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Wave of Harvard students remove signatures from controversial statement against Israel

A student group at the university published a letter blaming the Israeli state for the terrorist attacks.

Estudiantes de Harvard sacan sus firmas de una controvertida carta contra Israel

Imagen de referencia | (PExels)

A wave of organizations and students at Harvard University are desperate to withdraw their signatures from a controversial statement issued by the University Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) blaming Israel for the carnage caused by the Hamas terrorist group.

According to the university newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, five groups of the 34 that signed the original letter—including Amnesty International at Harvard, Harvard College Act on a Dream (AOD), Harvard Undergraduate Nepali Student Association (HUNSA), Harvard Islamic Society, and Harvard Undergraduate Ghungroo— withdrew their support for the statement following national rejection and also a tacit threat from billionaire Bill Ackman to the signatories.

The statement, which holds “the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” was widely rejected by professors, students, opinion leaders throughout the country, and even university leadership.

For example, Harvard Computer Science professor Boaz Barak asked the university to withdraw the organization’s affiliation with the school.

“I have a lot of criticisms of Israeli policies, but everyone who signed this statement is condoning terrorism, rape, and murder. Harvard should remove these groups’ affiliations,” Barak said on X (formerly Twitter).

The groups that withdrew their support for the pro-Palestine committee’s letter explained that their signatures were affixed to the statement due to communication failures among its members.

AOD, for example, said the group signed the statement as “a result of miscommunication and a lack of due diligence in sharing the statement with the entirety of the board.”

“Our board members were not made aware that AOD as an organization had signed on to the PSC statement, so the endorsement of their statement in no way reflects their individual opinions about the ensuing violence in Palestine and Israel,” it reads in a statement sent to the university newspaper. “As an organization, we want to express our empathy and solidarity for all the victims who have been affected by the violence in the region.”

On Instagram, HUNSA also showed their regret for signing the controversial statement.

“We regret that our decision to co-sign the latest PSC statement to call attention to historical injustices against Palestinians, with an earnest desire for peace, has been interpreted as a tacit support for the recent violent attacks in Israel,” reads the post with restricted comments.

Harvard Undergraduate Ghungroo also took to Instagram to reject their support for the PSC letter.

“We would like to clarify that we stand in solidarity with both Israeli and Palestinian victims and families. Harvard Undergraduate Ghungroo strictly denounces and condemns the massacre propagated by the terrorist organization Hamas. We truly apologize for the insensitivity of the statement that was released recently,” their statement reads.

In addition to student groups, students from the university made public their rejection of the letter after signing it days ago.

However, most of the regrets came after Bill Ackman, a Harvard-educated hedge fund manager with a net worth of $3.5 billion, published in X that the signatories could enter a blocklist for Wall Street companies.

“I have been asked by a number of CEOs if Harvard would release a list of the members of each of the Harvard organizations that have issued the letter assigning sole responsibility for Hamas’ heinous acts to Israel, so as to insure that none of us inadvertently hire any of their members,” wrote Ackman, founder of hedge fund giant Pershing Square Capital Management.

“One should not be able to hide behind a corporate shield when issuing statements supporting the actions of terrorists, who, we now learn, have beheaded babies, among other inconceivably despicable acts,” the billionaire added.