Anti-Israel group says 'ALL BETS ARE OFF' if Havard disciplines disruptive demonstrators

Harvard College is stopping more than 10 students from taking part in commencement due to their participation in a disruptive protest on campus.

The anti-Israel Palestine Solidarity Committee protested the decision, claiming it violated precedent.

Harvard College’s Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) criticized the Ivy League school for allegedly reneging on an agreement when it decided to discipline disruptive student protesters. 

Harvard College’s leadership will be stopping at least 12 students from participating in the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday due to their involvement in the disruptive anti-Israel encampment on campus, wrote The Harvard Crimson on Saturday. 

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The PSC wrote: “Harvard has violated its agreement with student protestors. This betrayal will prevent 12 students from graduating and place 28 on probation or suspension.”

The group shared an email that was allegedly sent by Harvard interim President Alan Garber that said: “Provided that everyone leaves the encampment immediately, the University will then consider the current risk to the academic environment to be eliminated and I will at that point ask the schools to initiate their reinstatement proceedings promptly for all students, including those eligible thereafter to graduate so that they may do so. The university will likewise encourage the administrative boards or other disciplinary bodies within the schools to address cases expeditiously under existing precedent and practice.”

Harvard’s anti-Israel demonstrators ended their camp on May 14 after coming to an agreement with the school leadership.

That same day, Garber wrote: “With the disruption to the educational environment caused by the encampment now abated, I will ask that the Schools promptly initiate applicable reinstatement proceedings for all individuals who have been placed on involuntary leaves of absence. I will also ask disciplinary boards within each School to evaluate expeditiously, according to their existing practices and precedents, the cases of those who participated in the encampment.”

The PSC alleged that Garber violated the agreement with the protesters, writing: “Garber promised that Harvard would follow precedent. Precedent dictates that discipline be lenient.” The group cited previous student protests in recent decades, such as anti-Apartheid demonstrations, to try to prove its claim. 

“The precedent is clear: drop the charges and do not heavily discipline students for calling for disclosure and divestment,” it continued. 

The group seemingly issued a threat if its demands were not met, writing: “Harvard, if you won’t keep your promises, all bets are off.”

Multiple groups at Harvard have voiced support for the students who have been disciplined. 

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Harvard’s Society of Black Scientists and Engineers stated: “HSBSE, as an extension of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), is an organization devoted to educational opportunity without discrimination to race, background, identity, or belief. As such, we view the Harvard administration’s decision to engage in unjust student suspensions as a direct violation of this mission.”

Other groups that voiced support for the disruptive protesters are Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine, Harvard-Radcliffe Chinese Students Association, and the Concilio Latino de Harvard

Campus Reform has reached out to Harvard University and the Palestine Solidarity Committee for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.