It certainly seems like Ms. Gay is committed to making Jews feel safe on campus, so long as they don't venture into the library.
She is a complete scum bag...just kidding...I didn't mean to disparage the reputation of "scum".
An Antisemitic Occupation of Harvard’s Widener Library
Claudine Gay promised to prevent ‘disruptions of the classroom experience.’ How’s that working out?
By Dan Sullivan, WSJ, US Senator from Alaska
Dec. 15, 2023 1:57 pm ET
Harvard's Widener Library in Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 10. PHOTO: DAN SULLIVAN
I was in Boston last weekend for the Army-Navy game. The day after the game, five days after Harvard President Claudine Gay’s disastrous testimony before Congress, I decided to walk the campus to reminisce about my time at Harvard, where I earned my undergraduate degree in 1987, and reflect about what had gone wrong at this once-great university.
I visited places that held significance to me while I was there: St. Paul’s Catholic Church, my freshman dorm and, of course, Widener Library—a monument to learning, study and contemplation that sits like a temple in the middle of Harvard Yard.
As I did during my undergraduate years, I spent several minutes staring up at the powerful mural by John Singer Sargent, “Death and Victory.” It’s one of two Sargent paintings memorializing the men of Harvard who sacrificed their lives for our country in World War I. I’ve thought about the painting often throughout the years—including when I made the decision to join the Marine Corps.
When I walked upstairs to the famous Widener Reading Room, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Nearly every student in the packed room was wearing a kaffiyeh. Fliers attached to their individual laptops, as well as affixed to some of the lamps in the reading room, read: “No Normalcy During Genocide—Justice for Palestine.” A young woman handed the fliers to all who entered. A large banner spread across one end of the room stated in blazing blood-red letters, “Stop the Genocide in Gaza.”
Curious about what was going on, I was soon in a cordial discussion with two of the organizers of this anti-Israel protest inside of one the world’s great libraries—not outside in Harvard Yard, where such protests belong. They told me they were from Saudi Arabia and the West Bank. I told them I was a U.S. senator who had recently returned from a bipartisan Senate trip to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I mentioned the meetings I had. I expressed my condolences when they told me their relatives had been killed by Israeli military action in Gaza.
One then asked whether I supported a cease-fire in Gaza. I said I didn’t, because I strongly believe Israel had the right both to defend itself and to destroy Hamas given the horrendous attacks it perpetrated against Israeli civilians on Oct. 7.
Their tone immediately changed. “You’re a murderer,” one said. “You support genocide,” said the other.
“Excuse me, what did you say?” I asked in disbelief.
They repeated their outrageous charges. I tried to debate them, noting the Israel Defense Forces don’t target civilians, and that the only group attempting to carry out genocide is Hamas. But civil debate with these women was pointless. As I was leaving Widener Library, they pulled out their iPhones and continued taunting: “Do you support genocide? Do you support genocide?” The Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee posted some of this exchange on Instagram.
As a U.S. senator who has been through two election campaigns, I’ve had plenty of iPhones aggressively shoved in my face by members of radical groups. Nevertheless, I was shocked and, again, ashamed of my alma mater. All of this—the anti-Israel protests, the big banner, the fliers, the iPhones, the taunting questions—took place inside the Widener Library, a revered place of quiet study for tens of thousands of Harvard students and alumni.
My thoughts then turned to Harvard undergrads. Imagine if you were an 18-year-old Jewish or Israeli student, or even a pro-Israel Catholic like me, and you wanted to study for your chemistry final in the Widener Reading Room on a Sunday morning. Imagine being confronted by this protest, obviously condoned by Harvard’s leadership and commandeered by the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the group behind the notorious statement that holds “the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence” in the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 attack.
Would you feel welcome in Harvard’s most famous library? Would you feel rattled, intimidated and harassed by the anti-Israel banner screaming “Stop the Genocide in Gaza”? As Jason Riley has written, “If accusing Israel of genocide isn’t defamation of Jewish people, I don’t know what is.” If you were that 18-year-old student, would you believe the vacuous statement recently put out by the Harvard Corp., after it decided not to fire Ms. Gay, that “disruptions of the classroom experience will not be tolerated”?
If students were handing out fliers and hanging large banners in the Widener Library Reading Room denouncing, say, affirmative action or NCAA rules allowing men to compete in women’s swim meets, Harvard leaders would shut them down in a minute. But an anti-Israel protest by an antisemitic group, commandeering the entire Widener Reading Room during finals? No problem.
Is that what Ms. Gay meant when she testified that “it depends on the context”?
Not all university leadership is so craven, morally bankrupt and afraid of the most vocal, radical sects of their own student bodies. I serve on the board of visitors for the U.S. Naval Academy, which is the No. 1 public university in America. The contrast couldn’t be starker between the service academies and the Ivy League on issues like civil discourse, so-called safe spaces, trigger warnings, American history and our unique and, yes, exceptional place in the world.
America’s so-called elite universities used to be a positive source of our nation’s power, strength and influence. No longer. I believe over the past several weeks a bipartisan consensus has emerged: It is time for Congress to save these important and once-respected institutions from themselves and their weak leaders who have lost their moral compasses. I intend to work with my colleagues in the Senate to do so.
Mr. Sullivan, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Alaska and a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve.