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A recent op-ed providing extensive commentary on a vigil co-hosted by Harvard Hillel and Harvard Chabad accomplishes the marvelous feat of speaking about the Jewish historical experience while seemingly dismissing Jewish concerns about antisemitism.
As the two unnamed speakers quoted in the article — speakers whose statements are explicitly compared to “violent, violent lies” — we feel the need to ask the obvious question: What is a lie?
Is it a lie to say antisemitism exists when students at the College anonymously comment statements like “LET EM COOK” under posts on the social media platform Sidechat? Or that Jewish students feel unwelcome on this campus when a classmate feels comfortable proclaiming that narratives of antisemitism in the current conflict are a “western scheme” in a public Instagram story? Or that the massacre of more than one thousand Jews at the hands of a terrorist group — one that has declared that “the day of judgment will not come until Muslims fight Jews” — has resulted in trying times for our Jewish community?
And, we must also ask, what is violent?
Where in our remarks did we ever incite violence? We both stand unequivocally opposed to civilian harm in Gaza and the suffering of innocent Palestinians. Categorizing our speeches as violent is not only irresponsible journalism — it is a dangerous perversion of our words.
The author misinterprets our rallying cry that antisemitic hate does not intimidate us as an admission that Jews feel safe and comfortable on this campus. We do not — especially not when our peers apparently feel comfortable celebrating the murder and rapes of our people via anonymous posts. Taking our grief and distorting our eulogies does not help.
To diagnose our concerns about a second Holocaust as “imagined” is incredibly rich after the largest massacre on Jews since the actual Holocaust. And seemingly ignoring the rampant hate targeting the Jewish community in social media posts from our peers does little to assuage us.
Jacob M. Miller ’25, an Associate Editorial Editor, is a Mathematics concentrator in Lowell House and the President of Harvard Hillel. Maya Shiloni ’26, a Crimson Editorial comper, lives in Mather House.
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