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Monday, February 26, 2024

Shame on Harvard U and its President!

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It is important to address the issue of free speech and academic freedom on university campuses, particularly in cases where students express support for controversial or harmful positions. Universities must strike a balance between respecting these principles and ensuring that harmful or hateful ideologies are not tolerated.

Harvard University’s commitment to free expression is commendable, but it becomes problematic when the university appears inconsistent in applying this principle. The argument can be made that Harvard has taken positions on various issues in the past, such as condemning the killing of George Floyd. This raises questions about why the university chooses not to condemn student groups that express support for actions by Hamas, which have resulted in the deaths of innocent Israeli civilians, including children and the elderly.  Let’s not forget that the Hamas attack was the bloodiest in Israel’s 75 year history.

Women were brutally raped, babies were murdered and beheaded, people were burned alive and shot at point blank range. The lives of entire families were snuffed out.  And lest we forget that Hamas took 199 hostages, not only Israeli citizens but foreign nationals as well. Among the 1400 who were killed by the Hamas miscreants were close to 200 members of the Israeli Defense Forces as well and that too is a deep blow to the heart and soul of the nation.

The question here is whether Harvard’s president, Claudine Gay, would respond the same way if the controversial positions taken by student groups were directed at other marginalized or targeted communities. The implication is that such positions, if directed at other groups, would likely lead to strong condemnation by the university. And that essentially translates into Harvard’s double standard as it pertains to ethical violations. After all, when Jews and Israel are involved, then Harvard gives their tacit approval to viciously excoriate the world’s “Jew” which also happens to be Israel. Because of their woke, progressive mantra, they blame the Jew and Israel for the world’s woes. In their warped perspective, the Jew is the “rich, powerful white man” who goes around exploiting everyone else.

In the case of Israel, they can’t abide the fact that the Jews have their own homeland and use the “Palestinian” cause to beat the Jew over the head with.

We challenge the notion that expressing support for mass murder of Jews should be treated differently from supporting actions against other marginalized or targeted groups. We question the basis for making such a distinction and suggest that Harvard should reckon with its history of virulent anti-Semitism and address what it sees as double standards in tolerating expressions of seething hatred against Jews, particularly when directed at the nation-state of Israel.

The central argument is that those supporting Hamas and shifting blame onto Israeli Jews should be held accountable for their complicity in Hamas’s Jew-hatred. We also reject the notion that some students may have signed petitions without realizing the content, and we argue that Harvard treats its students as responsible adults, and there should be no exceptions when it comes to accountability for what they write and sign.

In conclusion, we emphasize that freedom of expression does not preclude the right to condemn or criticize harmful speech, and it calls for accountability and public retractions if students wish to distance themselves from their previous statements. The key point here is the call for consistency in addressing controversial positions and holding students accountable for their expressed views.

Shame on Harvard, the president, the students and organizations who created this letter and signed it and shame on those who remain silent in the face of this moral outrage.

Clearly, the world has learned very little from the lessons of the Holocaust which was the most defining event of the 20th century.  For the Jew, however, the lesson could not be more crystal clear. We are on our own once again as we battle for our existential survival in a universe that is brimming with palpable animus towards us.

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