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Tags: harvard university | disavow | student statement | hamas | israel | terrorism | claudine gay

Harvard Pres. Disavows Student Statement on Hamas-Israel War

By    |   Tuesday, 10 October 2023 07:42 PM EDT

On Tuesday, Harvard University's President Claudine Gay denounced the acts of terrorism committed by Hamas in Israel. This statement comes after a contentious joint declaration signed by student organizations at the institution, which blamed Israelis for the recent regional conflicts.

Over thirty student organizations at Harvard collectively issued a statement, attributing complete responsibility for all ongoing violence "to the Israeli regime," reported The Hill.

Gay distanced herself and the university leadership from the students' statement, emphasizing that the group does not represent the entire school.

"Let me also state, on this matter as on others, that while our students have the right to speak for themselves, no student group — not even 30 student groups — speaks for Harvard University or its leadership," she said.

"Such inhumanity is abhorrent, whatever one's individual views of the origins of longstanding conflicts in the region," she said, referring to the ongoing attacks.

"We will all be well served in such a difficult moment by rhetoric that aims to illuminate and not inflame," Gay added. "And I appeal to all of us in this learning community to keep this in mind as our conversations continue."

Former Harvard President Lawrence Summers strongly criticized the university's belated response on Monday, asserting that the statement failed to "address the demands of the current situation."

Referring to the school's previous reactions to global conflicts, he remarked, "The university's silence before Tuesday permitted it to "appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel."

He further commented, "Instead, Harvard is being defined by the morally unconscionable statement, apparently coming from two dozen student groups, blaming all the violence on Israel." I am sickened. I cannot fathom the Administration's failure to disassociate the university and condemn this statement" immediately.

Senator Ted Cruz, a Harvard Law School alumnus and a Republican from Texas, echoed Summers' remarks on Monday, asserting that the university's silence is "utterly indefensible."

The university's Jewish center, Harvard Hillel, conveyed its profound distress in response to the students' statement.

"In the strongest terms, we oppose this outrageous statement that blames Israel for the violence carried out by Hamas terrorists — a group that has opposed peace and called for Israel's destruction since it was founded," the Jewish center penned.

As of the fourth day, hostilities continued in Israel and Gaza, resulting in a combined death toll of at least 1,800 on both sides.

According to The Associated Press, the Israeli military reported more than 1,000 fatalities in Israel, while 830 individuals lost their lives in Gaza and the West Bank thus far.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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On Tuesday, Harvard University's President Claudine Gay denounced the acts of terrorism committed by Hamas in Israel.
harvard university, disavow, student statement, hamas, israel, terrorism, claudine gay
Tuesday, 10 October 2023 07:42 PM
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