Will a Harvard Resume Merit a Black Mark?
On Tuesday, the WSJ published this disturbing report from a Harvard doctoral student in Jewish history, J.J. Kimche:
The university’s “Palestine Solidarity Groups,” a collection of some 30 student groups, issued a statement exculpating the terrorists for their acts of murder, rape, kidnapping and mayhem. “We, the undersigned student organizations,” it began, “hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.”
The signatories—groups such as the Harvard Islamic Society and Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine—made clear that they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with this “resistance,” fashionable doublespeak for those feverishly working to wipe Jews off the face of the earth. Harvard isn’t alone: Some 50 student organizations at the University of California, Berkeley declared their “unwavering support for the resistance in Gaza.”
Most Jewish students have harbored mixed feelings toward pro-Palestinian groups on our campuses. Some sympathize with their cause; others see them as hostile; most ignore them. By and large, we have been happy to regard members of such groups as fellow travelers on the journey of learning and discovery, with whom we share spaces and engage in respectful classroom discussion. But during a moment of stunning moral clarity—such as the live-streaming of masked terrorists gleefully machine-gunning Jewish families—one would expect fellow students of all political persuasions to unite in horror and condemnation. The deepest political differences can be tolerated if we all abide by a basic framework of decency.
Not only have our fellow students failed to condemn this proto-genocide; they have justified and celebrated it.
The next question shouldn’t be a surprise. James Freeman wonders in the WSJ, where are the grownups who are supposed to be running Harvard?
Silence at the Harvard Media Office
The Harvard media office didn’t respond to Mr. Kimche’s request for comment on Monday afternoon. He reports:
That night, 18 administrators put out an equivocal statement titled “War in the Middle East” that only mildly criticized Hamas and made no mention of the student groups cheering its atrocities. Only on Tuesday did President Claudine Gay “condemn the terrorist atrocities perpetrated by Hamas.” She didn’t condemn the statement excusing Hamas, but merely distanced herself from it: “No student group—not even 30 student groups—speaks for Harvard University or its leadership.”
The Ivies: Moral Clarity Gone Missing
President of the University of Florida offers a lesson in moral clarity “compared with the mush from the Ivy League.”
The WSJ reports a notable exception: Ben Sasse
In the face of Hamas’s atrocities, some U.S. college administrators at first said little or issued equivocating mush, such as what Dartmouth College put out Tuesday in its “Statement on the Israel-Gaza War.”
A Notable Exception
University of Florida President Ben Sasse (former U.S. senator):
I will not tiptoe around this simple fact: What Hamas did is evil and there is no defense for terrorism. This shouldn’t be hard. Sadly, too many people in elite academia have been so weakened by their moral confusion that, when they see videos of raped women, hear of a beheaded baby, or learn of a grandmother murdered in her home, the first reaction of some is to ‘provide context’ and try to blame the raped women, beheaded baby, or the murdered grandmother. In other grotesque cases, they express simple support for the terrorists.
When evil raises its head, as it has in recent days, it is up to men and women of conscience and courage to draw strength from truth and commit ourselves to the work of building something better—to the work of pursuing justice and pursuing peace. That is what we aim to do through education, compassion, and truth here at the University of Florida.
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