US Education Department to investigate UNC Middle East event

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education is investigating a conference on the Middle East held at the University of North Carolina after a legislator raised complaints that participants were biased against Israel.

The conference titled “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities,” was co-sponsored in March by Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill.

McClatchy D.C. reports that Raleigh Republican Rep. George Holding asked for an investigation in April, citing “reports of severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric at the taxpayer-funded conference.”

UNC says it used $5,000 in education department grants for the conference, and will cooperate with the inquiry.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tasked investigators with determining whether the spending complied with requirements.

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