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Harvard Gaslighting: Task Forces “sanitizing antisemitism under the guise of fighting ‘Islamophobia'”

Harvard Gaslighting: Task Forces “sanitizing antisemitism under the guise of fighting ‘Islamophobia'”

“Harvard tries to ‘both sides’ the campus problems, but in reality the anti-Israel and antisemitic students were the aggressors. Jewish and pro-Israel students were not holding rallies calling for the destruction of Palestinians and using anti-Muslim rhetoric. It was almost all in one direction, but you wouldn’t know that from the reports.”

Preliminary recommendations were recently issued by Harvard Task Forces created after the anti-Israel campus protests begining on October 7 that led to the humiliating congressional appearance of then-President Claudine Gay and her subsequent resignation after a plagiarism scandal added to her problems.

The protests and religious hate from students were primarily in one direction – against Jews and Israel. Immediately after the brutal Hamas attack, over 30 student groups held Israel responsible for Jews being slaughter by Palestinians. That outrageous student group statement, backed by many faculty, set off a backlash which did not target the students because of their religion or ethnicity, but because of their conduct.

Havard created an Advisory Group on campus antisemitism. The Chair, a Rabbi who was a visiting scholar, resigned after he quickly concluded he “cannot make the sort of difference I had hoped.” The group’s recommendations were ignored, a House committee found.

Aggressive protests continued with Jewish and Israeli students being targeted, in an attempt to purge them from campus physically, socially, and academicallys leading to a lawsuit in January 2024.

Harvard subsequently created two task forces, one on Combatting Antisemitism and another on Combating Anti-Muslim and Anti-Arab Bias subsequently renamed Combatting anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, and anti-Palestinian bias. This was the same both sides approach I’ve seen at Cornell – Jewish and pro-Israel students get attacked by Islamist-supporting students (Red-Green alliance), and the administration focuses equally on “Islamophobia” and antisemitism.

The faculty chair of the Harvard Antisemitism Task Force promptly resigned, as had her predecessor at the Antisemitism Advisory Panel: “Basically her conclusion is that she didn’t feel confident or satisfied that she could lead and influence this process in a way that made sense to her,.”

The Harvard task forces just issued their preliminary recommendations, which were mostly DEI fluff, and explicitly focused “on short-term actionable items rather than long-term structural changes.”

That’s the problem. Harvard, Cornell, and other “elite” schools have structural problems resulting from the quasi-religious embrace of poisonous DEI ideology and the purging of dissenters that lead to the dehumanization of Israel and Jews. This is a point I’ve been making for a long time, but particularly since October 7:

The reflexive impulse at Harvard, Cornell, and elsewhere to both sides the issue reflects that these institutions are wedded to an intersectional approach:

When there was blowback this fall about what was happening at Cornell, [the then Cornell President] said, well, we’ll add an antisemitism module to it. Why wasn’t it there to begin with? That’s the proof positive about how destructive the DEI has been to the Jewish community, that Cornell didn’t even have an antisemitism module and was going to add one after students were chanting for an Intifada on campus. And one student who’s now in federal custody, threatened to slit the throats and shoot Jewish students. So that’s what it took to add a module on antisemitism.

And by the way, at the same time, she said they’re going to add a module on Islamophobia, which is not a serious problem on the Cornell campus, or statistically is not a serious problem in the United States.

So they couldn’t even give the Jewish community at Cornell a week or two to mourn what happened on October 7th. They couldn’t even understand what a unique moment it was in Jewish history, the greatest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust ….

They couldn’t even give us two weeks to mourn as Jews, not at Cornell, not anywhere. They had to lop into it their intersectional approach to the world. And that’s how perverted and sick the campuses have become….

The “both sides” Harvard Task Force recommentations have generated controversy as much for what they didn’t do as for what they did. Fox News covered it and quoted me, Harvard slammed for ‘smoke and mirrors’ antisemitism response: ‘They actually make things worse’ [archive]:

William Jacobson, the founder of the Equal Protection Project and Cornell University law professor, told Fox News Digital this is further proof that Harvard is trying – and failing – to tow “both sides” in the Israel-Hamas war.

