Don’t let the Harvard Crimson’s calumnies against Israel go unchallenged.
Harvard University’s Jewish community has long had issues with the student paper’s ill-will towards Israel. But the Harvard Crimson crossed a new line with a staff editorial formally endorsing the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against the Jewish state.
It cannot be understated: A staff editorial reflects the official views of the newspaper’s editorial board, not an individual writer.
The staff-ed cited flawed reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, implied that the IDF indiscriminately kills Palestinian children and denounced a “power imbalance” between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Israel remains America’s favorite first amendment blindspot.”
Translation: Criticizing Israel gets you tarred as an antisemite.
“But the weight of this moment — of Israel’s human rights and international law violations and of Palestine’s cry for freedom — demands this step. As a board, we are proud to finally lend our support to both Palestinian liberation and BDS — and we call on everyone to do the same,” the editorial argued.
The staff-ed, it should be noted, was triggered by controversy surrounding Harvard’s Palestine Solidarity Committee, which installed a so-called “Wall of Resistance” on campus. Among the messages it featured was “Zionism is racism.”
While the Crimson editorial board is entitled to is opinions, it’s not entitled to twist and cherry pick its facts.
The Crimson has nothing to say about Palestinian terror or intransigence. Rather than questioning the human rights community’s animus for Zionism, the editors place a halo on the heads of Amnesty and HRW. And the paper doesn’t acknowledge that the BDS movement opposes the two-state solution — a binary position leaving no room for compromise.
Lawrence Summers, Harvard’s former president rightly denounced the editorial as antisemitic in both “intent and effect” and added his name to an open letter signed by 100 Harvard faculty members.
“BDS merely coarsens the discourse on campus and contributes to antisemitism. In seeking to delegitimize Israel through diplomatic, economic, academic, and cultural isolation, and by opposing the very notions of Jewish peoplehood and self-determination, BDS is disrespectful of Jews, the vast majority of whom view an attachment to Israel as central to their faith identity,” the letter stressed.
Unfortunately, Harvard’s current President Lawrence Bacow, who is Jewish, is not repudiating the Crimson.
According to a Crimson report following up on the fallout, “Bacow declined to comment on The Crimson’s editorial, saying that the newspaper is ‘entitled to publish what they wish and to share their views as they may.’ But he added that ‘any suggestion of targeting or boycotting a particular group because of disagreements over the policies pursued by their governments is antithetical to what we stand for as a university.'”
At Harvard, Israel and the Jewish people are smeared as racist baby killers who muzzle all opposition. And those two sentences are all the university president can say?
Demand President Lawrence Bacow repudiate the editorial.
Contact Lawrence Bacow at email@example.com