Anti-Israel Harvard seniors won’t be allowed to graduate

Fellow students protested for the suspended group, saying the school broke its promise not to punish them.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A group of Harvard seniors will not be allowed to graduate Thursday following their activities in the Ivy League school’s anti-Israel encampment.

Depending on reports, either 14 or 15 students are affected by the decision, which some 35 pro-Palestinian groups on campus are calling unfair.

According to them, Harvard’s interim president, Alan Garber, had given his word that students who voluntarily took down last week the tent-hub of anti-Israel demonstrations that had disrupted university life for almost three weeks, would not be punished.

The university pushed back, saying that no such agreement had been made.

In a letter published by the administration, the president wrote that he would ask the various schools in Harvard, which are responsible for disciplinary procedures, to “promptly initiate applicable reinstatement proceedings” for those who had participated in the encampment.

The schools decided instead to suspend five and put more than 20 on probation for multiple semesters.

On Sunday, dozens of students and their supporters staged a rally in front of the university in support of these seniors’ right to receive their diplomas.

It is not just, they told local media, that Harvard was punishing students for acting on their right to protest.

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In addition, over 1,100 students signed a petition demanding that the university revoke its decision, according to the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee, which itself had been suspended a month ago from staging activities on campus.

Many students and parents are now expecting that the commencement exercises will be disrupted by protests, whether anti-Harvard, anti-Israel, or both.

Other universities that have already held their graduation ceremonies saw students unfurl the Palestinian flag onstage, hold signs demanding a ceasefire in Gaza, and interrupt speakers with anti-Israel cries.

In Yale on Monday, some 150 of the over 4,000 graduates demonstrably walked out together during the commencement. Many held protest signs as they left the campus to cheers from onlookers, with messages ranging from “Walkout for Gaza,” and “Yale invests in genocide” to “Protect free speech.”

Others waved small Palestinian flags or wore keffiyehs over their shoulders, the latest fashion statement to signal animus for the Jewish state. As they walked the group chanted that they “will not rest” until Yale divests from Israel.

The Harvard students had peacefully taken down their encampment after Garber agreed to discuss the university’s endowments and investments regarding Israel, while making no promises about divestment.

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The prestigious school is currently being sued by a group of Jewish students for ignoring its own Rules of Conduct and not protecting them from the blatant antisemitism on campus.

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