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Genocide ‘enablers’ push out first Black woman president of Harvard

January 3, 2024 at 3:33 pm

Dr. Claudine Gay. [Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images]

The president of Harvard University who in recent weeks has been at the centre of an anti-Semitism row at the US campus has resigned. The resignation of Professor Claudine Gay, a leading expert on African and African-American Studies, is being celebrated by supporters of Israel and advocates of the apartheid state.

Gay’s position appeared at risk following her testimony last month before Congress about Harvard’s handling of accusations of anti-Semitism sparked by Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. Rejecting pro-Israel speech codes, Gay defended the right to free speech during the hearing. Her testimony was met with condemnation, mainly by commentators on the right and supporters of Israel.

Since her testimony, Gay has been under pressure to resign. The row prompted former Executive Director of Harvard Hillel, Bernie Steinberg, to write a scathing denunciation of what he called “the cynical weaponisation of anti-Semitism by powerful forces who seek to intimidate and ultimately silence legitimate criticism of Israel and of American policy on Israel.” Steinberg claimed that this has gone on for too long.

His statement called attention to the treatment of Gay, Harvard’s first Black woman president. Steinberg applauded Harvard’s decision to stand firm against what he deems “ludicrous charges” meant to stifle criticism.

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The plagiarism allegations that led to Gay’s resignation were brought to the surface by right-wing activist Christopher Rufo. “We launched the Claudine Gay plagiarism story from the right,” Rufo is reported as saying by the BBC. “The next step is to smuggle it into the media apparatus of the left, legitimising the narrative to centre-left actors who have the power to topple her. Then squeeze.”

In her resignation letter, Gay said she was “subjected to personal attacks and threats fuelled by racial animus,” adding that the last few weeks had made clear that more must be done to “combat bias and hate in all its forms.”

Black American leaders have come to Gay’s defence. “How sad but predictable that the same figures and forces enabling the ethnic cleansing and genocidal attacks on Palestinians in Gaza — Ackman, Blum, Summers and others — push out the first Black woman president of Harvard!” said US Presidential Candidate Cornel West on X.

West, who in 2021 cited Harvard’s anti-Palestine prejudice in his own resignation letter to the university added: “This racism against both Palestinians and Black people is undeniable and despicable! I have experienced similar attacks from the same forces in academia with too many of my colleagues remaining silent! When big money dictates university policy and raw power dictates foreign policy, the moral bankruptcy of American education and democracy looms large! But we shall remain strong in our fight for Truth Justice Love!”

Democrat member of Congress Jamaal Bowman claimed that bullying by fascists had led to Gay’s resignation. “This isn’t about plagiarism or anti-Semitism. This is about racism and intimidation. This makes no one safer,” said Bowman on X. “The only winners are fascists who bullied a brilliant & historic Black woman into resignation. 2024 will be a battle for truth, democracy and our shared humanity.”

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