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The Swastika, "Palestinian" BDS & Crimson students' rare "Editorial"

Reader comment on item: CAIR and American Islam

Submitted by Doris (United States), Jun 9, 2022 at 18:46

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The movement behind Harvard Crimson's BDS endorsement

The student newspaper's landmark position follows years of tireless organizing by Palestinians and allies in the face of institutional pushback.

By Harvard PSC June 6, 2022 (972mag)

Harvard College Palestine Solidarity
It's April 29, 2022, and the excitement is palpable in the small computer room in Adams House, one of Harvard's 12 residential houses. Mohammed Assaf's "Dammi Falastini" ("My blood is Palestinian") is blaring on someone's speaker, as five keffiyeh-clad members of Harvard College's Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) share baklawa and hunch over the copy machine, trying to make a perfect scan of that day's edition of the Harvard Crimson, the university newspaper.
After much back and forth, we finally get an angle that looks just right. "EDITORIAL: In Support of Boycott, Divest, Sanctions and a Free Palestine." It isn't Keffiyeh Thursday — a weekly visibility campaign by PSC to wear the Palestinian scarf across campus as an act of solidarity — but we joke that from here on out, every day will be Thursday.


Harvard Students React To The Crimson's BDS Endorsement

By Eve Glover, 11 Iyyar 5782 – May 12, 2022

On April 22, the last day of Israeli Apartheid Week, Bernat heard that a swastika had been carved into the wall of the Currier House, an undergraduate dormitory. A police report was filed and an investigation started.



No Comment: Harvard President Won't Condemn Anti-Semitic Incidents], Washington Free Beacon,May 5, 2022.

Lawrence Bacow's silence on Jew hatred follows his $100 million pledge to atone for Harvard's role in slavery.

Harvard president Lawrence Bacow during a closed-door faculty meeting on Tuesday declined to condemn a recent string of anti-Semitic incidents on campus but said he objects to "academic boycotts" of any foreign country, including the Jewish state.
Bacow said he "would hope that every member of our community would condemn hatred and bigotry on our campus in any form, whether or not it appears as a swastika or a noose," but did not say whether he included the recent events on campus in this category.

Bacow was responding to a faculty member, the government professor Eric Nelson, who asked him about the "eruption of anti-Semitism on our campus," ...

During the meeting on Tuesday, Nelson told Bacow that the "last two weeks have been sad and difficult ones for Harvard's Jewish community."
"First, we were confronted with a massive display, allowed to stand throughout the Passover holiday in the middle of Harvard Yard, declaring with willful absurdity that 'Zionism is [supposedly a so-called] white supremacy' and using Holocaust imagery to suggest that ... is [supposedly] to the Palestinians [sic] what the Nazis were to the Jews," said Nelson. "The student group responsible for this display likewise invited to campus as a featured speaker Norman Finkelstein, who has made his negligible name by defending Holocaust denial. Then came the repeated vandalism of posters put up by Jewish students in response to these outrages, which in turn may or may not have been connected to the appearance of a swastika etched into a bulletin board in Currier House."

The professor added that the Crimson "has officially pronounced itself to be in full support of this eruption of anti-Semitism on our campus and has furthermore called upon Harvard to join the BDS movement directed against the State of Israel." Nelson then asked Bacow for his "thoughts on how a civilized university ought to respond to such developments."

A transcript of Bacow's reply was posted online by the university, with the question omitted. The Washington Free Beacon also obtained a copy of the question, in which Bacow was asked to address specific anti-Semitic incidents.

Bacow's comments come as alumni have expressed concerns about rising anti-Semitism at Harvard. Former Harvard president and Clinton administration Treasury secretary Larry Summers this week denounced the Crimson's endorsement of BDS and anti-Semitic demonstrations on campus, saying it is "clear to me that anti-Semitism is being practiced in both intent and effect."

"I call on all members of the Harvard community, including its current leadership, to make clear their righteous opposition to BDS's anti-Semitism and those organizations who support it," wrote Summers.

Other Harvard faculty members also spoke out against the Crimson's BDS endorsement.

"It reflects a deep bias and ignorance of history. One striking example is that it refers to Israeli police killing Palestinians, without mentioning that most of the Palestinians who were killed were engaged in terrorism against Israeli civilians," retired professor Alan Dershowitz told the Free Beacon. "It's a very sloppy piece of journalism."


Shira Hoffer, "Don't Sit Next to Her; She's Jewish!"

Harvard Politics, May 30, 2022.

... For example, did you know that a swastika was carved into a corkboard at Currier House this month? I did not until last week. Statements to the entire campus community? None, though the Currier House Faculty Deans responded appropriately by reaching out to the Currier students. Campus-wide outrage? Non-existent. President Lawrence Bacow was asked about growing anti-Semitism on campus on a May 3rd faculty meeting — more than a week after the swastika was drawn — and he did not mention it. Meanwhile, in 2019, a faculty member arrived at her office to find hateful messages about her ethnicity and immigration status taped to her door. Appropriately, FAS Dean Claudine Gay and University President Lawrence S. Bacow signed a statement of condemnation.



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