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US Rep Says Cutting Harvard's Federal Funding Over Protests Should Be ‘On The Table’

CC BY-SA 4.0 / Nick Allen / Harvard UniversityAerial view of Eliot House, an undergraduate residential college of Harvard University, taken from the south
Aerial view of Eliot House, an undergraduate residential college of Harvard University, taken from the south - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.05.2024
Protests have been rocking college campuses for months, with students demanding that a permanent ceasefire be called in Gaza, their schools divest from companies that support Israel and other demands.
Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) said during a televised interview that cutting federal funding to Harvard should be “on the table” in response to what he claims is antisemitism on the campus of the Ivy League school.
“It needs to be on the table,” Auchincloss, a Harvard graduate, said on Fox News Sunday. “Harvard and other universities have unfortunately become ransacked by antisemitism.”
The comments come as Pro-Palestine protests have sprung up at college campuses across the Nation, including Harvard and other Ivy League schools.
“[Universities] need to look at their culture from first principles and actually create a culture of open discourse, of free speech, of mutual respect, in which people can pursue truth, in which everybody, regardless of nation of origin, of sex, of race, can have a suitable learning environment,” Auchincloss said.
More than 70% of Democrats and 61% of all Americans support a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and
To support his assertion, Auchincloss pointed to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Campus Antisemitism Report Card which gave Harvard and 12 other top schools failing grades, judging them on three main criteria: “Jewish life on campus,” “incidents on campus” and “administrative actions and policies.”
Harvard’s report notes that it has a high Jewish student population, extensive Jewish groups and support for Religious activities, Kosher dining and an official anti-boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) policy.
This combination photograph created on October 12, 2023 shows (L) a file photograph taken on October 24, 2022 of Israel's former defence minister Benny Gantz in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, and (R) a file photograph taken on October 12, 2023 of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inside The Kirya, which houses the Israeli Defence Ministry, in Tel Aviv - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.05.2024
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The university nevertheless received an F from the ADL for what it describes as “high” levels of “Severe antisemitic and anti-Zionist incidents,” “Other antisemitic and anti-Zionist incidents,” “Hostile anti-Zionist student government activity,” “Hostile anti-Zionist groups” and “Antisemitic speakers or programs on campus.”
It did not mention which groups or speakers it considered antisemitic.
The ADL’s report card of the school focuses almost entirely on anti-Zionist and Pro-Palestinian protests, referencing both an April 2022 protest against an event that included Israel’s ambassador to the US Michael Herzog, as well as protests opposing Israel’s campaign in Gaza.
It also mentions the tearing down of posters depicting Israeli hostages and a 1960s political cartoon published by a Palestinian student group that the ADL said was antisemitic.
The protests at Harvard included many Jewish students and the Jewish Voice for Peace has been one of the principal organizers of the protests. Last week, the students agreed to end their protest after agreeing with the school’s administration to have a meeting addressing the student’s demands.
Since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, during which roughly 1,000 Israelis were killed, more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 13,000 children.
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