October 9, 2023
In the wake of the vicious attack on Israeli citizens by Hamas terrorists, Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups, a group or more than thirty-six student groups, chose to ignore the barbaric murders, kidnappings, and abuse of hundreds of Israeli citizens by Hamas and instead blamed Israel.
American Jewish Committee (AJC) calls on Harvard’s central administration and the deans of Houses whose student groups signed the statement to unequivocally condemn the statement and denounce its message. This statement is wholly inimical to the ideals of the university and toxic to Harvard’s campus environment. AJC also calls upon Harvard’s administration, as well as administrations across the country, to reaffirm their commitment to supporting the Jewish community on campus, many of whose members have been personally impacted by this weekend’s violence.
Hamas is designated as a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union, and many other nations. It is shocking for any single group, much less a coalition of Harvard student groups, to justify their heinous actions, which caused the most Jewish casualties on any single day since the Holocaust. It is equally shocking to see a complete absence of sympathy for the more than 800 men, women and children they murdered, the thousands they wounded, and the over one hundred they kidnapped.
We find it utterly unacceptable that these Harvard student groups chose this moment to engage in cruel victim-blaming. We commend the many Harvard students, and associated student groups - along with nations and leaders around the world - who have denounced this statement and stand with Israel, Jewish students, and morality at this unprecedented time.
As we see continued discourse on U.S. college campuses around Hamas’ violent war on Israel, we urge other student groups to refrain from issuing similarly callous statements that stand in stark contrast to the morality for which institutions, including Harvard, stand.