Harvard campus, Cambridge, Ma. (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)


“Harvard supports, upholds, and invests in Israeli apartheid, and the oppression of Palestinians,” undergraduate senior shouts at dean during convocation ceremony.

By Dion J. Pierre, The Alegemeiner

An anti-Israel activist interrupted a convocation ceremony held by Harvard University earlier this week to welcome the new student class of 2027 to campus.

Asmer Safi, an undergraduate senior at Harvard and a research assistant at the university’s Radcliffe Institute, heckled Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana as he concluded his remarks to students on Monday.

“Dean Khurana, you talk about equity, you talk about justice, you talk about truth,” Safi shouted as everyone was quiet, according to the Harvard Crimson school newspaper. “Here’s the real truth — Harvard supports, upholds, and invests in Israeli apartheid, and the oppression of Palestinians.”

Safi was referencing the accusation that Israel is a racist state that implements apartheid policies similar to South Africa in the 20th century. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an intergovernmental organization comprised of dozens of countries that created the world’s most widely accepted definition of antisemitism, lists “denying the Jewish people their right to self determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor,” as an example of antisemitism.

The definition has been widely accepted by Jewish groups and well over 1,000 global entities, from countries to companies. The US State Department, the European Union, and the United Nations all use it.

Asked by the Harvard Crimson to comment on Monday’s incident, Harvard spokesperson Jonathan Palumbo said, “Freedom of expression is essential to a liberal arts and sciences education.”

Antisemitism at Harvard is pervasive, according to several interviews conducted for a student’s recent senior thesis titled, “The Death of Discourse: Antisemitism at Harvard College.” The paper argued that Jewish students on campus face bias and discrimination.

According to the research, 62.5 percent of students reported experiencing antisemitism or personally knew someone who had, while 83 percent said they had experienced anti-Zionism. One interview subject said that during a pre-orientation tour of the campus, a program leader stopped at the school’s Hillel, described it as one of the “bad parts of Harvard,” and accused it of being “part of an effort to dominate the conversation about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on campus.”

During the 2021-2022 academic year, Harvard University had the most incidents involving the “suppression, denigration, or challenges to the definition of Jewish identity” of any US college campus, according to a report that investigated previously unexamined ways that anti-Israel activists attack and undermine Jewish identity. Released last November by the AMCHA Initiative, which monitors antisemitism in higher education, the report argued that while previous studies had explored whether Jewish students were “safe” on campus, the focus should be expanded to look at ways in which Zionists are becoming increasingly excluded from campus life through classical “tropes of Jewish evil.”

Last year the Harvard Crimson shocked the academic world when it endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement in an editorial decried by Jewish leaders and students as “beyond disturbing” and “rejecting Jewish self determination altogether.” The BDS movement seeks to isolate Israel from the international community as a step toward the Jewish state’s eventual elimination

More recently, a so-called “Apartheid Wall” was erected on campus this spring by the school’s Palestine Solidarity Committee. According to the Crimson, the structure was placed in the Science Center Plaza in Harvard Yard and said, “There is no Zionist state without racism, colonialism, [and] ethnic cleansing. Veritas? Harvard upholds apartheid. We are all complicit.”

In an email to the Crimson at the time, Jewish and pro-Israel leaders at Harvard said the wall’s portrayal of Israel was false.

“In previous years this wall has been a talking point for much of Harvard’s Jewish community. For some Jews, it has also been painful and offensive,” the email said. “However much you care, Israel is the world’s only Jewish state. It is our historic homeland. It has held together our people and shaped our culture and practice for eighty generations.”



Farmers near the Gaza border lost family, friends and workers. Spring is here, and they desperately need help to replant the farms. Join us in blessing the People and Land of Israel.

“I will ordain My blessing for you…” (Leviticus 25:4)