Following intense national backlash over silence among university leaders, Harvard President Claudine Gay released a second statement on Tuesday on the terror attacks against Israel, and distanced the school from its 30 student groups that expressed support for Palestinian terrorists and blamed Israel for the Hamas attacks that have so far left 1,000 Israelis dead.
Gay said in a statement to the Harvard Crimson 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.”
“As the events of recent days continue to reverberate, let there be no doubt that I condemn the terrorist atrocities perpetrated by Hamas,” Gay added. “Such inhumanity is abhorrent, whatever one’s individual views of the origins of longstanding conflicts in the region.”
“We will all be well served in such a difficult moment by rhetoric that aims to illuminate and not inflame,” Gay concluded. “And I appeal to all of us in this community of learning to keep this in mind as our conversations continue.”
The statement came 16 hours after Gay and 17 other members of Harvard leadership released a joint statement in which the university made no mention of the scores of student groups that expressed support for Hamas terrorists and blamed Israel for the attacks made against the world’s only Jewish nation.
Harvard was slammed for its silence from a wide array of figures across the nation — first, for the university’s lack of response after the terrorist attacks on Saturday, and second, for the school’s failure to push back against its more than 30 student organizations that publicly took the side of the Palestinian terrorists.
Among the Ivy League university’s critics was former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and former Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers, who blasted the school for its “silence” after its student groups acted out.
“The silence from Harvard’s leadership, so far, coupled with a vocal and widely reported student groups’ statement blaming Israel solely, has allowed Harvard to appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel,” Summer said, in part.
The silence from Harvard’s leadership, so far, coupled with a vocal and widely reported student groups' statement blaming Israel solely, has allowed Harvard to appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel.
— Lawrence H. Summers (@LHSummers) October 9, 2023
Summers went on to further slam Harvard after the school released its initial statement — before Gay released her follow-up statement.
“The delayed @Harvard leadership statement fails to meet the needs of the moment,” he wrote. “Why can’t we give reassurance that the University stands squarely against Hamas terror to frightened students when 35 groups of their fellow students appear to be blaming all the violence on Israel?”
Why can’t we give reassurance that the University stands squarely against Hamas terror to frightened students when 35 groups of their fellow students appear to be blaming all the violence on Israel?
— Lawrence H. Summers (@LHSummers) October 10, 2023
Harvard was also slammed by Alan Dershowitz, who pointed out, “If there was a word said about any black student or any gay student or any transgender student, the administration would be out there with a megaphone.”