Anne Norton, a distinguished Professor of Political Science at UPenn, faces controversy for tweets suggesting Israeli hostages were well-treated by Hamas.

Who is Anne Norton?

Anne Norton, the Stacey and Henry Jackson President’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, is under scrutiny for her recent social media activity. The professor liked a post implying that “Playing the victim is what Jews are best at” and shared another post referring to the brutal rape of a Jewish woman as “alleged.”

Also read | Albany shooting: Shots fired at Temple Israel synagogue in New York; suspect in custody

Furthermore, Norton commented on the treatment of Hamas hostages, asserting that they had good conditions based on the testimony of released hostages. These statements have sparked outrage, especially considering the ongoing conflict and sensitivities surrounding the Israel-Hamas situation.

Norton’s position as a chaired professor at an Ivy League institution adds weight to the controversy, raising questions about academic responsibility and reputation. Calls for her and President Liz Magill’s resignation have intensified, with critics expressing concern over the professor’s statements and their potential impact on campus dynamics.

The controversy extends beyond individual opinions, as it aligns with a broader investigation into antisemitism at top U.S. universities. Lawmakers have launched an official congressional investigation into antisemitism at Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania following a hearing where university presidents were criticized for equivocating on the issue.

The Education and Workforce Committee, led by Representative Elise Stefanik, is utilizing subpoena power to delve into the universities’ handling of antisemitism, particularly in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas-led terrorists. The investigation aims to hold these institutions accountable for their responses to rising antisemitism on campus.

Also read | Who is Mufid Fawaz Alkhader? 28-year-old identified as Temple Israel Synagogue shooter in Albany

As the controversy unfolds, questions arise not only about individual faculty members’ expressions but also about how universities address and combat instances of discrimination and bias within their academic communities.