Larry Summers says some of the Harvard students who signed an anti-Israel letter ‘did not understand exactly what they were approving’ – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Larry Summers says some of the Harvard students who signed an anti-Israel letter ‘did not understand exactly what they were approving’

Larry Summers, former US treasury secretary.

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Larry Summers has addressed the row about Harvard student groups that signed an anti-Israel letter.The letter, signed by 33 groups, said the students held Israel responsible for the Hamas attacks.The ex-treasury secretary said, “Many in these groups never saw the statement” before it was sent.

Larry Summers, former US treasury secretary and Harvard graduate, said some of the students at the college who signed an anti-Israel letter “did not exactly understand what they were approving.” 

Summers posted on X on Wednesday to share his stance on the situation and wrote, “I yield to no one in my revulsion at the statement apparently made on behalf of 30 plus @Harvard student groups. But please everybody take a deep breath. 

“Many in these groups never saw the statement before it went out. In some case those approving did not understand exactly what they were approving.  Probably some were naive and foolish. This is not a time where it is constructive to vilify individuals and I am sorry that is happening.”

Summers was responding to a now-deleted letter that blamed the Hamas attacks on Israel. It was authored by Harvard’s undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and signed by more than 30 student groups.

“We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” the letter began, screenshots posted on Twitter showed. 

It added: “The apartheid regime is the only one to blame. Israeli violence has structured every aspect of Palestinian existence for 75 years.” 

The letter has received intense backlash from high-profile figures. Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman called on Harvard University to release the names of the students who were members of the groups that signed the letter so that CEOs would know not to hire them. 

Several Harvard students have publicly distanced themselves from the letter and said they were unaware their organization had even signed it. 

One law student, Danielle Mikaelian, who was a board member of one of the groups that signed the letter said that she resigned from her role and thought the letter was “egregious,” in tweets previously viewed by Insider. 

“I am sorry for the pain this caused. My organization did not have a formal process and I didn’t even see the statement until we had signed on,” she said. 

Another law student, Mohini Tangri, tweeted in response to Ackman: “So I know many members had no say in whether their orgs signed either letter. Many weren’t even notified that their orgs were considering doing so. No need for this level of harassment.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a state of war on Saturday after Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a series of attacks, which resulted in at least 1,200 casualties in Israel, the Israel Defense Forces have said. 

In retaliatory attacks from Israel, more than 1,300 people have been killed in Gaza. Meanwhile, Israel’s defense minister announced a “complete siege” of Gaza on Monday and said no electricity, food, water, or fuel would be let in. 

Israel already controlled most of the Palestinian territories’ access to food, water, and power before the Hamas attacks, which prompted the UN’s special rapporteur to describe the area as an “open-air prison.”

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