Monday, May 20, 2024

Harvard is a hostile environment to Jews. Here are their stories.

The Harvard Jewish Alumni Alliance (HJAA) issued a report listing many, many incidents that Jewish students at Harvard experienced since October 7 and even beforehand. 

It is horrific.

Here are some examples:

“I am taking a class with Professor Penslar, Modern Jewish History. Penslar signed the letter … [that] calls Israel an apartheid state …. What I have been surprised by in the class is one of the TFs is vehemently anti-Israel, showing only one side.” (“TFs” or teaching fellows are often called “teaching assistants” at other universities)” 

“I took a class in the Spring of '23 called Religion, Nationalism and Settler Colonialism [at Harvard Divinity School].…The class was just a 12-week hate fest…. One of the classes was titled ‘The Holocaust and Ongoing Nakba.’ It was just a way to compare the treatment of Palestinians to the way Jews were treated during the Holocaust.” 

“[T]here's a big class on the Holocaust that's like a general education class, so it's not just for people in a major. My friend took this class, and there was a teaching fellow who … was saying things like it really wasn't that bad. And look at all the ways that Jews contributed to the Holocaust happening.” 

“[In March 2023] I joined one of my best friends for her Middle Eastern class because she was presenting and invited me to watch her presentation. [There were about] 30 students [in the class], and there were other people in the class who were [also] coming to see their friends present. In the middle of the class, the professor stopped the lecture …. He asked me if I was a student [in his class], and I said, ‘No, my friend invited me to watch her present.’ Then he said, ‘Where are you from?’ I said, ‘Israel.’ He looked at me and said . . . ‘I need to ask you to leave the class’…. People are uncomfortable because I am from Israel. This means that he had to ask [only] me to leave a class where others were also … there to listen to their friends….” 

“In terms of our education, that is the most important thing. People don't understand what Zionism is. They think it’s white settler colonialism. People need to understand the history, not just the Holocaust, but of the Jewish people and why it's so important for there to be a Jewish state.”

 “Israelis are not in these Middle Eastern studies classes. There were lots of times I felt weird and uncomfortable saying I was from Israel in my section when I took a Middle Eastern Studies class. That is the only reason why I'm not pursuing [Middle Eastern studies] as my concentration.” 

 “[I am] dropping my NELC [Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations] department class because it's a hostile environment for me.” 

“I haven't challenged my TF, I don't feel comfortable. I'm not going to change my TF’s opinion. It's not worth it. The section is a small class. The way the grading in the classes works, it is so heavily dependent on participation that it leaves room for interpretation…. 

"I don't make arguments that the TFs disagree with because they don't seem to grade based on the validity of the argument.”

“I attempted to attend the History department’s Palestine event but was turned away by an organizer who recognized me, despite my having registered, with him giving the excuse of a lack of space.” [The organizer continued allowing other students to enter.]

“Last year, the PSC invited Mohammed el-Kurd to speak. I decided that I was going to listen to him because we have free speech and I wanted to hear what he had to say. I decided to ask a question of him: ‘Mr el-Kurd, do you condemn the killing of innocent Israeli, Jews, American civilians across the world as a form of resistance and liberation?’ He said, ‘I'm not going to dignify that racist question with a response.’ 200 of my fellow peers were clapping for him.”  

“Convocation freshman year is the first week. My entire convocation was corrupted—hijacked by the PSC [Palestine Solidarity Committee]…. At convocation, I felt like these people really, really don't want me here. They want me to feel unwelcome. My being a Zionist and a Jew is contrary to their values, and they will use inflammatory rhetoric and tactics that are intentionally designed to hurt me.”

 ‘From day one at the First Year International Program, people heard that I was from Israel, and some people stopped talking to me, including some of the leaders [of the orientation program]. There is an ice breaker event where you divide up by country, and it's known among the Israelis to stay in your room or go [join the] Europe [group]. That is from Day 1 [at Harvard].” 

“I remember that [at the] First Year International Program during pre-orientation … one specific student turned around and left after I answered that I was from Israel. I see her a lot. That was an unforgettable moment.” 

“Last year during apartheid week, I had to walk by a wall with an image comparing Israel to the Nazis with an image of cattle cars going into a gate. I was appalled that there would be Nazi comparisons; no other groups get compared to the Nazis. I ended up switching my walk to class so I could avoid walking by the wall.”

“Last year I had a mezuzah outside my dorm, and that was taken down.”

“What I find most distressing, and what influences my happiness most, is that when I walk into the house dining hall, and I say, ‘hi,’ people won't say hi back just because I was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. That goes a long way with [affecting] your feeling of belonging.” 

“You can't eat in Adams, literally. I ate there once and I was like, ‘I am never going back there.’ They all know what Israelis look like. They actively stare at us…. [They] know I'm Israeli and hate me for it. Some of them stop talking when I walk near them. Someone from my NELC [Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations] department class looks away when she sees me.” 

“This one girl who wasn't in our blocking group but also was invited [to the Dominican Republic] wouldn't come because I was going. I am Israeli, and she didn't want to be pictured with someone who is Israeli. She wasn't shy [about it], she was public about it….” 

“Two days after I came back to campus [from being home in Israel], I saw a protest [being] led by the PSC in Harvard Yard. There was a huge sign that said, ‘Stop the Genocide in Gaza.’ I was just back to campus [having gone] to the funeral of my best friend who was brutally murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Nova music festival. And I just got emotional seeing such provocative and hateful signs.”

“I'm engaged and my fiancĂ© [who wears a kippah] was walking on campus on October 9 th , and someone who [my fiancĂ©] believed to be another student came up to him and spit in his face, oh my God, just on campus… I'll tell you that he and pretty much all the other [orthodox] guys on campus have started wearing baseball caps.” 

“I am scared to be a Jew here right now.”

"It's pretty scary to walk around campus knowing someone who is comfortable physically assaulting a religious Jew is potentially still on campus…. And I'll tell you that he and pretty much all the other [orthodox] guys on campus have started wearing baseball caps. 

“I felt very afraid even walking to Annenberg because, outside the science center, there would be protests or people asking me a question you can't say no to - like, ‘Did you condemn the murder of Palestinian children?’”

“Because of my Jewish and Zionist identity, people think I am a monster. I have heard people say, ‘Zionists should be slain.’ I have heard people say, ‘You can’t possibly believe an Israeli, they are all settlers.’” 

“It's very clear at HDS [Harvard Divinity School] that Zionism is a very dirty, insulting word. To be called one is an insult. [It is] certainly not something you self-identify [as] publicly.” 

 “What's disappointing is that they are smarter, and Zionist is a code word for Jew. You can't say Judaism is wrong, or the Jews control the media, but you can say Zionists control the media. And that's what is so hard [because they use the word Zionist so they can say that they’re] not antisemites….” 

Here are some posts seen on an internal Harvard chat after October 7:

This is all just part of what was in the student's testimony section. The report also goes into the topics of lectures sponsored by student groups, guest lecturers who are pro-terror, and curricula that are themselves extraordinarily biased against Israel.  Also, for the most part, the Center for Jewish Studies avoids any mention of Israel in its own courses, tackling more obscure (and woke) topics. 

It is a very frightening report. No one should be subject to what Zionist Jews and Israelis experience at Harvard. 


Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

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