitic to college officials.

Foxx (R.-N.C.), in a press release, said that “Three month after the October 7 demonstrations and the subsequent disgusting antisemitic protests, it is not acceptable for Secretary Cardona to cowardly deny the antisemitic nature of the phrase, ‘from river to sea’.”

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She added, “Jewish Students deserve to know their Education Secretary is aware of the hatred they face and that she has the courage and clarity necessary to combat it.” It is time for Secretary to resign.

A spokesperson for the Education Department responded to Foxx by saying that Cardona had consistently stated that calls for genocide must never be tolerated, and college leaders should act when students are feeling unsafe.

The spokesperson stated that “He and the Department” are aware of the fact that many people find the chant to be threatening and antisemitic. Students should never feel unsafe in campus environments. The Department’s Office for Civil Rights is committed to investigating universities to ensure that they are addressing hostile learning environments to ensure safety for all students.

Cardona, the new education leader under intense scrutiny from Republican lawmakers for handling antisemitism in college campuses, is the latest to fall victim. After intense public pressure, Claudine Gay of Harvard University and Liz Magill of the University of Pennsylvania resigned after making antisemitic remarks at a House hearing in December.

Republican lawmakers said that the chant and campus protestors’ calls for “intifada” were equivalent to calling for genocide against Jews. Magill and Gay were criticized for their refusal to answer a question about whether the chants infringed on their school’s code of conduct.

According to Jewish Insider the secretary said that calls for genocide were “not tolerable” but added “it’s hard for me to say here” what he thought of the chant. He said that the department investigates every case, and he believed “antisemitism could include anti-Zionist remarks.”

Cardona stated that if there are any students who feel their statements are being referred as genocide or are feeling unsafe on campus it is the responsibility of university leaders to intervene.

Foxx’s Tuesday statement included criticisms of the Education Department, such as the FAFSA launch that Republicans claim was turbulent and the audits Republicans say were failed.