Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeWorldMore than 1,700 Jewish Harvard alumni threaten to withdraw donations to the University over...

More than 1,700 Jewish Harvard alumni threaten to withdraw donations to the University over antisemitism on the campus

In their open letter, the Jewish alumni group expressed disappointment that thirty Harvard student groups “justified” the 7th October terror attacks and claimed that Israel was responsible for it. 

A growing number of Jewish alumni and students from Harvard are expressing their concerns over the rising antisemitism in the University. More than 1700 such alumni have written a letter to the University President Claudine Gay and the Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana.

In their letter, open to signature by more alumni, the group has demanded that the management crackdown on antisemitism on campus or they will stop donations to the university. So far, over 1,700 members of the Harvard College Jewish Alumni Association (HCJAA) have signed the open letter that condemns anti-Israel protests at the university campus amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. 

According to media accounts, the group was formed last month in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Israel on 7th October. During those attacks, over 1,200 Israelis, predominantly civilians were subjected to brutal killings, torture, and assault. The attack by Hamas terrorists marked the largest single-day massacre of Jewish individuals since the Holocaust.

In their open letter, the Jewish alumni group expressed disappointment that thirty Harvard student groups “justified” the 7th October terror attacks and claimed that Israel was responsible for it. 

The HCJAA group’s open letter states, “These horrific events were met with acclaim by over thirty Harvard student groups, who called the intentional slaughter of civilians ‘justified’ and claimed that Israel was ‘solely responsible.’ This deluded romanticisation of violence has been matched by calls for more violence and the obliteration of the state of Israel ‘by any means necessary’.” 

The letter added, “We never thought that, at Harvard College, we would have to argue the point that terrorism against civilians demands immediate and unequivocal condemnation.”

The alumni group also criticised Harvard for remaining silent during the anti-Israel and antisemitic protests. It said, “We never thought we would have to argue for recognition of our own humanity.”

According to the organisers, the HCJAA is the first Jewish alumni association in the history of the university and asked the university to formally recognise the HCJAA as a university-sanctioned special interest group (SIG).

An organiser of the HCJAA, Rebecca Claire Brooks told Fox News Digital that their group is the first Jewish alumni association in the history of Harvard University. They are calling on Harvard University to take urgent action to protect Jewish students on campus and curb hate speech and antisemitism.

Brooks said, “Around the country, we are seeing the intense cyberbullying of Jewish students calling for the death of all Jews, screaming at and targeting Jewish students, death threats on Jewish students, disruptive rallies that involve incitements to violence, projections of antisemitic messages onto campus property, and at times, open hostility toward Jewish students and Israeli students by professors and faculty in the course of class.”

The open letter also listed several steps to deal with antisemitism at Harvard. Through their letter, the Jewish alumni group argued that the university should enforce its code of conduct on students and groups that have been targeting Jews with statements like “Jews should be gassed” and “all Jews are colonisers deserving of death.” 

They also demanded that the university should adopt the definition of “antisemitism” as articulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). 

The letter further recommended, “An immediate plan and robust commitment by the College and University to curb the dissemination of hate speech and to limit the disruptiveness of rallies so that they do not interfere with students’ abilities to participate in their classes, to enter into their dorms, and to move peacefully through the campus.”

It is important to note that Harvard has been facing severe criticism since 34 student organisations signed a statement that was issued by the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups. The controversial letter began by blaming the “Israeli regime” for “all unfolding violence” in the hours after the unprecedented attack. 

Days after the attack, President Gay initially released a brief message asserting that she condemns Hamas’ attacks, however, she did not explicitly denounce the student groups’ controversial opinion. Later, she announced the creation of an advisory council to combat antisemitism on Harvard’s campus.

Earlier on Thursday (9th November), Gay wrote a letter to members of the Harvard Community, in which she reaffirmed Harvard’s commitment to “protecting all members of the community from harassment and marginalisation.”

High-profile billionaire alumni, such as Bill Ackman from Pershing Square and former Victoria’s Secret CEO Leslie Wexner, have already warned that they might stop donating unless Harvard addresses the issue. Now, a significant number of alumni, have also announced that they are considering withholding their donations.

A separate pledge from Harvard alumni declared that they would only donate one dollar to Harvard until substantial reforms are implemented.

Brooks added, “Since delivering our open letter to the University, growing numbers of alumni have also spearheaded a one-dollar pledge campaign as a means of voicing their disappointment and heartbreak with the University, as well as their desire to see the reforms asked for in the open letter carried into fruition.”

As per Fox News, around 148 alumni have publicly committed to the One Dollar Pledge.

Join OpIndia's official WhatsApp channel

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Searched termsIsrael Hamas war
OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -