Speaking at Harvard University last month, Diana Buttu, a former Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) spokeswoman and current fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, made a number of false assertions regarding Palestinian terrorism, the recent Goldstone report and legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, the media watchdog organization CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) reported.
A Canadian-born lawyer of Palestinian descent, Buttu has drawn significant criticism from the pro-Israel community over the years for her various assertions regarding Israel and the peace process.
Speaking on Palestinian terrorism, including rockets and suicide bombings, Buttu downplayed the lethality of Qassam rockets, claiming “Qassams don’t have an explosive head” and claimed that no “grad rockets were fired in 2008 and 2009,” according to CAMERA.
Scores of Israeli civilians have been killed by rockets launched by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and others over the past decade. Increased rocket fire in 2008 led Israel to launch Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Today, rocket fire from Gaza continues to terrorize southern Israel.
Buttu’s was asked by an audience member how the Palestinians feel in terms of accepting Israel as the Jewish state. She responded, “Putting aside the issue of Jewish sovereignty because that’s not really what it’s focused on, the idea of creating a Jewish state… is to try to expel and get rid of and try to legitimate the expulsion of the indigenous population.”
Buttu’s controversial talk is the latest in a growing number of anti-Israel programming at Harvard. Earlier this year, she also participated in the school’s “One State Conference” that focused on the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.