ISRAEL + HAMAS

Jon Huntsman cuts donations to alma mater over ‘silence’ on war in Israel

Oct 16, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2023, 5:40 pm

jon huntsman jr. is pictured...

FILE - Jon Huntsman Jr. answers a question during a Deseret News, KSL editorial board meeting In Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)

(Ravell Call/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s foundation said it is ‘closing its checkbook’ to his alma mater. The Huntsman Foundation’s decision was made due to the University of Pennsylvania’s alleged lack of response to the war in Israel, and the Hamas terrorist attacks that led up to it. 

In a letter first obtained and reported by The Daily Pennsylvanian, a student newspaper at the Ivy League school, Huntsman wrote, “To the outsider, it appears that Penn has become deeply adrift in ways that make it almost unrecognizable. Moral relativism has fueled the university’s race to the bottom.”

The letter was addressed to Penn President Liz Magill. “The University’s silence in the face of reprehensible and historic Hamas evil against the people of Israel (when the only response should be outright condemnation) is a new low,” said Huntsman in the letter.

Later in the letter, Huntsman said the foundation, “will close its checkbook on all future giving to Penn.” The foundation has donated to the school for three generations of graduates.

Huntsman is not the first high-profile donor to pull support recently. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that several others have backed out in the last week over the same issue.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reported that Huntsman’s family has donated tens of millions of dollars to the university over the years.

President Magill issued a statement on the university’s website Sunday night, directly condemning Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that she did not do that in a previous statement made last Tuesday.

Magill’s new statement came just one day after Huntsman sent his email, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

It’s unclear whether Huntsman has seen her statement or whether he will change his stance on future donations.

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Jon Huntsman cuts donations to alma mater over ‘silence’ on war in Israel