“Harvard tries to ‘both sides’ the campus problems, but in reality the anti-Israel and antisemitic students were the aggressors,” he said. “Jewish and pro-Israel students were not holding rallies calling for the destruction of Palestinians and using anti-Muslim rhetoric. It was almost all in one direction, but you wouldn’t know that from the report.”

Jacobson argued that the Ivy League institution is “sanitizing antisemitism under the guise of fighting ‘Islamophobia’.”

“We have seen a similar ‘both sides’ approach at Cornell, where I teach law, and at many other schools. It’s time for university administrations to be honest as to the source of the problem,” he said. “It’s not ‘Islamophobic’ to acknowledge that the Jew-hatred that inspires and motivates Islamist groups like Hamas has made its way onto campuses under the cover of ‘pro-Palestinian’ activism.”

“The DEI obsession that has captured particularly elite campuses is the mother’s milk of antisemitism and anti-Israel activism, by pigeonholing Jews as supposedly White oppressors and fomenting racial animus under the banner of decolonization,” Jacobson said.

“Rather than issuing meaningless task force reports, universities should start dismantling the DEI bureaucracies and programming, and refocus on respecting each student as an individual rather than as a proxy for racial, ethnic, and religious identity groups,” he added.

I also had a chance to speak about it on Fox and Friends:

(Transcript auto-generated, may contain transcription errors)(lightly edited for transcription clarity)

Will Cain (00:00):

[Harvard has botched its reaction] to anti-Semitic incidences. And now a task force is being set up to deal with discrimination, but it’s being ripped for actually making things worse. Our next guest says the group’s DEI style recommendation tries to play  to both sides. Despite pro-Palestinian protestors being the primary agitators, founder of the Equal Protection Project and Cornell Professor William Jacobson joins us now. Professor, thanks for being with us. So they set up a task force under the guise of dealing with anti-Semitism, but package in with that recommendations to also take on anti-Muslim and anti-Arab issues as well, right?

WAJ (00:41):

That’s right. And we saw what happened after October 7th on the campuses. We all saw it, we all saw the videos. It was really one direction. It was harassment of Jewish students. It was calls for violence against Israelis. It was all one-sided.

Yet, rather than addressing the deep antisemitism of the quote unquote “pro-Palestinian” movement, they lump the two in together. They say, well, we’re going to deal with antisemitism, but we’ll also deal with Islamophobia. That wasn’t the problem in October. That wasn’t the problem on campuses. So in a sense, they’re gaslighting us. They’re treating it as a both sides issue, that there are two equal problems on campus and they aren’t.

Cain (01:20):

It’s not just tha they reveal they think it’s two equal problems. In my estimation, professor, it also exposes this entire thing as a box checking exercise. So here’s what we’re talking about specifically. They have this DEI recommendation. It includes focusing on intentional engagement with diversity, it must be affirmed as a crucial part of Harvard education, increase the representation of Muslim Arab and Palestinian faculty members address religious illiteracy. What I mean by box checking professor is, okay, you’re down the rabbit hole of DEI woke policies, and once you’re down the rabbit hole, if you suggest we have to do something about antisemitism, somebody can immediately raise your hand and go, what about anti-Arab, even though it’s not the issue right now, well, what about anti-Arab sentiment? And if you don’t check that box as well, then the response is, well, what, you don’t care about Arabs? So it’s like, you know, they’re not interested in solving the problem. They’re interested in solving the perception of solving the problem.

WAJ (02:24):

Yeah, that’s a great point that this whole exercise is for cover. It’s to allow them to say they’re doing something when they’re really not. If you read the recommendations from these two task forces, they state right out they’re not dealing with structural problems at the university, which means they’re not dealing with the DEI problem. They’re not dealing with the ideology of intersectionality and critical race theory, which puts people into oppressor versus oppressed and has the motivation and the ideology of decolonization, which is now being weaponized. So they will not deal with the underlying structural problems on campuses. They just want a report so they can say they did something.

Cain (03:04):

Yeah. It’s so interesting, and I’m glad you bring up the deeper issue here. Um, really fascinating to hear this, by the way, from a Columbia law professor, but when you boil it all down, what we’re talking about is this ideological issue of seeing the world through a oppressor and oppressed.

