Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)iStock

MIT has changed a lot since the days when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended and received degrees in Architecture, Business, and nearly a third in Political Science. He would have gotten that last degree had it not been for the fact that his brother, Yoni Netanyahu, was killed in the Entebbe raid in 1976. Prime Minister Netanyahu was called into action by Prime Minister Begin. Prime Minister Netanyahu was so brilliant that only a handful of individuals accomplished what he did at MIT in the four years he spent there. None had to take a hiatus for 40 days to fight in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 the way he did.

In speaking to an alumnus of MIT who walked the hallowed halls at MIT at the same time as Prime Minister Netanyahu, I learned that the MIT of today does not resemble the MIT of yesteryear. For starters, MIT in the 1970’s was purely a merit-based institution that took the best and the brightest. This is no longer the case. In the past 20 years MIT in some areas seems to be promoting a more socialist worldview rather than focusing on what it had always done best which was to teach the sciences, engineering, and related fields at the very highest level of scholarship and critical thinking.

My friend, the alumnus, tells me that in his class 33% were Jewish. About a third of those were observant. The Kosher Kitchen required two different seatings nightly for dinner. He knew every one of his 1063 classmates. He was the class secretary for 18 years.

In the past 10-20 years the number of Jews being accepted to MIT has dwindled to 6%-7%. Jews started to get harassed on campus even before the slaughter and atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7th, 2023. However, after October 7th the viciousness of the blatant anti-semitism reached a new level. Jewish students were now afraid to go to class and walk on campus for fear of physical harm and confrontations with pro-Hamas protesters. A number of groups were formed to counter the threatening atmosphere. One was the MIT Jewish Alumni Alliance which was formed according to its website, “in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of October 7, 2023 and subsequent to the explosion of antisemitic rhetoric and acts of intimidation across MIT’s campus, the country, and the world. MIT’s administration has failed to acknowledge the magnitude of growing antisemitism evident across the MIT campus and failed to take effective measures to stem it.” The MIT Jewish Alumni Alliance has published three open letters to date. All have drawn significant media attention. The first was on December 4th, regarding growing antisemitism at MIT. The second was on December 11th, regarding the alarm over the Congressional testimony of MIT’s President Sally Kornbluth of Dec. 5th, when she said, “implied calls for genocide of Jews may not constitute bullying and harassment under MIT’s Code of Conduct depending on context.”

The third letter was sent on January 11th, over concern about persistent inaction.

MIT has become a hotbed of hate. Here is a brief timeline of antisemitic activities on MIT’s campus. On the day after the massacre of 1200 Jews, the rapes and mutilation of women, and the beheadings of babies, Sunday, October 8, 2023, a group of 5 MIT funded groups sent an email to every undergraduate at MIT stating, “In light of recent events in Palestine, the MIT Coalition Against Apartheid and Palestine@MIT denounces the settler colonial occupation by Israel, which is the root of the current situation. Colonization itself is inherently violent; we thus affirm the right of occupied peoples to resist their oppressors and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

On Thursday, November 2nd protesters stormed MIT’s MISTI office to the blatantly Anti-Semitic chant of “From the river to the sea” Staff members of MISTI said they felt trapped and worried about both verbal and physical assault.

On Thursday, Nov. 9th, despite being warned about MIT policies about protests, pro-Hamas supporters occupied Lobby 7 which is the main entrance point and thoroughfare for the entire campus (it is not an approved protest venue) for 24 hours. They were loud and violent. President Sally Kornbluth actually visited and threatened suspension. She walked back on her threats ostensibly because she was concerned that suspension would lead to the cancellation of the visas and deportation of some of the protesters who were foreigners.

On Sunday, Nov.12th, marches took place calling to “globalize the intifada”.

On Dec. 4th and Dec. 6th, an unauthorized person trespassed the Religious Activities Center and Hillel Lounge and harassed Jewish students accusing them of working for the Mossad and urinating on the Hillel window during morning prayer services.

On January 2nd, MIT Lecturer on electrical engineering and computer science Professor Mauricio Karchmer resigned over the climate on campus. He said, “During a time when the Jewish and Israeli students, staff, and faculty were particularly vulnerable, instead of offering the support they needed, the broader MIT community exhibited open hostility towards them. Like many other college campuses nationwide, the institute clearly failed this test.”

Other acts of anti-semitism at MIT have been recorded including the defacement of a Holocaust Memorial on Holocaust Remembrance Day and the blockade of a Day Care Center on campus where a number of Jews had left children. The protesters actually tried to break in but the locked doors kept them out.

Many of these violent activities have been orchestrated by the CAA( Coalition Against Apartheid). MIT students say the group “unequivocally supported, justified, and glorified the terrorism committed by Hamas.”

The fallout from all of this has only just begun. Obviously, these pro-Hamas groups should be banned. Hamas is a terrorist group according to the Law. Jewish Alumni are fighting back. I will delve into more specifics in a subsequent article. MIT has to regain its mission which is “to educate students in areas of scholarship to best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.”