The Harvard Crimson is facing backlash from campus Jewish groups, along with some high-profile Harvard faculty and alumni, after the newspaper’s Editorial Board last month endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, which calls on Western institutions to cut ties with Israel.
In a staff editorial published on April 29, The Crimson’s Editorial Board reversed its precedent and endorsed BDS, which seeks to put international pressure on Israel over the country’s treatment of Palestinians. Many critics of the movement charge that it is antisemitic and implicitly denies the legitimacy of Israel.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” Matthew 24:9
The editorial sparked international furor, drawing condemnation from the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and columnists in several Israeli newspapers. It also came under fire on Harvard’s campus, where the leaders of Jewish groups condemned the editorial and some high-profile faculty denounced it as antisemitic.
Late last week, several prominent Harvard faculty members — including Psychology professor Steven A. Pinker and former University President Lawrence H. Summers — signed onto a faculty petition denouncing the editorial.
“I thought the BDS movement was taking positions that were basically antisemitic, immoral, poorly thought out, and would be very damaging if actually acted on,” Summers said in an interview. “I was appalled by the content and really troubled that a usually serious and thoughtful organization like The Harvard Crimson would enthusiastically endorse them.”
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