Ben Shapiro hit back at the faculty of Yeshiva University, blasting them after more than two dozen professors — including University President Richard Joel — criticized the rightwing pundit’s comments about transgender people at a speech on campus hosted last week.
“The real reason that Y.U. condemned me is that it’s very rare that a Modern Orthodox school has the opportunity to virtue signal about how liberal they are,” Shapiro said on his daily podcast on Wednesday. “When I come and say things that are controversial, it’s an opportunity for them to do so.”
Shapiro referred to transgender people as “mentally ill” in his speech last week at the Orthodox educational institution, remarks that drew rapturous applause at the event hosted by the campus chapter of the College Republicans.
He was discussing an encounter the summer before last with Jewish transgender reporter Zoey Tur. In a widely circulated argument on cable television, Shapiro referred to her as a “sir,” which led her to grab him by the back of the neck.
In a Monday letter to the Commentator, Joel rebuked Shapiro for comments some believed crossed the line into cruelty. “Let there be no mistake — this university is committed to civility and the sanctity of all people,” the university president wrote. “This applies to our admissions and employment process, as well as our daily interactions in and outside of the classroom.”