- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Undergraduate Council at Harvard University voted Sunday to allocate $2,500 to the Palestine Solidarity Committee for hosting Israeli Apartheid Week, a pro-Palestinian campaign aimed at bolstering support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Israeli Apartheid Week is a global campaign that brings lectures, film screenings, cultural performances and other events to college campuses across the world in an effort to expose Israel’s “illegal occupation” and “apartheid regime,” according to the website.

The bill to fund the event at Harvard, which started Saturday and runs until Thursday, passed the Undergraduate Council on Sunday by a 21-13-4 vote and drew money from the council’s Grant for an Open Harvard College on the basis of addressing “race relations,” The Harvard Crimson reported.

The Palestine Solidarity Committee cheered the decision, but multiple Jewish students voiced concerns about the speakers invited to the event who have previously endorsed violence against Israeli civilians, The Crimson reported.

“One of the speakers that is slated to come, Omar Barghouti, has said that he supports the euthanasia of Zionism,” Gabriel Dardik told the student newspaper. “Really, it makes me feel unsafe that this kind of person could come here.”

Rebecca Thau, president of Harvard Hillel’s Undergraduate Steering Committee, slammed the “contentious nature” of Sunday’s meeting in a statement to The Algemeiner, saying it underscored “what we see as the troubling consequences of Israeli Apartheid Week itself: vilifying students for their commitments and even their heritages, turning students away from — rather than toward — one another, and preventing meaningful conversation.”

Ilan Goldberg, co-president of the Hillel-affiliated Harvard Israel Initiative, told The Algemeiner that “those advocating for the funding made it clear that the week will be detrimental to race relations and to dialogue.”

“As evidenced by the behavior of those advocating for the funding at the meeting,” he said, “the week is about giving a loud voice to the Palestinian cause as told by the PSC — unnecessarily at the expense of any substantive dialogue at their events.”

Finance Committee Chairman Noah Harris clarified that the Undergraduate Council voted to fund the venue, food and decorations for the event — not the speaker honorarium, accommodations or travel assistance, The Crimson reported.

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