update deskSchools & Higher Education

Pro-Palestinian student groups, faculty at Harvard share antisemitic images

The reproduction of a 1967 political cartoon features a hand with a Star of David on it holding nooses around the necks of Muhammad Ali and former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Harvard University has vowed to investigate after two student activist groups, as well as a sympathetic faculty group, shared an image from more than 50 years ago that promoted multiple antisemitic tropes.

The image comes from a June 1967 newsletter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. It shows a hand with a Star of David on it with a dollar sign in the middle, holding a rope with nooses around the necks of a black man—reportedly professional boxer Muhammad Ali—and Gamal Abdel Nasser, the former pan-Arabist president of Egypt.

The image was first shared by the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee, and the African and African American Resistance Organization, before being shared by Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine.

 “We condemn these posts in the strongest possible terms,” the university stated on Instagram.

“With professors like these, it’s easy to see why we Jewish students don’t feel safe in class,” Alexander Shabbos (“Shabbi”) Kestenbaum, a Harvard Divinity School student from Riverdale, N.Y., wrote on X.

“The cartoon is despicably, inarguably antisemitic. Is there no limit?” wrote Rabbi David Wolpe, who resigned from Harvard’s anti-semitism task force in December.

The New York Post wrote in an editorial condemning how Harvard continues to fail its Jewish students by not fully complying with the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s document requests, which the school’s “nonchalance and stonewalling proves that administrators still refuse to take the scourge of antisemitism on its campus seriously—and there’s plenty of evidence they never did.”

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