Hundreds of Harvard students condemn Israel in statement that omits any mention of Hamas
Palestinian student groups at Harvard painted Israel as an 'apartheid' state following its defensive operations against Hamas, which led to civilian casualties.
The students pressed Harvard to cut ties from businesses that work with Israel.
Over 900 students and nearly 100 students groups at Harvard university signed a statement condemning Israel for "state-sanctioned violence against Palestinians."
The students expressed “outrage at the latest wave of Israeli state-sanctioned violence against Palestinians" in the May 12 document, which contains no mention of Hamas.
Alleging that “Israel has implemented several forms of hegemonic rule over Palestinian lives” since its establishment, the students told their classmates that “it is important to challenge the current biased and misleading narrative on Palestine.”
Rena Nasar First is executive director of campus affairs at StandWithUs, a pro-Israel educational organization. She told Campus Reform, "it is appalling that students at a top institution in the country have resorted to promoting a misinformed and deceitful statement against Israel, the only Jewish state in the world.”
[RELATED: Students for Justice in Palestine calls for impeachment of pro-Israel Jewish student, backs down after lawyers get involved]
Labeling Israel as an "apartheid" state, the letter told students that Harvard “likely has billions invested in companies profiting off Israeli apartheid” and therefore must make “a public statement rebuking Israel’s excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians.”
Nasar First explained that “this document is anti-Semitic because it is a deliberate attempt to cover up the genocidal goals and actions of Hamas while only focusing on Israel's response.”
“By leaving out context, the statement paints a biased and inaccurate caricature of Israel and the conflict,” Nasar First remarked. “The statement attempts to erase 3,000 years of Jewish indigenous identity in Israel, and denies the Jewish right to self determination. Moreover, this statement fails to acknowledge the genocidal antisemitism of Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization backed by Iran, and their recent firing of over 4,000 rockets indiscriminately targeting Israeli civilians in apartment buildings and kindergartens.”
Among the groups that signed the statement was the Palestine Caucus at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee, Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine, Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, and the Black Student Union.
Student groups supportive of Palestine often campaign against American economic relations with Israel.
At the University of California-Irvine, for example, student government members passed a resolution encouraging the University of California system to cut all ties with firms operating in Israel.
“History teaches us that violence always begins with words,” Nasar First noted. “Harvard students must recognize that manipulative and hateful words have consequences.”
[RELATED: UC-Irvine student gov passes 'shameful' new anti-Israel resolution]
Campus Reform reached out to Harvard University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft