Consulting Firm Drops Sponsorship of Harvard Event Over Participation of Linda Sarsour
by Dion J. Pierre
A major American consulting firm cancelled its sponsorship of Harvard University’s Arab Conference over its inclusion of Linda Sarsour, a speaker who has a history of making statements widely considered by Jewish groups to be antisemitic.
“When we learned last week that a speaker at an event our recruiting team was sponsoring at Harvard University had a history of antisemitic comments, we immediately stepped away from the conference, cancelled our in-person recruiting meeting, and withdrew to speakers from the program,” McKinsey & Company said on Monday in a statement. “We condemn antisemitism in all its forms and stand for inclusion and tolerance elsewhere.”
McKinsey’s statement followed Jewish Insider’s reporting that Linda Sarsour, who has supported Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and once said Israel “was built on the idea that Jews are supreme to everybody else,” was the keynote speaker at the conference.
During her speech at the event Sarsour declared that she is “not afraid of Zionists in America” and maintained that only she is “going to tell you the truth,” according to Jewish Insider.
In 2020, Joe Biden’s campaign said it “obviously condemns [Sarsour’s] views and opposes BDS [boycott, divestment, and sanctions].” Last April, Geico, an insurance company, cancelled a diversity event that it invited her to attend. Geico later apologized, saying it “does not condone hatred of any kind, and we do not stand for or with anyone who does.”
The Arab Conference at Harvard is purportedly the largest such event in North America, according to a website created by its organizers. It was this year attended by 20,000 virtual guests and 1,300 other students and academics. The Arab Conference website also lists the Harvard Officer for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Belonging and the Harvard Medical School Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs as sponsors of the event.
The Algemeiner has asked each office to comment on this story. It will be updated accordingly.
In Oct., Mohammed el-Kurd, a controversial Palestinian activist who has been accused of “blatant” antisemitism by campus Jewish groups, was invited to campus by the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), and in April, The Harvard Crimson, the university’s flagship daily, endorsed BDS, the first time such an action was taken in its entire history. Earlier that school year, PSC erected an ‘apartheid wall‘ in between two residence halls for freshman. In January, the university offered a position at the Kennedy School of Government to Israel Critic Ken Roth, reversing its prevision decision not to employ him.
“The issue with anti-Israel and antisemitic bias on college campuses is very real and very troubling,” former Harvard University president and US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told The Algemeiner last June. “I wish that university leaders were quicker to condemn problematic episodes of antisemitism in the same way they condemn other racist speech and acts.”
Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.