Pro-Palestine Harvard groups under fire for antisemitic cartoon

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    Schools Harvard investigating after pro-Palestine groups post antisemitic cartoon The image in question showed a hand emblazoned with a Star of David and dollar sign holding a noose around the necks of Black and Arab men. Harvard students, faculty and community members rallied outside the Harvard Divinity School in October in solidarity with Palestine. John Tlumacki/Boston Globe Staff, File
    Harvard University is caught up in yet another battle over campus antisemitism after several of the school’s pro-Palestine groups shared an inflammatory cartoon on social media Sunday.
    According to The Harvard Crimson, the post in question originated from two student organizations, Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and the African and African American Resistance Organization. Linking the Black and Palestinian liberation movements, the infographic featured a 1967 illustration from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee depicting a hand emblazoned with a Star of David and dollar sign holding a noose around the necks of Black and Arab men.
    The post was later shared on social media for the group Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine, drawing ire from Harvard’s Jewish community.
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    “With Professors like these, it’s easy to see why we Jewish students don’t feel safe in class,” wrote Harvard Divinity School student Alexander “Shabbos” Kestenbaum, who sued the university last month over its response to campus antisemitism.
    “This should be called what it is,” Harvard Chabad wrote in another post on X. “Reprehensible. Bigoted. Hateful.”
    The two student groups behind the infographic removed the initial post and published an edited version Monday, explaining that the offensive cartoon “was not reflective of our values as organizations.”
    “Our mutual goals for liberation will always include the Jewish community- and we regret inadvertently including an image that played upon antisemitic tropes,” the Instagram post reads. “Antisemitism has no place in the movement of Palestinian liberation, and we wholeheartedly disavow it in all its forms.”
    The groups did not specify how the image could have “inadvertently” made it into the post. Boston.com has reached out to PSC to clarify.
    Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine similarly removed the initial post from its page and issued an apology.
    “It has come to our attention that a post featuring antiquated cartoons which used offensive antisemitic tropes was linked to our account,” the faculty group wrote in a statement. “We removed the content as soon as it came to our attention. We apologize for the hurt that these images have caused and do not condone them in any way.”
    While Harvard Jews for Palestine praised the groups’ “swift and clear response” and “strong disavowal of antisemitism,” the original post inflamed a campus bitterly divided over the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
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    “This post follows an alarming increase in antisemitism on our campus in recent weeks, including the defacing of hostage posters with blood-red paint, chants of ‘From water to water, Palestine is Arab’ at a pro-Palestinian rally, and a staff member claiming that Israel, not Al-Qaeda, was behind the 9/11 attacks,” Harvard Hillel said in a statement.
    In its own response, Harvard University hinted at potential disciplinary action and said it will refer the matter to the Harvard College Administrative Board, a body “responsible for the application and enforcement of undergraduate academic regulations and social conduct.”
    “Such despicable messages have no place in the Harvard community,” the statement read. “We condemn these posts in the strongest possible terms.”
    The latest on-campus clash coincides with the ongoing House Committee on Education and the Workforce probe into Harvard’s response to antisemitism.
    For its part, Harvard emphasized Monday that it “rejects antisemitism in all of its forms,” adding, “We are determined to combat any such hate and bias in our community.”

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