(April 1, 2019 / JNS) Harvard University’s undergraduate council voted on Sunday to give $2,050 to the Palestine Solidarity Committee to put on Israeli Apartheid Week, which runs until April 4 and consists of a physical “Wall of Resistance,” Palestinian speakers and a student panel, reported the school’s newspaper, The Harvard Crimson.
The tally was 21-13, with 14 abstentions.
The money comes from the student government’s Grant for an Open Harvard College that subsidizes “compelling interests,” which include “mental health, race, culture and faith relations, sexual assault and harassment prevention, social spaces and financial accessibility,” reported the Crimson.
A student representative said the Palestinian initiative falls under the “race relations” section.
However, the funds do not support speakers, according to undergraduate council finance committee chair Noah Harris.
While council members told the Crimson they support free speech, they do not want speakers who promote violence to be on campus.
“I don’t think that the UC should start to approve or not approve different speakers based on their views, but I do think that that line is the incitement of violence,” said Michael Shadpour. “I’ve heard uncontested that there are speakers [at IAW] that have advocated violence in the past.”
Jewish students have noted feeling uncomfortable about this week’s events.
“One of the speakers slated to come, Omar Barghouti, has said that he supports the euthanasia of Zionism,” said sophomore Gabriel Dardik. “Really, it makes me feel unsafe that this kind of person could come here.”
Andrea Levin, president and executive director of CAMERA, told JNS that the Harvard vote “reflects the normalization of a propaganda campaign enacted each spring on many campuses—the so-called Israel Apartheid Week—premised on the lie that Israel applies apartheid policies.”
She said “there are nations that do abuse other groups with apartheid-like repression but none of those nations, whether China brutalizing the Muslim Uighur people or Mauritania enslaving as much as 20 percent of its population, trigger weeks of voluble criticism by privileged students at elite schools.”
Levin added that “it’s remarkable that anti-Israel forces demonizing the Jewish state are to be funded by Harvard.”