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Harvard Jewish Students Face Threats & Harassment

Harvard Jewish Students Face Threats & Harassment

Society News

Report Highlights Persistent Antisemitism at Harvard University

A recent report by Harvard alumni reveals extensive antisemitism at the prestigious university, prompting calls for institutional changes. The report, titled “The Soil Beneath the Encampments: How Israel and Jews Became the Focus of Hate at Harvard,” spearheaded by alumni Jessica Levin and Zoe Bernstein and supported by the Harvard Jewish Alumni Alliance (HJAA).

Investigating Deep-Rooted Bias

Jessica Levin and Zoe Bernstein, along with the HJAA’s Education Committee, embarked on a thorough investigation into Harvard’s history of anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiments. Their findings highlight a significant increase in antisemitic incidents following the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023. The report, representing over 3,000 Jewish alumni, demands that Harvard acknowledge and address the pervasive antisemitism within its institution.

Alumni Action and Findings

In response to a controversial letter drafted by Harvard student leaders that blamed Israel for the Hamas attack, Jewish alumni mobilized to form the Harvard Jewish Alumni Alliance. This group aimed to coordinate efforts to combat antisemitism at their alma mater. The report documents numerous instances of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel harassment, including discriminatory actions by faculty and hostile campus environments for Jewish students.

Harassment and Hostility on Campus

Jewish and Israeli students shared their experiences with the HJAA, describing a hostile environment where they were often targeted for their identities. Instances of professors singling out Israeli students! Additionally, students facing verbal and physical intimidation became reported. The atmosphere on campus has made many Jewish students feel unsafe and marginalized.

A Call for Institutional Change

The report emphasizes the need for Harvard to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and to apply its code of conduct equally to all students. Moreover, this includes not tolerating events or language that demonize Israel and Israelis. In addition, ensuring that Jewish students are treated with the same respect and protection as other ethnic groups.

The Need for Balanced Education

Jessica Levin stresses that the report does not aim to dictate what faculty should teach. However, advocates for balanced and diverse perspectives within courses. This approach would help students become critical thinkers capable of understanding complex global issues, including the Arab-Israeli conflict.

A Roadmap for Change

The HJAA hopes that this report will serve as a model for alumni at other universities to investigate and address antisemitism on their campuses. By sharing their findings and recommendations, they aim to foster a safer and more inclusive environment for Jewish students across the United States and beyond.

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The Soil Beneath the Encampments: How Israel and Jews Became the Focus of Hate at Harvard

Harvard Jewish Students Face Threats & Harassment