WAJ (03:19):

That’s right. And, and what they do is they put the United States, and one thing I always want topoint out is these movements are both anti-Israel, but they’re also anti-American. They’re burning American flags, not just Israeli flags, and they put the Jews in the white oppressor category and they use that to demonize Israel. They use that to demonize Israeli Jews. That’s the problem here.

Cain (03:43):

Well, professor, I find it by the way, inspiring to hear these words and this kind of perspective and this type of wisdom coming from a law professor, even if I misattributed you to Columbia <laugh>. And there is some sanity it turns out at Cornell. So I’m glad to hear that. As somebody who went to law school, I can tell you that is a rarity, that type of wisdom we’re hearing right there. So I’m glad to hear it this morning on Fox and Friends as well. Professor Jacobson, thanks for being with us this morning.

WAJ (04:07):

Thank you for having me on.


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gonzotx | July 7, 2024 at 9:13 pm

God, I hate this word!!!


There are too many foreign “students” at American universities who major in hatred of the Western values.

Like Urooj Rahman, the ex-lawyer featured earlier, a proud immigrant who attended Fordham Law.

Arnoldn | July 7, 2024 at 11:07 pm

I hope that someone makes the observation that these universities have had DEI programs in place well before Oct 7th. It apparently did not help. So a reasonable conclusion might be that more DEI is not the solution. Perhaps the DEI mindset is making the problem worse and DEI should be chalked up as another failed belief system. I’ll bet that there are more than a few PhD. thesis that could be made on that subject if the universities would allow some free thought.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Arnoldn. | July 8, 2024 at 1:00 am

    “…another failed belief system.”

    Theologians call prophesies that fail to come true “self-disconfirming.” The fact this term is so fitting for the many failed policies of the Left, accompanied by a refusal to acknowledge their failures, helps demonstrate that Leftism is a religion, because even failed prophecies fail to shake the faith of the true believers.

Owego | July 8, 2024 at 12:01 am

Task forces and studies, it’s what they do. Then they grow up to become politicians and UN delegates.

henrybowman | July 8, 2024 at 12:18 am

Death to whataboutism.
Call it out whenever it raises its head.
“Not everything has to be about you, crybully.”

Herve Montague | July 8, 2024 at 8:20 am

If you’re on the side of the rapists, you’re in the wrong side. You know how I know? Because rape is bad. OK?

For you Harvard students and faculty who do not understand , we will meet again tomorrow in order to review. OK?

Steven Brizel | July 8, 2024 at 8:50 am

If you are a concerned alumnus-the best way to send a message on this issue is with your wallet.

Elliott Vizel | July 8, 2024 at 9:16 am

The ‘elite’ universities have swung so hard left, having transformed from institutions of enlightened inquiry into radical left indoctrination camps.
For western civilization to continue on the path of enlightened society, it is time to defund these trojan horses of Islamo-leftist PC NeoMarxist propaganda, and fund institutions of higher learning dedicated to the free and open exchange of ideas. Likewise, students would be wise to forgo applying to these failed institutions, and seek their education elsewhere.

Dimsdale | July 8, 2024 at 9:17 am

Harvard no longer.

How about “Hamasvard?” “Harvagaza.”

Then again, maybe “Harvard” just says it all since they went to the dark side.

destroycommunism | July 8, 2024 at 11:37 am

lefty loves intimidation as a means to an ends>>>>complete control

so you bring in/allow those who are WILLING to do violence…to do so

the patriots then have a choice…fight back ( so go)

or bend over and take it like lefty wants

we are in the 5th inning of the lefty takeover

Dean Robinson | July 8, 2024 at 12:23 pm

These former academic institutions have become festering metastases of thinly disguised radicalism aligned with enemies who wish to destroy us. Excising them will be difficult given their huge financial endowments, which will allow them to keep spewing out hate even if endowments and Federal funding are withdrawn. Confiscating their wealth will be necessary, and is not without precedent, since they are modern equivalents of the German American Bund.

leoamery | July 9, 2024 at 3:46 am

Harvard! Where Boeing safety managers go to retire.

caseoftheblues | July 11, 2024 at 6:53 am

And these schools are the septic tanks that year after year dump the sewage they produce into the highest levels of power of all three branches of our government.

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