UPDATE: Jewish Harvard Alumni Group Retracts ‘2%’ Allegation, Apologizes

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 22: A general view of Harvard University campus is seen o
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The Harvard Jewish Alumni Alliance retracted its allegation on Saturday: “While we did hear these assertions from sources who would prefer to remain anonymous, we cannot independently verify those assertions. As such, we would like to apologize to Harvard … and retract that particular statement.”

This story is developing. The original story follows.

Harvard University may intend to reduce the proportion of Jews in its student body to 1-2%, roughly the Jewish share of the U.S. population, according to a newsletter published by a new group of Jewish alumni of the institution.

In a “December update,” the newly-formed “Harvard Jewish Alumni Alliance” reported Friday (original emphasis):

We have seen data that suggest that the Jewish population at the College has declined from 20-25% in the 1990s-2000s to 5-7% today, but that almost all that decline occurred in recent years. We have heard from multiple sources at the University that it is the official, undisclosed policy of the school to drive down Jewish admissions to 1-2% of the student body, proportionately matching Jews’ percentage of the U.S. population. This violates basic meritocratic principles and recent Supreme Court jurisprudence. Like the shameful Jewish quotas in Harvard’s past, current limits mimic the Soviets, who used similar tactics to limit Jewish access to education.

The purported 2% quota would go much further than the 15% Jewish quota then-Harvard President Abbott Lowell tried to impose a century ago, when the proportion of Jewish students at Harvard was over 20%.

The idea of imposing quotas on Jews has ideological roots in Nazi Germany, via apartheid South Africa.

Hendrik Verwoerd, an Afrikaner nationalist who later became a prime minister of South Africa, and was regarded as the architect of apartheid, had studied in Germany during the 1920s and was sympathetic to Nazi Germany.

In the 1930s, he opposed the admission of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany to South Africa. He also argued that Jewish participation in the South African economy should be limited to the Jewish proportion of the population. He argued that “by legislation it must be ensured, gradually but deliberately, that each White population group, as far as possible, has a share in each of the most important occupations, in accordance with the proportion it forms of the White population as a whole.”

South Africa never adopted such laws against Jews, but — ironically — the principle of population “representivity” persists, notably in that country’s aggressive affirmative action laws.

Harvard has been the subject of criticism for the last few months, following an outbreak of radical anti-Israel rhetoric on campus, and several instances of antisemitism.

Earlier this year, Harvard’s affirmative action policies were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. Quotas are also unlawful under Supreme Court precedent.

Breitbart News has reached out to Harvard University for comment.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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