update deskSchools & Higher Education

Poll shows Harvard faculty divided over severity of campus antisemitism

Almost 60% of survey respondents at the elite university counter that the school suffers from systemic antisemitism.

“The Harvard Crimson” Building at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Credit: Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons.
“The Harvard Crimson” Building at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Credit: Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons.

Harvard University’s student newspaper published research providing a snapshot of views held by professors at the Ivy League school on the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip after Oct. 7.

The annual Faculty of Arts and Sciences survey by The Harvard Crimsonopen from April 3-17 to more than 1,400 faculty members—received 508 responses, 310 completed in full. The stated goal of the poll, which varies the topic from year to year, is to provide a broad understanding of faculty experiences and to compare conditions with peer institutions.

The results showed that 59.4% of respondents either “somewhat” or “strongly” disagreed with the claim of systemic antisemitism at the college in Cambridge, Mass. Those who “somewhat” or “strongly” agreed measured 25.2%.

Those who believe that Israel has engaged in genocide against the Palestinians numbered 28% while those regarding Israel’s response as merely “excessive” numbered 47.9%. Those who support Israel’s efforts to eradicate Hamas from Gaza numbered 14.2%, with 1.4% claiming that the Jewish state has not gone far enough.

The survey also showed significant numbers supporting Israelis or Palestinians while rejecting their leaders. Those advocating for Palestinians but not for Hamas reached 72%, while those rejecting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration reached 67%. Those who support both Israel and Netanyahu numbered 2.9% while Hamas-supporting Palestinian voices only added up to 2.6%.

This comes in the wake of congressional testimony by then-university president Claudine Gay on Dec. 5, when she did not state that genocide against Jews was against school policy. She resigned on Jan. 2, six months after she accepted the job.

Anti-Israel protests started on campus almost immediately after the Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7 that left 1,200 people dead and more than 250 men, women and children taken hostage by Hamas into Gaza, where as many as 133 are still being held captive.

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