Harvard Is Still Anti-Semitic

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard freshman Charlie Covit explains why it is still hard to be a Jew at Harvard, notwithstanding Claudine Gay’s demise:

[T]he crisis facing Harvard’s Jewish community hasn’t gone away. A zealous hatred of Israel has swept our campus, thinly veiling an epidemic of antisemitism.

Ms. Gay’s testimony in Congress, in which she said calls for the genocide of Jews were context-dependent, was representative of a larger issue afflicting the university. At a college whose Title IX training warns students that “sizeism” can perpetuate “violence” but where calls for a “global intifada” are permissible, something has gone seriously awry.

This is why the free speech defense mounted by Gay and her fellow university presidents before the House committee was so laughable. Harvard suppresses free speech in almost every context; FIRE ranked it dead last among American colleges in that regard. And yet, “anti-Zionism” is not only freely expressed, but is pounded down the throats of those who are threatened by it.

On campus the language is vague; animosity is coded and supposedly directed at Zionism rather than Judaism. Everyone at Harvard knows targeting Jews explicitly is out of bounds but Zionists are fair game.

This is the key point.

Let there be no doubt that students who declare themselves anti-Zionist are calling for the displacement, or worse, of half the world’s Jewish population.

Last semester, Harvard students gathered inside a university building, chanting in Arabic, “From water to water, Palestine is Arab.” Would the university have allowed students—concealing their identity with face masks as the anti-Israel demonstrators often do—to call for America to be white from the Atlantic to the Pacific?

Hearing such chants has become a regular part of life for Jews at Harvard. Since Oct. 7, students have barged into classrooms with megaphones to encourage others to join protests where activists have cheered, “It’s about numbers and volume, and we have them outnumbered.” They have declared that the “people’s hammer will come crashing down on them.” We all know the “them” in question is the Zionists. The hatred will stop only when the university makes clear it won’t allow its students to hide behind rhetorical smoke screens.

To be an anti-Zionist is to assert that Israel should not exist. If Israel did not exist, swamped in a victorious Arab tide, what would happen to its Jewish citizens, the large majority? They would be murdered, as Jews were murdered on October 7. To be “anti-Zionist” is to call for a return of the ovens.

There is more to Harvard’s sickness, as Covit explains at the link. It is the oppressors, not the Jews, who are in power. Thus:

Compounding the pain is the impunity with which students have acted. One of the leaders of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, who shared a post on Twitter on Oct. 7 declaring that “the oppressed have the right to resist,” was named a Rhodes Scholar weeks later. Harvard’s glowing press release noted he’ll soon be at Oxford, where he will study “progressive political messaging.”

In November anti-Israel students staged an overnight sit-in at Harvard administration offices. Rather than remove the trespassers, the university allowed them to stay the night. Lest the students had gone hungry, administrators slipped them Twizzlers and Mexican food through the window.

Harvard has plenty of problems when it comes to Jews, but it is not unique. The idea that anti-Semitism is out of bounds, but anti-Zionism is A-OK, and in fact politically favored, is ubiquitous but unacceptable. To be anti-Zionist is to call for the extermination of Jews, as Israel’s terrorist enemies have always understood.

Covit has a constructive suggestion:

Harvard’s new administration can take a simple step to address this by adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, which includes anti-Zionism. Let there be no doubt that students who declare themselves anti-Zionist are calling for the displacement, or worse, of half the world’s Jewish population.

Which, of course, is exactly what they want. They should be treated accordingly.

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