Harvard students who blamed Israel for the slaughter of its citizens by Hamas had their own futures in doubt last night when a host of blue chip CEOs declared them jobless.
The elite university faced a massive backlash after 31 of its student associations issued a joint statement “holding the Israeli regime fully responsible for all the unfolding violence.”
The Anti-Defamation League denounced the statement as “anti-Semitic” and others accused the university of tolerating hate speech.
But Wall Street seems even less forgiving as billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman reveals that his fellow bosses want to know who they are so that “none of us accidentally hire one of their members.”
The CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management said he was approached by “a number of CEOs,” adding: “One should not be able to hide behind a corporate shield when issuing statements in support of the actions of terrorists, who, so we now learn, decapitated babies, among other unimaginably despicable acts.”
Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman reveals his fellow bosses want to know who they are, so ‘none of us accidentally hire any of their members’
Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman (left) and DoveHill Capital Management CEO Jake Wurzak (right) echoed the call
The Palestinian Solidarity Committee holds banners outside the prestigious college
Jonathan Neman, CEO of food chain Sweetgreen, agreed, tweeting that he “would like to know so I know never to hire these people.”
Jake Wurzak, CEO of DoveHill Capital Management, seconded the call and David Duel, CEO of EasyHealth Healthcare Services, responded, “Same.”
In their statement on Sunday, the groups said the attack that killed more than 1,000 “did not take place in a vacuum” and claimed the Israeli government has forced Palestinians to “live in an open-air prison for more than 20 years.”
‘The apartheid regime is the only one to blame. Israeli violence has structured every aspect of Palestinian existence for 75 years,” they wrote.
“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.”
Named so far include Shir Lovett-Graff, founder of the university’s Jews for Liberation, Shifa Hossain, co-treasurer of the Bengali Association, and Fatima Almire of Harvard’s Middle Eastern and North African Student Association.
Many of the groups that linked their names to the statement appeared to take down their web pages last night, while at least two had withdrawn their support in response to the backlash.
The university’s Nepalese Students Association said it condemned “violence by Hamas” and regretted that the statement “has been interpreted as tacit support for the recent violent attacks in Israel.”
And Harvard Undergraduate Ghungroo, who promotes South Asian culture, said he would like to “formally apologize.”
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.”
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
“The Ghungroo strongly denounces and condemns the massacre propagated by the terrorist organization Hamas,” it added.
“We sincerely apologize for the insensitivity of the statement recently released.”
The statement was initially deleted by Instagram but reposted Monday evening, replacing the student groups’ names with just “Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups.”
“For the safety of students, the names of all original signatory organizations are being withheld at this time,” it added.
Danielle Mikaelian, a law student at Harvard University, said she had resigned from her role as a board member of one of the student groups that co-signed the controversial statement, calling it “egregious.”
The council’s slowness to distance itself from the comments also sparked anger, with Harvard president emeritus Lawrence Summers calling it “sickening.”
“The silence of Harvard leadership has allowed Harvard to appear, at best, neutral toward acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel,” he wrote on social media platform X.
‘I am ill.’
His successor Claudine Gay finally issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the “terrorist atrocities committed by Hamas in Israel” and insisting that the 31 student groups “do not speak on behalf of the university or its leadership.”
An aerial photo shows the bodies of victims of the Hamas attack on the Kfar Aza kibbutz on Tuesday
Israel’s death toll has passed 1,000 as the country plots bloody revenge on the people of Gaza
“Let me also say, on this and other issues, that while our students have the right to speak for themselves, no student group – not even 30 student groups – speaks for Harvard University or its leadership,” Gay said.
“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,” she said.
The president then added, “At such a difficult moment, we will all be well served by rhetoric that aims to enlighten, not inflame.