Pfizer CEO: College Presidents’ Testimony on Antisemitism ‘Despicable’

By Hamodia Staff

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla speaks during the APEC CEO Summit in San Francisco last month. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sharply criticized the House testimony of three leading university presidents, who would not definitively state that students calling for genocide of Jews were committing bullying or harassment as defined by university policy.

The presidents of Penn, Harvard and MIT were testifying before a House Education Committee on Tuesday, due to reports of increased antisemitism on college campuses following Hamas’ October 7th attack on Israel. There has been a proliferation of anti-Israel rallies on college campuses, where chants have included “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which some consider to be a call to genocide of Jews.

Yet, during heated, viral exchanges with Rep. Elise Stafanik (R-N.Y.), when pressed as to whether these slogans violated the schools code of conduct against bullying or harassment, the presidents demurred, with some saying said that it would depend on the “context.”

Bourla, a Greek Jew who lost many relatives in the Holocaust, criticized the presidents’ testimony in a Wednesday post on X.

“I was ashamed to hear the recent testimony of 3 top university presidents,” Bourla wrote. “In my personal opinion, it was one of the most despicable moments in the history of U.S. academia. The 3 Presidents were offered numerous opportunities to condemn racist, antisemitic, hate rhetoric and refused doing so hiding behind calls for ‘context.’ The memories of my father’s parents, Abraham and Rachel Bourla, his brother David and his little sister Graciela, who all died in Auschwitz, came to mind. I was wondering if their deaths would have provided enough ‘context’ to these presidents to condemn the Nazis’ antisemitic propaganda.”

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