Harvard President Claudine Gay has finally condemned the “terrorist atrocities committed by Hamas in Israel” – contrary to the views of many students at the university.
In a statement published on the Ivy League institution’s website, Gay said the 34 student groups that pledged to support the Islamic militants “do not speak for the university or its leadership.”
The Hamas movement, which controls the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, attacked Israel Saturday in the worst breach of the country’s defenses since Arab armies went to war in 1973. Israel has responded with airstrikes on Gaza.
The leaders of one of America’s most prestigious universities remained silent as the death toll on both sides exceeded quadruple figures — until today.
Harvard President Claudine Gay (pictured) has finally condemned the ‘terrorist atrocities committed by Hamas in Israel’ – in defiance of 31 student groups at the Ivy League institution that have pledged support to the militants
In a statement published on the Ivy League institution’s website, Gay said the 31 student groups that pledged to support the militants “do not speak for the university or its leadership.”
“As the events of the past few days continue to resonate, there is no doubt that I condemn the terrorist atrocities committed by Hamas,” Gay said in a statement.
“Such inhumanity is abhorrent, regardless of one’s individual view of the origins of long-standing conflict in the region.
“Let me also say, on this issue as on others, that while our students have the right to speak for themselves, no student group—not even thirty student groups—speaks for Harvard University or its leadership.
“At such a difficult moment, we will all be well served by rhetoric that aims to clarify and not inflame.
“And I appeal to all of us in this learning community to keep this in mind as our conversations continue.”
A coalition of 34 Harvard student organizations said they “hold the Israeli regime fully responsible for all the unfolding violence” after decades of occupation, adding that “the apartheid regime is solely to blame.”
The organizations that signed the letter included Muslim and Palestinian support groups, plus others named from various backgrounds, including Harvard Jews for Liberation and the African American Resistance Organization.
“The apartheid regime is solely to blame,” they said. “Israeli violence has structured every aspect of Palestinian existence for 75 years.
“From systematic land seizures to routine airstrikes, arbitrary detentions to military checkpoints, and forced family separations to targeted killings, Palestinians have been forced to live in a state of death, both slow and sudden.”
The Hamas movement, which controls the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, attacked Israel on Saturday, marking the biggest breach of the country’s defenses since the Arab armies went to war in 1973. (Image: a hostage taken by Hamas)
Disturbing footage showed what appeared to be Hamas militants parading the naked bodies of women they kidnapped from the festival on Saturday
Hamas terrorists arrest an elderly Israeli woman
Israeli police evacuate a woman and child from the scene of a rocket blast
People mourn at the grave of Eden Guez, who was killed at a festival attacked by Hamas gunmen killing at least 260 people, during her funeral in Ashkelon, southern Israel.
Gay and senior leaders, including 15 Harvard deans, issued a statement Monday saying they were “heartbroken by the death and destruction unleashed by Hamas’s attack that targeted civilians in Israel this weekend.”
But the statement avoided direct references to the student letter or the response to it.
Harvard is the most influential university in American politics, with eight former presidents and four of the nine current Supreme Court justices.
Harvard President Emeritus Lawrence Summers, the former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under Democratic President Bill Clinton and a former university president, was one of several Harvard graduates who criticized the current Harvard leadership for being unresponsive.
“The silence of Harvard leadership… has allowed Harvard to appear, at best, neutral toward acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel,” Summers wrote on social media platform X. “It sickens me.”
Although universities have traditionally been a bastion of freedom of expression and radical ideas, the student letter struck a chord within the political establishment.
Elise Stefanik, a Republican U.S. representative from New York and a Harvard graduate, called the statement “abhorrent and heinous” for excusing the “slaughter of innocent women and children.”
Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a graduate of Harvard Law School, wrote on X: “What the hell is wrong with Harvard?”