Harvard Pres. Won’t Condemn Anti-Israel Events On Campus


Harvard President Lawrence Bacow in a closed-door professors conference on Tuesday refused to condemn a string of anti-Semitic events at the school however, stated he opposed “academic boycotts” of any foreign nation, consisting of the Jewish state.

Bacow stated he “would hope that every member of our community would condemn hatred and bigotry on our campus in any form, whether or not it appears as a swastika or a noose,” however did not state whether he consisted of the current events at the school in this classification.

Bacow was reacting to a professor, the federal government teacher Eric Nelson, who asked him about the “eruption of anti-Semitism on our campus,” consisting of the Harvard Crimson’s recommendation of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) motion, a school Palestinian Solidarity Committee presentation that compared Israel to Nazi Germany and compared Zionism to racism and white supremacy, and a student group’s invite of a speaker who has actually consistently defended Holocaust denial.

While the Harvard president stated he would “not comment on the Crimson editorial” due to the fact that it does not represent the university’s view, he condemned “academic boycotts,” saying they “have absolutely no place at Harvard, regardless of who they target.” He did not weigh in on other types of financial divestment– such as cutting off the Harvard endowment’s Israel-linked financial investments– which are likewise main to needs from anti-Semitic activists on school. Nor did he talk about a trainee art setup that corresponded Zionism to racism, white supremacy and “settler colonialism.”

Bacow’s reaction was especially controlled for a president who has actually made  “antiracism” a focal point of his presidency. Recently, Bacow vowed $100 million in reparations to compensate Harvard’s function in slavery after launching a comprehensive report that discovered the university professors and personnel oppressed a minimum of 70 individuals in between the years 1636 and 1783.

Bacow likewise set up a commission to relabel school structures that honor people who held sexist or racist views, and he has actually provided statements condemning a spam email attack that contained racist language, George Floyd’s murder by a police officer, anti-Semitic vandalism at the Harvard Hillel in 2021, and the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

Bacow did not react to an ask for remark. Throughout the conference on Tuesday, Nelson informed Bacow that the “last two weeks have been sad and difficult ones for Harvard’s Jewish community.”

“First, we were confronted with a massive display, allowed to stand throughout the Passover holiday in the middle of Harvard Yard, declaring with willful absurdity that ‘Zionism is white supremacy’ and using Holocaust imagery to suggest that Israel is to the Palestinians what the Nazis were to the Jews,” said Nelson. “The student group responsible for this display likewise invited to campus as a featured speaker Norman Finkelstein, who has made his negligible name by defending Holocaust denial.  Then came the repeated vandalism of posters put up by Jewish students in response to these outrages, which in turn may or may not have been connected to the appearance of a swastika etched into a bulletin board in Currier House.”

The professor continued by adding that the Crimson “has officially pronounced itself to be in full support of this eruption of anti-Semitism on our campus and has furthermore called upon Harvard to join the BDS movement directed against the State of Israel.” Nelson then asked Bacow for his “thoughts on how a civilized university ought to respond to such developments.”

A transcript of Bacow’s reply was published online by the university, with the concern left out. The Washington Free Beacon likewise acquired a copy of the concern, in which Bacow was asked to attend to particular anti-Semitic events.

Bacow’s remarks come as alumni have actually revealed issues about increasing anti-Semitism at Harvard. Previous Harvard president and Clinton administration Treasury Secretary Larry Summers today knocked the Crimson’s recommendation of BDS and anti-Semitic presentations on school, stating it is “clear to me that anti-Semitism is being practiced in both intent and effect.”

“I call on all members of the Harvard community, including its current leadership, to make clear their righteous opposition to BDS’s anti-Semitism and those organizations who support it,” wrote Summers.

Other Harvard professors likewise spoke up against the Crimson’s BDS recommendation.

“It reflects a deep bias and ignorance of history. One striking example is that it refers to Israeli police killing Palestinians, without mentioning that most of the Palestinians who were killed were engaged in terrorism against Israeli civilians,” retired professor Alan Dershowitz told the Free Beacon. “It’s a very sloppy piece of journalism.”

Professor Harvey Mansfield told thepress, “I can’t speak for others, but I can tell you how little I think of it.”

H/T The Washington Free Beacon

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