Shortly following the historic Palestinian resistance offensive into Israel and the beginning of the bombing campaign of Gaza by Israel, student organizations at one of the most elite universities took a bold stance—citing the state of Israel as responsible for all violence in the region. “We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” read the first sentence of a student solidarity statement at Harvard University, spearheaded by the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee.
“From systematized land seizures to routine airstrikes, arbitrary detentions to military checkpoints, and enforced family separations to targeted killings, Palestinians have been forced to live in a state of death, both slow and sudden,” reads the letter. “Today, the Palestinian ordeal enters into uncharted territory. The coming days will require a firm stand against colonial retaliation.”
The student signatories immediately experienced backlash from wealthy and powerful Zionists. Billionaire, hedge fund CEO, and Harvard alum Bill Ackman called for the release of all names associated with the letter and a blacklist of those students from employment.
A truck with an LED screen traveled around the Harvard campus on October 11 advertising the names and faces of students who signed onto the statement, accompanied by the words “Harvard’s Leading Antisemites.” An elite law firm rescinded job offers for students associated with the letter.
A petition has been launched by the ANSWER Coalition to oppose the targeting of these Harvard students.