A Harvard alum called on the U.S. Department of Education to expand its probe of the university to include the Ivy League school’s “laissez-faire attitude” toward protesters’ “undisguised calls for the murder of Jews.”
The new allegations are based on concerns over Harvard’s lack of response to anti-Israel demonstrators who appeared to call for violence against Jews in Israel just a day after the DOE announced their investigation.
In a letter addressed to OCR’s Boston chief attorney Kristi R. Harris on Saturday, the alum thanked Harris for opening the investigation but called for its expansion.
“Harvard Hillel has reported that on November 29—a day after OCR notified me (and, presumably, Harvard) that it had opened a Title VI investigation—Harvard College students ‘had classes disrupted by a coordinated protest using bullhorns to blast abhorrent antisemitic calls to “globalize the intifada,” and demands for the elimination of the Jewish state “from the river to the sea,”‘” the letter says, citing an Instagram post by Harvard Hillel.
US DEPT OF EDUCATION OPENS INVESTIGATION OF HARVARD OVER ANTISEMITISM ON CAMPUS
“Both are undisguised calls for the murder of Jews and Israelis,” the alum added.
“During the Second Intifada, for example, Palestinian terrorists murdered over 1,000 Jews and Israelis, including through suicide-bomb attacks on buses and restaurants,” the alum explained. “And, as the House of Representatives recently acknowledged in a bipartisan resolution, ‘the phrase “from the river to the sea” … is widely recognized as a genocidal call to violence to destroy the state of Israel and its people to replace it with a Palestinian state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.’”
“To date, there has been no indication that Harvard has taken any action in response to these threats against Jews and Israelis,” the letter says. “And it is inconceivable that Harvard would take such a laissez-faire attitude if similar threats were leveled against any other minority group on campus.”
In October, Harvard University President Claudine Gay acknowledged that “antisemitism” has a “continuing presence” at Harvard, and the “university has done too little to confront” it.
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS FROM HARVARD, MIT TO TESTIFY BEFORE CONGRESS ON ANTISEMITISM RAGING ON CAMPUSES
“I appreciate President Gay’s candid admission that Harvard has been, and remains, in violation of Title VI,” the letter continues. “Though President Gay represented that she is ‘committed to tackling this pernicious hatred with the urgency it demands,’ her words so far have not been met with action. It is now time for the Department of Education to intervene.”
Gay is scheduled to testify before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday, at a hearing titled, “Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism.”
In fiscal year 2023, Harvard reported that it received $676 million in federal funding.
“The Department has an obligation to ensure that these ‘public dollars, drawn from the tax contributions of all citizens, do not serve to finance the evil of private prejudice,’” the letter says. “Please confirm that the Office for Civil Rights will expand its investigation to include Harvard’s latest failure to abide by Title VI.”
The alum’s initial complaint alleged that Harvard discriminated against students based on national origin by failing to appropriately respond to harassment against Jewish and Israeli students, including when a first-year Israeli student at Harvard Business School was reportedly physically assaulted and verbally berated by pro-Palestinian protesters amid a “die in” demonstration on campus in reaction to Israel’s retaliatory strikes in the Gaza Strip.
In a letter sent Tuesday, Harris notified the alum that OCR was opening an investigation into whether Harvard “failed to respond to alleged harassment of students based on their national origin (shared Jewish ancestry and/or Israeli) in a manner consistent with the requirements of Title VI.”
The alum closed Saturday’s letter by asserting a “deep appreciation for the Department’s commitment to advancing and enforcing the promise of our Nation’s civil-rights laws.”
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New York AG sends Nassau County official cease-and-desist order over trans sport ban, threatens legal action
New York Attorney General Letitia James sent a cease-and-desist order to Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman Friday, demanding he rescind an executive order prohibiting transgender athletes from competing in girls and women’s sports in the area.
In a press release issued by the Attorney General’s office, the executive order Blakeman signed last week was slammed as discriminatory and a violation of New York’s Civil and Human Rights Laws.
“The executive order discriminates against transgender women and girls simply for being who they are, and against teams that include transgender women and girls on their rosters, in clear violation of New York’s Civil and Human Rights Laws,” the press release states.
“In a cease-and-desist order sent today, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) demanded that Nassau County rescind the order in five days or else face additional legal action.”
James reiterated the threat of legal action in a statement released by the office.
“The law is perfectly clear: You cannot discriminate against a person because of their gender identity or expression. We have no room for hate or bigotry in New York,” James said. “This executive order is transphobic and blatantly illegal. Nassau County must immediately rescind the order, or we will not hesitate to take decisive legal action.”
NEW YORK COUNTY MOVES TO PREVENT BIOLOGICAL MALES COMPETING IN GIRLS SPORTS AT LOCAL FACILITIES
Blakeman’s executive order prevents transgender athletes or teams with transgender athletes from using the county’s sports venues.
“What we are saying here today with our executive order is that if a league or team identifies themselves or advertises themselves to be a girls or women’s league or team, then biological males should not be competing in those leagues,” Blakeman said at a recent press conference announcing the law.
Blakeman responded to Friday’s cease-and-desist notice on social media, indicating no plans to rescind the executive order.
“My EO stops the bullying of women and girls by transgender males who have many outlets to compete without putting the safety and security of females in danger,” he said in a post on X.
“In Nassau we will continue to fight for females’ right to be safe, secure and have a level playing field to compete.”
According to the cease-and-desist letter, the executive order will affect approximately 100 sites. In addition to threats of legal action, the attorney general is asking Blakeman to produce “any and all documents constituting the record supporting your decision to issue the Order.”
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STONEHAM – You may not think of “comedy” when you think of the movie Titanic. But the East Coast premiere of “Titanish” at Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham may change your mind.
It’s a parody of the 1997 Oscar-winning film, making fun of what you see on screen, not the event itself.
“We have these characters we know and love. We’re playing those moments for stakes and truth and then we’re peppering in the joy, the silliness, the ridiculousness, the sight gags, but those can’t exist and those don’t work unless you care,” said Director Tyler Rosati.
“We are taking these really great parts of the story that we love and admire and that has lived really nicely throughout our culture and kind of amplified it,” said Elainy Mata, who portrays Rose.
Robin Irwin is “Old Rose” in “Titanish,” but she was also a member of the original Broadway cast of “Titanic: The Musical.”
She wants to make sure audiences know this is a very different show.
“They really were aiming for historical accuracy, and this has no accuracy whatsoever,” Irwin said.
Expect to see your favorite film moments play out on stage. Actor Paul Melendy calls it pure satire.
“We kind of break the rules and do what we want, and you get a bunch of funny people to come in and bring their humor. Magic happens,” he said
“Titanish” runs at the Greater Boston Stage through March 17.
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