Harvard President Claudine Gay has created an “antisemitism advisory board” as the university continues to face backlash over students expressing support for terrorism following the October 7 Hamas attack against Israel.
After more than 1,400 Israelis were killed by the Palestinian terror group, more than 30 student groups at Harvard released a statement in support of the terrorists.
“We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” the joint statement read, refusing to condemn the Hamas attack and referring to Israel as an “apartheid regime.” The statement also declared that Israel was to blame for Hamas massacring Israeli civilians.
This is the final crack in my broken heart – a joint statement from @Harvard students. I could be sitting in class with these students, watching children brutally murdered, raped, kidnapped and their mutated bodies torn apart by a jeering crowd – and hear why it’s justified. pic.twitter.com/UTi60Y2omJ
— Yael Bar tur (@yaelbt) October 8, 2023
Many of the students ended up walking back the statement after multiple major corporations and CEOs vowed not to hire any Harvard student who supported terrorism — with many claiming that they had not even read the statement before signing it.
However, walking back the statement because of the impact it may have on their careers was not enough for many critics — as they have continued to call for Harvard to take action against the students for antisemitism and support for terrorism.
Gay convened a group of advisers who will be tasked with figuring out how to combat antisemitism at the university. The Harvard president’s decision comes after she faced criticism for not immediately condemning the student letter, as well as for her initial vow not to rebuke the students’ statement because of Harvard’s supposed “commitment to free expression” — despite the fact that the university was named as the worst in the U.S. for free speech after conservatives were routinely censored and suppressed.
“As we grapple with this resurgence of bigotry, I want to make one thing absolutely clear: Antisemitism has no place at Harvard,” Gay reportedly said during a Shabbat dinner hosted by Jewish campus group Harvard Hillel, according to the Boston Globe.
“For years, this university has done too little to confront its continuing presence. No longer,” the Harvard president added.
She noted that the advisory board will be made up of faculty, staff, alumni, and Jewish religious leaders “whose wisdom, experience, and counsel will help guide us forward.”