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Opinion

Harvard President Backed By Faculty Following Controversial Remarks

via NBC News

More than 500 Harvard faculty members supported University President Claudine Gay amid controversy over her response to antisemitism on campus and calls for her removal.

The Harvard Corporation is considering making a public statement in support of Gay.

The faculty members urged the board to defend the university’s independence and resist political pressures. (Trending: LeBron James Shares Gun Advice For Americans)

We “urge you in the strongest possible terms to defend the independence of the university and to resist political pressures that are at odds with Harvard’s commitment to academic freedom, including calls for the removal of President Claudine Gay,” the letter read.

“The critical work of defending a culture of free inquiry in our diverse community cannot proceed if we let its shape be dictated by outside forces,” the letter added.

There was criticism of Gay’s response to a congressional hearing, where she failed to clearly address whether calls for the genocide of Jews violated the university’s rules.

Pressure from donors and lawmakers to remove Gay has intensified. Additionally, there are differing responses from other universities’ leaders to similar inquiries.

The situation has led to resignations and public apologies, and there are calls for the removal of university presidents.

“I got caught up in what had become at that point, an extended, combative exchange about policies and procedures,” Gay said.

“What I should have had the presence of mind to do in that moment was return to my guiding truth, which is that calls for violence against our Jewish community — threats to our Jewish students — have no place at Harvard and will never go unchallenged.”

“Substantively, I failed to convey what is my truth.”

The controversy has also led to significant financial implications, with canceled donations and withdrawals.

There is ongoing debate within the faculty about the handling of issues related to antisemitism and Islamophobia.

“[T]he 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,” Rabbi David Wolpe said.

“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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