According to David Meir Levi’s article Havardstan, published in Front Page Magazine, “Harvard has long been perceived as America’s premier university, the gold standard in the quest for truth in the market-place of ideas, where scholars of high academic integrity pursue cutting-edge research and assist eager students to develop the analytical skills and critical acumen needed for future leadership.” Evidently, based on a Slate Survey of 1,410 prominent Americans, Harvard graduates make up 17% of college and university presidents, 12% of people in the executive branch” of the US federal government, 11% of US judiciary, 10% of the US Senate, and 9% of US business leaders. This implies that what is taught at Harvard significantly matters to the future of the US-Israeli relationship.
Given these facts, the transformation of Harvard University into a bastion of anti-Israel activism is greatly disturbing. David Meir Levi has documented within the Kennedy School of Government, the Middle Eastern Outreach Center, and the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard “a decade-long drift from academic integrity to the institutionalization of anti-Israel counter-factual and often deeply mendacious […] indoctrination, characterized by egregious distortions of history and risible lies about Israel and Jews.”
This negative process began in 2000, when the Sheikh Zayed Foundation offered Harvard $2.5 million. Due to the activism of Rachel Lea Fish, this negative influence was withdrawn from Harvard. However, it was due to the embarrassment of the contributors from the negative publicity that they were getting; the aid was not rejected by Harvard administrators. Thus, Rachel Lea Fish only succeeded to post-pone, rather than alter, the transformation of Harvard into a center for anti-Israel activity.
In 2005, Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal donated $20,000,000 to Harvard University. Ever since that date, David Meir Levi reported that Harvard University in general developed “an appetite for hosting supporters of terrorism, a receptiveness to anti-Israel events,” fired an economics professor for telling the truth about the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and “started to have an unconscionable tolerance for those in its own departments who teach lies and distortions about Jews and Israel.” Indeed, Stephen Walt, author of the infamous Israel Lobby, teaches at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, while Dianna Buttu, former legal adviser to the Palestinian Authority, is a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School.
The fact that two virulently anti-Israel academic lectures at Harvard occurred within the past month alone hosted by the Middle East Initiative, but not a single pro-Israel academic lecture was sponsored by them this semester, demonstrates this overall anti-Israel trend. The Middle East Initiative was established by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government to actively engage “in community outreach to create a space for dynamic interaction around issues relating to the Middle East.”
By blindly supporting the Palestinian narrative, the Middle East Initiative has neglected its mission of educating the Harvard community about Middle Eastern issues in an objective manner that can solicit vibrant communication on an issue of great importance to the region. As a result, Harvard students and the greater community that attend Middle East Initiative lectures are not being exposed to the full picture regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION BY CONTACTING HARVARD UNIVERSITY’S PRESIDENT!
Dear President Drew Faust,
It has come to our attention that Harvard University’s Middle East Initiative lecture series has not hosted a single pro-Israel academic lecture, but has held two virulently anti-Israel lectures within the past month alone. As concerned citizens, we believe that universities should share with their students and the general public the whole picture and not just display a biased image of a reality as complex as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This is especially the case for events sponsored by actual departments of the university, for university departments are beholden to remain balanced in a way that student groups are not required to do. Therefore, we call upon you as Harvard University president to ensure that the Middle East Initiative, which was created by the Kennedy School of Government, includes a pro-Israel lecture for every anti-Israel lecture or even better, hosts events that remain impartial and give both sides of the story. Thank you for your consideration.
All the best,
Contact: President Drew Faust
Reported by: Rachel Avraham for United With Israel