As part of its annual, week-long attack on Israel, during which it accuses the Jewish state of apartheid, the Harvard University student chapter of the Palestine Solidarity Committee created an “apartheid wall.”
During the last week of March, the six-part display proclaimed in part: “There is no Zionist state without racism colonialism ethnic cleansing” and “Boycott Divest Sanction,” referring to the Jewish state.
The wall also featured an upside-down U.S. flag and claimed that Harvard “upholds apartheid,” warning students that “we are all complicit.” (Two of the panels appear to be repeats from a 2019 iteration.)
The claim that “the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” is antisemitic, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
A student organizer told The Harvard Crimson that intersectionality informs the programming. In recent years, the academic concept of “intersectionality” has inspired anti-Israel activists to reach out to and collaborate with other campus groups they regard as similarly oppressed, including ethnic advocacy organizations, African-Americans, feminists and those promoting LGBTQ rights.
“It’s very important to highlight the significance and impact of solidarity between Palestinians and other occupied groups around the world,” said organizer Dalal Hassane.
Sarah Bolnick, a senior and co-president of Harvard Israel Initiative, told the Crimson: “It’s supposed to be beautiful and symbolic, but I think if you look at it, it really is very offensive and aggressive.”
Bolnick described the wall as “hate speech,” an analysis in line with the IHRA definition of antisemitism given the inclusion written on the installation of the opening statement describing Israel as requiring “racism” and “ethnic cleansing.”
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