All safe spaces are equal - but some are more equal than others.
Last month, Harvard Law School deemed Israel in a report to the United Nations as “an apartheid regime.” They issued a 22 page report claiming that Israel systematically discriminates against Palestinians and suppresses their civil and political rights.” Harvard’s report “finds that Israel’s actions in the occupied West Bank are in breach of the prohibition of apartheid and amount to the crime of apartheid under international law.”
Now, the editorial board of the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper at Harvard University, has endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. They also expressed support for Harvard’s Palestine Solidarity Committee, a student group that annually hosts an “Israel 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 said editorial of boycotting the Jewish state are concerned for their job prospects as they would be, say if they endorsed the KKK or any other form of racism. This is pure and unmitigated hatred and antisemitism. And its politically acceptable at Harvard apparently.
At Harvard Law School there is a spring 2022 class on “Law, Human Rights, and Social Justice in Israel and Palestine” taught by Ms. 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, is Harvard a safe place for Zionists and those who stand with Israel?
Today, I learned that 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. This includes openly permitting students to violate explicit written rules of conduct so that they could engage in various forms of provocation directed at Jewish students.
Soling, who will be receiving his fourth graduate degree from Harvard later this month is bravely one of the few standing up to Anti-Semitism at Harvard.
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 where the school failed to intervene despite students breaking of conduct codes, has evolved into something more insidious.
I had to sit through Cornel West’s final class knew that he was spewing antisemitic conspiracy theories before his lectures. Now with the Harvard Crimson editors believing their antisemitic bigotry is virtuous, things have gone off the rails. The student paper’s outsized presence combined with their editors’ self-righteous nescience is an embarrassment to everyone at Harvard whether they realize it or not, and school officials need to act.
Soling references Harvard Professor Cornell West’s claim that he was denied tenure for a position that did not offer tenure due to a cabal led by Harvard’s Jewish president, who he presumes objects to his support for Palestinians.
Soling, a former fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, noted, “For the past 15 years, there has been a deficit of quality leadership at Harvard. The administration allows manufactured problems to fester and only responds reactively. By that time, their resolutions typically satisfy no one. The school needs to accept its past mistakes and set principled precedents. This should begin with condemning the antisemitic statements of the Crimson editors followed by soul-searching to understand how Harvard students could take vocal positions on many issues they quite evidently know precious little about yet, nevertheless, think they do.”
Soling goes on to note that last year Harvard Hillel was vandalized two separate times, and a 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." He 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?
“Occupied Palestine” is a contentious term that is offensive to many in the Jewish community. What are the school rules about naming student organizations? Are students free to name their student organizations as they choose even if the names are mendacious and conceived to target a specific people?
Shame on Harvard. Anti-Semitism seems to be one of the few forms of racism allowed. In today’s era of political correctness is Anti-Semitism allowed? Donors to Harvard should examine if they want to continue to help an institution which is increasingly standing against Israel.