It seems that in today’s toxic public discourse, one cannot speak freely about anti-Semitism without Jew haters invoking the war against Hamas as a justification to falsely accusing Israel of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid. In the minds of Harvard’s faculty members, as well as in the terror tunnels of Hamas, both the leaders of Harvard and the leaders of the Hamas terror organizations are all too ready to ignore or justify anti-Jewish sentiment on their campus and the massacre of over twelve hundred Israeli civilians as a culmination of a 30 year reign of terror against Jews and the State of Israel.
Long before the October 7 massacre in southern Israel, pro-Palestinian activists at Harvard have freely spoken their minds by proclaiming on social media, on campus publications, to anyone willing to listen and pass the messages across: “kill the Jews” and “destroy Israel.” These messages of incitement to murder were always accompanied by terms like “intifada,” “apartheid,” “resistance,” “occupying power,” “right to self-defense,” “breaking the siege,” “Zionist,” “genocide,” “decolonization,” “death to Jews,” “F—K the Jews,” “All Jews should die,” “Hamas should kill more of you,” ”Israel terrorism” and let’s not forget the popular and all inclusive; “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
In America, criminal code defines “terroristic threats” as: “A person commits the crime of terroristic threats if the person communicates, either directly or indirectly, a threat to: commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another; cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation; or cause terror or serious public inconvenience with reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.” Terroristic threats can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on circumstances, according to the code and of course in the words of Harvard’s former President, according to “context”. Essentially, just conveying these threats during a rally or demonstration constitutes a crime.
Publicly defending the Hamas terror organization and its actions has been awarded first amendment status and received across the board vindication under the banner of free speech by Harvard leaders and faculty. All this despite the sexual and gender-based violence and mutilation of victims of Hamas on Oct 7. So what are we talking about? Army reservist Shari Mendes of the IDF Rabbinical Unit; “Our team commander saw several female soldiers who were shot in the crotch – intimate parts/vagina – or shot in the breast. This seemed to be a systematic genital mutilation of a group of victims,” “It was often impossible for families to be shown faces – and it seems as if mutilation of these women’s faces was an objective in their murders," A survivor said she watched a terrorist who had cut off a woman’s breasts played with them – after he had raped her. Our unit has seen bodies that were beheaded or had limbs cut off, mutilated, “One young woman came in with no legs: they had been cut off. We saw several severed heads, one with a large kitchen knife still embedded in the neck.” “Charred remains arrived and had to be identified and prepared for burial. The bodies were burned beyond recognition, often without arms or legs; they did not resemble anything human,” “Sometimes we sifted through piles of ash that disintegrated as we touched them. These soldiers were burnt alive at very high temperatures.” Empowering students at Harvard to defend the actions of Hamas despite irrefutable forensic evidence of the atrocities depicted above shows that, for Gay and faculty members of Harvard, they have no expectations that Hamas and their student supporters can embrace the idea of the sanctity of life, this is the true meaning behind the bigotry of low expectations.
The bigotry of low expectations”, was a phrase coined by Michael Gerson. The phrase meant to explain the pervasive predisposition of American teachers of not expecting disadvantaged pupils or minorities to meet the same standard of behavior and scholastic achievement set for the general student population. Harvard's former and disgraced President, Claudine Gay seems to be the very embodiment of this idea. Gay, an Afro-American promoted to the position of President of Harvard, despite a long and pervasive history of plagiarism within most of her scholarly writings including her PhD dissertation.
In retrospect, it shouldn’t be surprising that Gay’s promotion to President of Harvard was based to a large extent on a bigotry of low expectations of her abilities, and she herself has projected the very same bigotry of low expectations by justifying the anti-Semitic, and pro-Hamas actions of her faculty and student populations. The reluctance to expose and explicitly condemn the savagery inflicted by the Hamas terror organization or the wide spread support of Hamas articulated by faculty and students at Harvard is the logical extension of this kind of thinking and worldview. Demanding that Israel maintain an unsustainable level of respecting human rights even when it conflicts with Israel’s right to self- defense only perpetuates the racist and bigotry of low expectations not only of the Hamas terror organizations but also of the future leaders among Harvard’s graduates.
Now is the time for moral clarity. One need not be a supporter of Israel to condemn savage acts of terrorism without attempts at justification or equivocation. The academic leaders of Harvard should acknowledge that there is a climate of primal hatred directed at Jews and of the State of Israel. We must expose the “root cause of terror”: a “culture of incitement pervading Palestinian Arab institutions and their supporters on the campus of Harvard that glorifies violence and martyrdom – and demonizes Jews and Israelis. This incitement is nothing more than the latest manifestation of the bigotry of low expectations.