"Let Me Be Clear": Harvard Backpedals After Donors Slam 'Insane' Protections For Pro-Genocide Students

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Dec 06, 2023 - 11:40 PM

Harvard University has issued a statement on Wednesday in a furious attempt at damage control, after President Claudine Gay refused to condemn students calling for the genocide of Jews.

During Tuesday testimony in front of the US House Education and the Workforce Committee, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a Harvard grad, asked the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT whether "calling for the genocide of Jews" violates their schools' code of conduct or constitutes bullying or harassment, referring to calls for "intifada" chanted during several school protests.

In response, MIT President Sally Kornbluth said that they would be "investigated as harassment if pervasive and severe," while Penn's Liz Magill said "it is a context-dependent decision" that could be considered harassment "if the speech becomes conduct."

Harvard's Gay echoed Magill, saying that it depends on context, such as being "targeted at an individual."

Major donors rage

In response to the comments, activist investor and Harvard alum Bill Ackman said "They must all resign in disgrace," adding "if a CEO of one of our companies gave a similar answer, he or she would be toast within the hour."

"There’s certain speech that is certainly permissible under the First Amendment," Ackman later told The David Rubenstein Show on Bloomberg TV. "People can be critical of Israel, the Israeli government. But, sadly, there are kids who have been spat on or been roughed up, or have been harassed, or antisemitic statements have been put on Slack message boards on campus."

Billionaire Dan Loeb also weighed in - saying in reply to Ackman: "The cowardly and unprincipled responses show them each to be unfit to lead."

Meanwhile, Penn alumnus and founder of AQR Capital Management Clif Asness said "I wish I could quit giving twice," in a post on X, adding "This is just insane. Insane."

"Let me be clear"

In response to the outrage, Gay said that "There are some who have confused a right to free expression with the idea that Harvard will condone calls for violence against Jewish students," adding "Let me be clear (as if it's our fault for understanding her galaxy brain statements on Tuesday): Calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any religious or ethnic group are vile, they have no place at Harvard, and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held to account."

Why not just say that during testimony, Gay?