Harvard takes another blow over Israel as ex-Maryland governor withdraws from a pair of fellowships citing ‘dangerous antisemitism’ – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Harvard takes another blow over Israel as ex-Maryland governor withdraws from a pair of fellowships citing ‘dangerous antisemitism’

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Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images; Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pulling out of two Harvard University fellowship programs.Hogan said this was in response to “dangerous anti-Semitism” that had “taken root” on its campus.Tensions have escalated after some student groups said they held Israel “entirely responsible” for Hamas’ attacks.

Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is the latest prominent figures to cut ties with Harvard, saying he’s withdrawing from the university’s fellowship programs over what he claims is “dangerous anti-Semitism” on campus.

In a letter to the university’s leadership on Monday explaining his decision, Hogan referred to a statement originally signed by more than 30 Harvard student organizations saying that they held Israel “entirely responsible” for the outbreak of violence in the Middle East following Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel.

Hogan’s letter was addressed to Claudine Gay, the university’s president, who has been heavily criticized over Harvard’s response to the student groups’ statement.

“While these students have a right to free speech, they do not have a right to have hate speech go unchallenged by your institution,” Hogan wrote. “Harvard’s failure to immediately and forcefully denounce the anti-Semitic vitriol from these students is in my opinion a moral stain on the University.”

Hogan was due to start fellowships at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Politics and the Chan School of Public Health.

“Unfortunately, this letter is to officially inform you that I must regretfully withdraw my offer to participate in this engagement,” he wrote to Gay. “I cannot condone the dangerous anti-Semitism that has taken root on your campus, especially by more than 30 Harvard student organizations attempting to justify and celebrate Hamas’ terrorism against innocent Israeli and American civilians.”

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but it is my hope that it may help further spur you to take meaningful action to address anti-Semitism and restore the values Harvard should represent to the world,” Hogan continued.

Hogan had originally been appointed to serve as a Hauser Leader at Harvard Kennedy School, a position which involves advising students, speaking in classrooms, engaging in research, talking to key external stakeholders, and sharing expertise with faculty. Hogan’s term as a Hauser Leader at the Kennedy School, in the fall semester, was set to coincide with that of former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Hogan is still listed on the Hauser Leaders Program webpage, where an addendum describes him as a leadership advisor to the program.

Hogan, a Republican, served two terms as Maryland governor from 2015 to 2023.

Insider contacted Harvard for comment on whether it will replace Hogan and for a response to his statement. The request was sent outside regular working hours.

Lawmakers, donors, and students have criticized Harvard’s response

The collection of student organizations quickly faced backlash after they released their statement on October 8 blaming Israel for the attacks by Hamas. Business leaders including hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman have asked for a list of the names of the organizatons’ members so that they can avoid hiring them. Students said to be associated with the statement have also been the victim of doxxing attacks.

The university itself has also faced immense backlash. Some students, lawmakers from both sides, wealthy donors, and alumni say that Harvard hasn’t done enough to condemn Hamas’ attacks on Israel and to denounce the students involved in the statement.

Israeli billionaires Idan and Batia Ofer stepped down from their positions on the executive board of the Harvard Kennedy School, while billionaire retailer Les Wexner’s Jewish leadership philanthropy organization, the Wexner Foundation, cut funding from the school.

Gay, the university’s president, has made multiple statements condemning Hamas’ violence and has stressed that the student groups don’t speak for Harvard or its leadership. But in a video released on October 12, she said that the university also rejects harassment and intimidation based on people’s beliefs and that its commitment to free expression includes “views that many of us find objectionable, even outrageous.”

“We do not punish or sanction people for expressing such views,” Gay said. “But that is a far cry from endorsing them.”

The Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee, which penned the original student-group statement, previously said in an update that it “staunchly opposes all violence against all innocent life and laments all human suffering.”

“We reject that Palestinian solidarity groups are always expected to preempt their statements with condemnation of violence while overlooking the structures that produce said violence,” the PSC added.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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