The Harvard Club of Israel published a letter Thursday denouncing the 34 student groups that blamed Israel for violence engulfing the region. The letter further called on Harvard President Claudine Gay to condemn statements that blame victims of terror for the atrocities committed against them.
“Just one day after thousands of Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israeli sovereign territory and massacred families in their homes, slaughtered hundreds of young people enjoying a music festival, and kidnapped elderly women and children, over 30 Harvard student groups published a statement condoning these atrocities and admonishing Israelis for having brought this on themselves,” the letter begins.
“We, the Harvard Club of Israel, expect better. The barbaric acts that Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization, has perpetrated against the Israeli civilian population are despicable war crimes,” continues the letter.
“In the last few days, President Biden has recognized the ‘pure, unadulterated evil’ unleashed by this terrorism, and stated repeatedly, ‘We stand with Israel.’ So did the leaders of most major democratic countries. We expect no less from Harvard’s leaders,” declared the organization.
Student group letter says Israel ‘entirely responsible’
The controversial letter published by the Harvard student groups on Sunday said they "hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence" following decades of occupation, adding that "the apartheid regime is the only one to blame."
The organizations signing the letter included Muslim and Palestinian support groups plus others named for a variety of backgrounds including the Harvard Jews for Liberation and the African American Resistance Organization.
“We recognize that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is immensely complex, and any discussion of the conflict requires nuance. But there is no nuance in the wide-scale murder, rape, kidnapping, torture, and desecration of bodies being perpetrated and then celebrated by Hamas and its followers,” said the Harvard Club of Israel in its letter.
Harvard President Claudine Gay and senior leadership, including 15 deans, issued a statement on Monday that said they were "heartbroken by the death and destruction unleashed by the attack by Hamas that targeted citizens in Israel this weekend," though her statement avoided direct references to the student letter. The Harvard Club of Israel took her to task for her perceived lack of action in the letter.
“While President Gay later issued a back-pedaling statement calling Hamas’s actions abhorrent, it was too little, too late. In the face of evil, Harvard must proclaim that pro-terrorism statements like those published by the student groups on Sunday have no place in civil discourse at Harvard or elsewhere,” the letter declared.
“Harvard holds itself out as a thought leader for the world. Its very motto is “Veritas” (Truth), and its leadership is tasked with shining the light of truth for its students, alumni, and the world. They have utterly failed.”
“If Harvard wishes to be a moral leader for the world, its administration must speak out immediately and forcefully. Anything less than full support for Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizens and unequivocal denunciation of this terrorism is unacceptable and is wholly inadequate for an institution of Harvard’s caliber,” concluded the letter.