News and Commentary

Awful: Harvard Student Government Funds ‘Israel Apartheid Week’

The Undergraduate Council at Harvard College has shamefully voted 21-13 to fund events for “Israel Apartheid Week” — a movement that has unfortunately gained substantial traction across American academia in recent years. Furthermore, some of the invited guest speakers for Harvard’s “Israel Apartheid Week” have a history of calling for violence against Israeli Jews.

The Harvard Crimson reports:

The Undergraduate Council [UC] voted to allocate the Palestine Solidarity Committee [PSC] $2,050 to host Israeli Apartheid Week [IAW] at Sunday’s general meeting.

IAW is an international movement across college campuses… The PSC planned much of the programming of Harvard’s event, which began on March 30 and runs until April 4. The week includes Palestinian speakers, a student panel, an unveiling of a physical Wall of Resistance, and a movie screening.

The bill to fund IAW passed 21-13-4 and drew money from the UC’s Grant for an Open Harvard College, which subsidizes student initiatives that address one of the UC’s indicated “compelling interests.” The interests for the 2018-19 academic year are “mental health, race, culture, and faith relations, sexual assault and harassment prevention, social spaces, and financial accessibility.” …

Dozens of students who supported and opposed the Council’s funding of the event attended Sunday’s meeting. Students disagreed as to whether the event allowed for open dialogue among students with opposing views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jewish and pro-Israel students at Harvard have, naturally, been fazed by the Undergraduate Council’s decision to fund a highly tendentious event that vilifies a liberal, Western-style American ally while glorifying an oftentimes genocidal Palestinian-Arab national movement.

The Crimson continued, also noting that the infamous jihad-friendly founder of the facially anti-Semitic “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) movement against Israel, Omar Barghouti, would be invited to Harvard’s “Israel Apartheid Week”:

Multiple Jewish students said the event makes them feel uncomfortable because some of the speakers invited to the week’s events have previously endorsed violence against Israeli civilians.

“One of the speakers that is slated to come, Omar Barghouti, has said that he supports the euthanasia of Zionism,” Gabriel Dardik ’21 said. “Really, it makes me feel unsafe that this kind of person could come here.”

PSC supporters said Harvard Hillel has also brought speakers to campus who contributed to military operations against Palestinian civilians.

As the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has recently noted, though, Barghouti is not “merely” the leading BDS founder. He is also a member of the same family as a same-named relative who has close ties with the Sunni supremacist jihadist group Hamas, and key members of his family have been involved in high-profile skirmishes with Israeli security forces:

On December 13, 2018, Israeli security forces killed and arrested terrorists who were involved in two terror attacks that horrified the Israeli public. In the Askar refugee camp near Nablus, they tracked down and killed Ashraf Naalwa, who murdered two Israelis in the Barkan industrial zone on October 7, 2018, and they shot Saleh Barghouti, responsible for the terror attack at the Ofra Junction on December 8, 2018, in the village of Surda near Ramallah. While Hamas was quick to announce Naalwa’s “martyrdom,” they did not claim him as coming from the ranks of the Hamas’ Qassam Brigades. However, the terrorist killed in Ramallah, Saleh Barghouti, was a son of Omar Barghouti, a famous Hamas leader in the West Bank, so the Hamas fingerprints were very obvious in the Ofra attack.

Alas, to paraphrase an old Dennis Prager axiom: American universities often have a surplus of knowledge, but all too often lack wisdom.