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May 3, 2022 10:45 am
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More Antisemitism at Harvard

avatar by Ronn Torossian

Opinion

Widener Library at Harvard University. Photo: Joseph Williams

Last month, in a report sent to the United Nations, a clinic at Harvard Law School deemed Israel to be an “an apartheid regime.” Now, the editorial board of the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper at Harvard, has endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. They also expressed support for Harvard’s Palestine Solidarity Committee, a student group that annually hosts an “Israeli Apartheid Week” on campus. The editorial says, “We are proud to finally lend our support to both Palestinian liberation and BDS — and we call on everyone to do the same.”

One wonders if those behind that editorial would have any qualms about endorsing the KKK or any other form of racism. The lies spread about Israel — the nation-state of the Jewish people — and the double standards applied to it clearly cross the line from criticism of Israeli policy, to pure antisemitism.

At Harvard Law School, there is a spring 2022 class on “Law, Human Rights, and Social Justice in Israel and Palestine” taught by Salma Waheedi, who has signed a letter to “express solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom and self-determination. Israeli state violence has devastated Palestinian life through a combination of warfare, territorial theft, and violent displacement. Unwavering US financial, military, and political support has fueled an apartheid system that institutionalizes the domination and repression of Palestinians.”

For all this talk about “safe spaces,” one wonders if Harvard is a safe place for Zionists and those who stand with Israel?

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Harvard graduate student Cevin Soling wrote an open letter to Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow, as well as the school’s provost and two deans.

He asked why Harvard administrators have allowed its Jewish community members to be subjected to harassment and antisemitism. Soling noted, “Due to a very long history of persecution, many Jewish students and professors like to keep a low profile. Unfortunately, this approach has only emboldened antisemitic bigotry on campus. What started as clumsy activism founded on disinformation … has evolved into something more insidious.”

Soling goes on to note that last year, Harvard Hillel was vandalized two separate times, and an organization, Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine (HOOP), has been staging protests demanding that hummus made by Sabra be removed from dining halls. In addition, stickers have been placed on Sabra snack cups in the dining hall which read, “Warning! Sabra funds Israeli apartheid and the murder of Palestinians.”

Solig asks, “Are students free to sticker food in the student cafeteria with antagonistic political messages? If no disciplinary action is taken against the students who stickered the food, but action is taken in the future by other students with an agenda, what message do you think that sends about the permissibility of statements that target Jews?

Shame on Harvard. Antisemitism seems to be one of the few forms of racism allowed today. Donors to Harvard should examine if they want to continue to support an institution that is increasingly standing against Jews and Israel.

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur and author. He has lectured at Harvard Business School.

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