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Harvard President Garber, Corporation Condemn Antisemitic Image Posted by Pro-Palestine Groups

Interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber fierecely condemned an antisemitic image posted by two pro-Palestine student groups on Sunday.
Interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber fierecely condemned an antisemitic image posted by two pro-Palestine student groups on Sunday. By Marina Qu
By Emma H. Haidar and Cam E. Kettles, Crimson Staff Writers

Interim President Alan M. Garber ’76 fiercely condemned an antisemitic image posted by two pro-Palestine student groups in a Tuesday evening message to Harvard affiliates.

“While the groups associated with the posting or sharing of the cartoon have since sought to distance themselves from it in various ways, the damage remains, and our condemnation stands,” Garber wrote. “The members of the Corporation join me in unequivocally condemning the posting and sharing of the cartoon in question.”

The antisemitic image was included in a Sunday Instagram post by the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and the African and African American Resistance Organization.

The image depicted a hand imprinted with the Star of David and a dollar sign in the middle of it, holding a noose around the necks of two men who appear to be former Egyptian President Gamal Nasser and Muhammad Ali.

The image quickly drew outrage from Harvard affiliates online, with many directing their anger at Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine, a newly-formed group that reposted the image in an Instagram story.

The University announced on Monday that the antisemitic post would be reviewed by the Harvard College Administrative Board, which reviews disciplinary action regarding undergraduate students.

“The University will review the situation to better understand who was responsible for the posting and to determine what further steps are warranted,” Garber added.

A Harvard spokesperson declined to comment on how disciplinary procedures might apply to entire student groups. While the PSC is an organization that is officially recognized by the University, AFRO is not.

The PSC and AFRO removed the post before the University’s Monday statement, writing in an apology that they “regret inadvertently including an image that played upon antisemitic tropes.”

The post was met with widespread condemnation on social media.

Rabbi David Wolpe, who stepped down from former President Gay’s antisemitism advisory group following her congressional testimony, wrote on X that the image is “despicably, inarguably antisemitic.”

“Is there no limit?” he added.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which is currently investigating Harvard over antisemitism on campus, also condemned Harvard faculty involvement in the original post on X.

“This repugnant antisemitism should have no place in our society, much less on Harvard’s faculty,” the Committee tweeted.

The Committee subpoenaed three top Harvard administrators on Feb. 16, after a weekslong back-and-forth over the committee’s request for internal communications from the University and the Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing body.

In the subpoena, the committee ordered Harvard to hand over all disciplinary records for Harvard affiliates and student organizations related to “conduct involving the targeting of Jews, Israelis, Israel, Zionists, or Zionism.”

The committee also demanded any communications relating to the University’s response to PSC’s controversial pro-Palestine letter published immediately after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, communications regarding PSC’s annual “Israeli Apartheid Week” and communications regarding pro-Palestine protests following Oct. 7.

Garber’s unequivocal condemnation of the antisemitic image comes as Jewish groups on campus have demanded the University fulfill its commitment to combating antisemitism with actions and not just words.

“Perpetuating vile and hateful antisemitic tropes, or otherwise engaging in inflammatory rhetoric or sharing images that demean people on the basis of their identity, is precisely the opposite of what this moment demands of us,” Garber wrote.

“Reckless provocation draws attention without advancing understanding,” he added.

—Staff writer Emma H. Haidar can be reached at emma.haidar@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @HaidarEmma.

—Staff writer Cam E. Kettles can be reached at cam.kettles@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @cam_kettles or on Threads @camkettles.

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