Harvard Crimson endorses BDS movement while rejecting antisemitism

Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
That changed Friday, when the newspaper published an unsigned editorial offering a full-throated endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in a potent symbol of a changing campus climate around Israel

The editorial also expressed support for Harvard's Palestine Solidarity Committee, a student group that has for the past week been hosting the school's chapter of the annual "Israel Apartheid Week" international event.

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"We are proud to finally lend our support to both Palestinian liberation and BDS — and we call on everyone to do the same," the Crimson's editorial board wrote.

It was a notable shift from the paper's history of opposing BDS, which the board cited in its editorial. As recently as 2020, the Crimson expressed ambivalence.

"In the past, our board was skeptical of the movement (if not, generally speaking, of its goals), arguing that BDS as a whole did not 'get at the nuances and particularities of the Israel-Palestine conflict,'" the editorial said. "We regret and reject that view."

What changed, the Crimson's editors said, was "the weight of this moment — of Israel's human rights and international law violations and of Palestine's cry for freedom."

Whereas past Crimson editors had called comparisons between Israel and Apartheid-era South Africa "offensive" and "repugnant," the editorial published Friday favorably compares BDS tactics to the anti-Apartheid movement, while adding that "Israel remains America's favorite first amendment blindspot" because individuals and companies that criticize Israel regularly face criticism and consequences, sometimes dictated by state law.

Coming from the oldest continuously published campus daily in the United States, at the country's most selective college, the Crimson's support is certain to fuel concerns from pro-Israel advocates that college campuses are inhospitable to students who support Israel. Pro-Palestinian advocacy is common on campuses, and last year 11 student governments passed BDS resolutions, out of 17 that were considered.

Like both Republican and Democratic leaders, Jewish groups across the political spectrum oppose the BDS movement, initiated by Palestinian activists, because they say its opposition to the very...

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