Rabbi quits Harvard antisemitism board in protest over ‘evil’ campus ideology

After Harvard’s president refused to deem calls for Jewish genocide unacceptable on campus, a member of the school’s antisemitism committee resigns in protest.

By World Israel News Staff

A prominent American rabbi has resigned from Harvard’s antisemitism board in protest of an ideological climate at the school that he says promotes bigotry against Jews.

Rabbi David Wolpe announced on Twitter/X late Thursday night that he has quit Harvard’s antisemitism advisory committee, citing, among other things, the failure of Harvard University President Claudine Gay to explicitly reject antisemitism on campus and calls for the genocide of Jews.

“Resigning, a Hanukkah Message,” Wolpe wrote. “As of today I have resigned from the antisemitism advisory committee at Harvard.”

Without rehashing all of the obvious reasons that have been endlessly adumbrated online… the short explanation is that both events on campus and the painfully inadequate testimony reinforced the idea that I cannot make the sort of difference I had hoped,” Wolpe continued, referencing Gay’s recent testimony to Congress.

Gay and the presidents of MIT and the University of Pennsylvania were grilled Tuesday by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) on their efforts to rein in antisemitism on campus.

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During the hearing, Stefanik asked the three presidents whether calls for the genocide of Jews would violate their respective schools’ codes of conduct.

In her response, Gay said the permissibility of calls for violence against Jewish or even genocide depend “on the context.”

Wolpe defended Gay personally, even as he criticized her response during Tuesday’s congressional hearing.

And while Wolpe said the majority of Harvard students should not be blamed for the atmosphere on campus, he lamented that the school’s ideological milieu is “evil.”

“I believe Claudine Gay to be both a kind and thoughtful person.  Most of the students here wish only to get an education and a job, not prosecute ideological agendas, and there are many, many honorable, thoughtful and good people at the institution.  Harvard is still a repository of extraordinary minds and important research.”

“However, the system at Harvard along with the ideology that grips far too many of the students and faculty, the ideology that works only along axes of oppression and places Jews as oppressors and therefore intrinsically evil, is itself evil. Ignoring Jewish suffering is evil.”

“Belittling or denying the Jewish experience, including unspeakable atrocities, is a vast and continuing catastrophe.  Denying Israel the self-determination as a Jewish nation accorded unthinkingly to others is endemic, and evil.”

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“Battling that combination of ideologies is the work of more than a committee or a single university. It is not going to be changed by hiring or firing a single person, or posting on X, or yelling at people who don’t post as you wish when you wish, as though posting is the summation of one’s moral character. This is the task of educating a generation, and also a vast unlearning.”

“Part of the problem is a simple herd mentality – people screaming slogans whose meaning and implication they know nothing of, or not wishing to be disliked by taking an unpopular position.  Some of it is the desire to achieve social status by being the sole or greatest victim. Some of it is simple, old fashioned Jew hatred, that ugly arrow in the quiver of dark hearts for millennia.”