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Too little, too late? Harvard announces advisory board to ‘disrupt and dismantle’ antisemitism

Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images

As antisemitism runs rampant throughout the world it is becoming increasingly clear how emboldened anti-Semites are on American college campuses. From threats to physical abuses, many donors have pulled millions of dollars from the institutions that breed such hate. Harvard president Claudine Gay has taken a positive step, but is it too little, too late?

Gay announced the creation of a new advisory board on campus aimed to “disrupt and dismantle” antisemitism amid growing concerns from Jewish students and school donors. During her announcement of the board, Gay admitted Friday at a Hillel Shabbat dinner, “Antisemitism has a very long and shameful history at Harvard. For years, this University has done too little to confront its continuing presence. No longer.”

The eight-member panel includes journalist Dara Horn as well as Rabbi David Wolpe, a prominent conservative Jewish figure, the Harvard Crimson reported. “In the weeks ahead, these advisors…will help us to think expansively and concretely about all the ways that antisemitism shows up on our campus and in our campus culture.”

“They will help us to identify all the places — from our orientations and trainings to how we teach — where we can intervene to disrupt and dismantle this ideology, and where we can educate our community so that they can recognize and confront antisemitism wherever they see it” she continued.

On October 7th, when Hamas terrorists brutally murdered over 1,400 Israeli civilians, many of whom were tortured, executed, or beheaded, the college’s Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Group published a statement holding “the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.”

“Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum,” the letter explained. “The apartheid regime is the only one to blame.” National Review explains the fallout involving student groups on campus:

The note was signed by nearly three dozen other Harvard student groups and drew the condemnation of political and academic figures for its effort to justify terrorism.
In the subsequent days, at least ten student groups who originally signed the document withdrew their support as public pressure mounted. At one point, a billboard truck drove around campus highlighting signatories’ faces and names under the banned “Harvard’s Leading Antisemites.”

“The silence from Harvard’s leadership, so far, coupled with a vocal and widely reported student groups’ statement blaming Israel solely, has allowed Harvard to appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel,” the school’s former president Lawrence Summers said following the joint student declaration.

Did Harvard come to the defense of the antisemitic student groups before doing anything for the threatened Jewish and Israeli students? National Review reports how Harvard has been going through great lengths to “help students whose names were publicized after signing public letters blaming Israel exclusively for the atrocities of the October 7 massacre.”

News of the advisory board comes just days after the elite school established a task force aimed at helping students whose names were publicized after signing public letters blaming Israel exclusively for the atrocities of the October 7 massacre. Beginning November 3, the new task force plans to offer services to students impacted by the fallout from affixing their names to the controversial statements, including guidance on how to handle online harassment and how to mute bothersome social-media accounts.

“We are truly grateful for all the tremendous work that students have put forth in supporting each other through this most difficult time, and we appreciate the collaborative spirit in which students, faculty, and staff have come together to repel this repugnant assault on our community,” Harvard’s dean of students Thomas Dunne wrote in an official statement on Tuesday.