Another Penn Donor Pulls Back Funding Over School’s ‘Failure To Call Out Evil’ And ‘Equivocating’ Statements On Hamas

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Another University of Pennsylvania (Penn) donor has said he will no longer send money to the school over the administration’s alleged reluctance to strongly support Israel in the wake of the terror attack by Hamas launched Oct. 7.

David Magerman, a computer scientist who helped spearhead the trading systems of Renaissance Technologies, took aim at the university in a Tuesday letter obtained by The Daily Pennsylvanian, a campus newspaper.

The self-described “Torah-observant Jew” accused the university of being unwilling to condemn the “evil” acts committed against Israel by Hamas. (RELATED: Penn Loses Billionaire Donor Over ‘Silence’ Regarding Israel)

“Over the past month, I have been deeply embarrassed by my association with and support for the University of Pennsylvania. The leadership of the University has failed to demonstrate the values I expect from an institution that purports to educate young adults and prepare them for a lifetime of leadership and to be emissaries for the good of the world,” he wrote in the Oct. 15 message, according to screenshots shared by American Council of Trustees and Alumni fellow Steve McGuire.

Magerman said he was dismayed by the university’s response after it hosted the Palestine Writes Literature Festival, an event at which “writers, artists, publishers, performers, and scholars … explore the richness and diversity of Palestinian culture.” Multiple speakers at the September 2023 festival condoned violence against Israel and identified with terrorist groups.

“In response to the Palestine Writes festival, President [Liz] Magill declared that the University ‘fiercely supports … the expression of views … that are incompatible with our institutional values.’ One could argue whether you really have an obligation to ‘fiercely support’ views that go against your values. I do not believe you do. But my bigger question is: what exactly are your values?” Magerman continued, screenshots show.

Magerman said the university’s support for the Palestine Writes festival paired with its “equivocating” statements on Hamas’ terror attack and “failure to call out evil” has led him to believe Penn is “ambivalent to the unprecedented evil [Hamas’] acts represent.”

He pointed out that University of Florida President and former GOP Senator Ben Sasse staunchly supported Israel in the aftermath of the terror attacks and condemned Hamas. Magerman also pointed to pro-Israel statements issued by President Joe Biden and Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams. He argued these leaders did not hesitate to signal strong support for Israel, and questioned whether Penn would stand along side them.

“I am deeply ashamed of my association with the University of Pennsylvania. I refuse to donate another dollar to Penn. There is no action anyone at Penn can take to change that. I’m not asking for any actions. You have shown who you are. My only remaining hope is that all self-respecting Jews, and all moral citizens of the world, disassociate themselves from Penn,” he concluded.

Penn’s alleged reluctance to support Israel has elicited anger by other prominent donors of the university. Jon Huntsman Jr., a Penn alumnus and former U.S. ambassador with an estimated net worth of $1 billion, sent an email to Magill condemning the university’s “silence” regarding Hamas’ attack against Israel.

In a message sent to the Penn community Oct. 10, Magill and Provost John L. Jackson said Penn administrators were “devastated by the horrific assault on Israel.”

“These abhorrent attacks have resulted in the tragic loss of life and escalating violence and unrest in the region,” the administrators said. “Many members of our community are hurting right now. Our thoughts are especially with those grieving the loss of loved ones or facing grave uncertainty about the safety of their families and friends.”

Magill condemned the violence with stronger rhetoric in another statement Sunday, calling Hamas’ attack a “terrorist assault.”

Anti-Israel protests have rocked college campuses nationwide in the days following Hamas’ attack against Israel. Hordes of student groups have issued statements in support of the terror attack, sparking backlash from some major donors of elite universities and causing them to roll back financial support for their respective institutions.