Education Committee Finds Harvard Failed To Fulfill Promise To Protect Jewish Students

Recommendations that were ignored included a “zero tolerance” policy for classroom disruptions and a requirement that student organizations adhere to school rules.

AP Photo/Steven Senne
A person uses a mobile device to record a person wearing a keffiyeh, right, near the remnants of an encampment of tents in Harvard Yard, on the campus of Harvard University, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at Cambridge, Massachusetts. AP Photo/Steven Senne

“All for show” — that’s how Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, chair of the Education and the Workforce Committee, is describing the efforts from “dysfunctional Harvard’s administration” to combat antisemitism on its campus in the wake of October 7. 

That Harvard has failed to fulfill its promise of protecting Jewish students is the finding of an investigation by Ms. Foxx’s committee on Thursday, nearly six months after it grilled Harvard’s former president on the issue. After that damning testimony, an eight-member Antisemitism Advisory Group presented Harvard’s leaders in December with steps to crack down on antisemitism.

Those recommendations included a “zero tolerance” policy for classroom disruptions, a requirement that student organizations adhere to school rules, and a review of the equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging office’s “inadequacy in addressing antisemitism,” to name a few. None were implemented, the committee asserts in its report on Thursday. 

Ms. Foxx, in a statement, calls the disclosures in the report “shocking” and providing “an inner look at how dysfunctional Harvard’s administration is.” She also refers to a “deep-seated moral rot that clouds its judgment.”

The Harvard Jewish Alumni Alliance released its own audit of the situation on campus Thursday, called “The Soil Beneath the Encampment.” Take just one incident out of those reported by the 42 students interviewed by alumni. A sophomore, Kim Nahari, recalls that when she told her professor she was from Israel, he said, “I need to ask you to leave the class.”

The education committee has found itself in a tug of war with Harvard’s legal counsel, which it says has slow-walked large requests for documentation as part of its probe into the university. That culminated in congressional subpoenas at three of Harvard’s top leaders in February and an interview with a member of Harvard’s Antisemitism Advisory Group, Dara Horn.

It’s unclear what step Ms. Foxx and her committee, which has been criticized as pushing “a new McCarthyism,” will take next. Congress has the power to unilaterally shut off Harvard’s grant money if the university fails to cooperate with its investigation. Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern, the University of California, Los Angeles, are also under the committee’s spotlight, and more elite campuses could follow. 

The New York Sun

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