CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Harvard University has recently faced backlash after a letter from several student groups blamed Israel for violence in the region.
The letter was shared on Sunday. Harvard’s president has since responded, saying in part “Let there be no doubt that I condemn the terrorist atrocities perpetrated by Hamas.”
“Such inhumanity is abhorrent whatever one’s individual views of the longstanding conflicts in the region,” president Claudine Gay continued.
The letter was penned by Harvard University Palestine Solidarity Groups. It blamed Israel for the violence and said the “events did not occur in a vacuum.”
“The letter from Harvard student groups is depraved,” Rep. Jake Auchincloss told 7NEWS this week. “It represents a complete lack of not just understanding, but of empathy.”
Harvard Hillel also countered the position in the letter, urging the Harvard community to do better.
Gay responded on Tuesday after Harvard was criticized for not addressing the letter in a statement the school issued on Monday about the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel.
“Harvard’s leadership has failed,” Auchincloss said. “Jews are being dragged from their homes and shot. It should not be a hard decision to condemn that and to condemn the student groups who celebrate and support those atrocities.”
“While our students have the right to speak for themselves,” Gay said Tuesday. “No student group — not even 30 student groups — speaks for Harvard University or its leadership.”
While many continue to speak out about this controversy, among the most vocalized concerns is the impact it could have on Jewish students on campus.
“It creates a hostile environment on campus for Jewish students,” Auchincloss said.
In her letter, Gay also asked students to engage in conversations that illuminate rather than inflame.
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