Calls on Administration

To Combat Antisemitism NOW!

On one of the holiest and most joyful days of the Jewish calendar, Simchas Torah/Shabbat, at the crack of dawn, Hamas terrorists invaded Israel’s sovereign territory and began a massive, targeted, and barbaric attack on Jewish civilians. ACF-Harvard holds Hamas and Iran fully responsible for this premeditated day of savagery, which will live in infamy. More Jews were murdered on October 7, 2023, than on any single day since the Holocaust. Hamas has killed and kidnapped babies, raped women, and paraded mutilated bodies of Israelis through the streets of Gaza, often accompanied by celebrations. 

What was Harvard's message to the world and its Jewish students during this time?

First, over 30 Harvard student organizations released a false, hateful, and offensive statement on October 8, in which they held Israel exclusively responsible for the atrocities. Such scapegoating is shameful and would never be tolerated in the case of a mass atrocity against any other minority group.

Next, under pressure, Harvard's senior leadership issued a late and grossly inadequate statement. It teased an equivalence between the Hamas terrorism and Israel's defensive operations. Parallel constructions have meaning. The statement blatantly failed to condemn the mass murder, rape, and hostage-taking by Hamas. Let there be no mistake about why it failed to do this in the first instance: Harvard's senior leadership was more concerned about appeasing apologists for terrorism than it was with moral clarity.

On the same day, the Dean of Harvard’s School of Education, Bridget Terry Long, released a stunning statement expressing her “concerns in the aftermath of the deadly attacks in Israel and the Gaza Strip where it has been reported that more than 1,100 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded by the actions taken by Hamas and the Israeli government.” Dean Long drew an explicit parallel between the butchery of Hamas and Israeli countermeasures to neutralize terrorists.

After a barrage of criticism, Harvard issued a variety of amendments and additional statements. But the question remains: what is wrong with the culture at Harvard that caused it to cover itself in such disgrace following the deadliest attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust?

Former President Gay refused to condemn the antisemitic statement by "Palestine Solidarity Groups." We know exactly what Harvard would have said if any other group were scapegoated in a similar manner. Free speech does not prevent you from using your voice to condemn outrageous victim-blaming done under the Harvard brand.

ACF-Harvard stands with Jewish students and faculty on Harvard’s campus during this difficult time. We call on Interim President Alan Garber, the Board of Overseers, and all Harvard administration and faculty to: 

- Unequivocally support the Jewish and Israeli members of the Harvard community.

- Adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

- Deny university funding, administrative support, and space to any student organization that explicitly advocates physical violence against the Jewish people.

- Raise the Israeli flag in Harvard Yard in exactly the same place, manner, and length of time as the Ukrainian flag flew in Harvard Yard after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

- Allow any Harvard student who is called up to reserve duty or who wants on their own initiative to volunteer to help Israel defend itself to leave the university with no academic or financial penalty and re-enroll when they want to. 

- Publicly announce the aforementioned policy and also publicly announce that the policy does not apply to any students who want to go fight alongside Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Jihad, or any other group designated by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist organization.

- Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget Terry Long MUST resign for her remarks equivocating Hamas terror in Israel and the response by the Israeli government.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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