Elite universities deliver ultimatum to anti-Israel demonstrators as school year draws to a close

Demonstrators chanted in support of Hamas, calling for the destruction of Israel, and threatened to harm Jews.

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

The presidents of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have formally told anti-Israel protesters that they will be suspended from school if they refuse to end unauthorized demonstrations in which sections of campus have been commandeered and occupied for the past two weeks, according to statements issued on Monday.

“The continuation of the encampment presents a significant risk to the educational environment of the university,” interim Harvard president Alan Garber said in a note to the school community.

“Those who participate or perpetuate its continuation will be referred for involuntary leave from their schools. Among other implications, students placed on involuntary leave may not be able to sit for exams, may not continue to reside in Harvard housing, and must cease to be present on campus until reinstated.”

Garber noted that students residing in tents on Harvard Yard — a collection of structures that has been described as an “encampment” — has forced the rescheduling of exams and disrupted the academic lives of those who have continued doing their homework and studying for final exams, responsibilities that the protesters have seemingly abdicated.

“There are many ways for our community to engage constructively in reasoned discussion of complex issues, but initiating these difficult and crucial conversations does not require, or justify, interfering with the educational environment and Harvard’s academic mission,” Garber continued.

“Our disagreements are most effectively addressed through candid, constructive dialogue, building not on disruption, but on facts and reason.”

MIT delivered a similar ultimatum to anti-Zionist protesters there, even promising not to severely discipline students against whom the school has already filed disciplinary charges if they leave by 2:30 pm.

That deadline expired and, according to the Daily Wire, the protesters formed a human chain and resolved to continue on.

“You must swipe you ID as you leave the encampment, and we will keep on file the stamp from your exit swipe showing you departed by 2:30 pm,” MIT chancellor Melissa Nobles said in a school-wide notice.

“For those who do not leave the encampment voluntarily by 2:30 pm … if you either have been sanctioned by COD [the Committee on Discipline] or have a pending COD case related to events since Oct. 7 but choose to stay in the encampment past the deadline, you will be placed on an immediate interim full suspension lasting at least through [MIT] commencement activities, and you will be referred to the COD.”

Nobles continued, “This means you will be prohibited from participating in any academic activities — including classes, exams, or research — for the remainder of the semester. You will also be prohibited from participating in any academic activities — including classes, exams, or research — for the remainder of the semester. You will also not be permitted to reside in your assigned residence hall or use MIT dining halls.”

As the deadline approached the pro-Hamas activists shouted “We are intifada,” according to numerous reports, while officers reportedly dressed in riot gear arrived at the scene.

Further reports indicated that the encampment was later dissolved without issue.

“Looks like this worked! Encampment being cleared out as we speak!” MIT student Talia Khan tweeted. “These folks will be suspended according to MIT.”

Khan later told The Algemeiner: “I hope MIT goes through with their promised suspensions.”

At Harvard, some faculty have encouraged students to remain non-compliant with Garber’s directive.

Remarks of Professor Walter Johnson — whose anti-Zionist faculty group posted an antisemitic cartoon on social media in February — surfaced on X/Twitter after its publishing in which he accused the university of deception.

Read  As war rages on, support for Hamas plummets in Gaza Strip

“There’s no room for reasoned discussion about this action!” Johnson bellowed while amplifying his voice with a megaphone. “If Harvard will not disclose its investments in the occupied territories, in the Israeli military, and in Gaza it does not make sense to repeat the words ‘civil discourse and reasoned interchange.’ It does not make sense to repeat the word ‘veritas!’”

For nearly three weeks, college students have been amassing in the hundreds at a growing number of schools, taking over sections of campuses by setting up “Gaza Solidarity Encampments” and refusing to leave unless administrators condemn and boycott Israel.

Footage of the protests has shown demonstrators chanting in support of Hamas, calling for the destruction of Israel, and even threatening to harm members of the Jewish community on campus.

In many cases, activists have also lambasted the US and Western civilization more broadly.

On many campuses — including George Washington University in Washington, DC, New York University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Michigan, and University of Southern California, among others — members of the faculty have attached themselves to demonstrations, encouraging students to support terrorism, antisemitism, and further violent convulsions aimed at overthrowing the US government.