In Anonymous Vote, Harvard Law School Student Government Calls on University to Divest From Israel

2024-04-01 14:00:29

Not to be outdone by the performative stunts at other elite schools, Harvard Law School students have now inserted themselves into the ongoing campus conflict over the Israel-Hamas war. In a resolution passed by anonymous vote on March 29, The Harvard Crimson reports, they called on the university to divest from Israeli “occupation and genocide” amid its ongoing battle with the terror group.

The resolution urges the Harvard Management Company (HMC), which administers the school’s over $50 billion endowment

to divest completely from weapons manufacturers, firms, academic programs, corporations, and all other institutions that aid the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine and the genocide of Palestinians, including withdrawing investments in securities, endowments, mutual funds, and other monetary instruments that provide material assistance to the commission or maintenance of flagrant violations of international law and human rights against Palestinians;

and it calls on the Harvard community

to divest from institutions, weapons manufacturers, firms, academic programs, corporations, and all other institutions that aid the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine and the genocide of Palestinians.

Two members of the law school student government reportedly resigned in protest over the resolution.

Harvard really doesn’t need this now. The law student government’s move comes smack in the middle of a federal probe into pervasive antisemitism at the university. And it follows former President Claudine Gay’s abysmal performance last December at the congressional antisemitism hearings, followed by her resignation over plagiarism charges. The scandals are taking their toll on applications for admission to the school, which have dropped markedly during this time.

Meanwhile, aside from adding to the strife over antisemitism at the university, it’s hard to see what the resolution accomplishes: The law students’ demands to divest aren’t binding on anyone. University spokesperson Jason Newton stated that the university’s leadership has “made clear that it opposes calls for a policy of boycotting Israel and its academic institutions.” Unless the school actually divests, the resolution is a win on paper and nothing more.

That was Nerdeen Kiswani‘s complaint when she spoke at the recent anti-Israel, student-organized “Resistance 101” Columbia webinar we covered here. “Not one single board of any school has ever actually divested or pulled funds from Israel or cut off relationships or cut off funding” because students “called on” them to do so, she said.

But for publicity purposes, a win on paper is still a win, and the law school students seeking to cut the Jewish state off from Harvard celebrated it.

The organization Law Students for a Free Palestine hailed the “historic divestment win” in an Instagram post:

And the day the resolution passed, Palestinian student activist Lea Kayali, HLS ’24, rallied a roomful of law students to congratulate themselves on their success.

Here they are, wrapped in keffiyeh scarves, ready for their close-ups:

Phone in hand, Kayali read the crowd her scripted victory speech:

Today, an absolute majority of student government representatives of Harvard Law School took bold and necessary action to urge Harvard to divest from genocide!

She put the administration “on notice”—and in its place:

We students are dissenting we condemn your complicity and we are calling on them to immediately divest from genocide!

Students are speaking and these so-called leaders of this institution would be best served to listen to what we have to say, because one day, when we win and Palestine is free, they will come crawling back. They will be begging us to rewrite history. The ilk of the ego’d men in power at Harvard will try to use us as props as they have always done. With every student movement, that progresses our community and our society. But this time, it will be too late because there is no room on the mantle of Liberation for the cowards who did not have the courage to take action when it was needed.

Ending in a neo-Marxist woke call to free Palestine:

Our student movement, our demand for divestment, is one thread in the ties of resistance of oppressed people all around the world. Those threads of resistance bind us to the right side of history—

And a chant:

—and when we fight…We win!

Full video is here:

But when the thrill of victory passes and the time comes to find a real-world job, who is going to want to hire these cowardly, self-entitled, antisemitic brats who voted on condition of anonymity?

No one should. At least, not these major law firms, who signed onto a letter to law school deans last November to say so. Students hoping to join their firms after graduation must be “prepared to be an active part of workplace communities that have zero tolerance policies for any form of discrimination or harassment … There is no room for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism or any other form of violence, hatred or bigotry on your campuses [or] in our workplaces.”

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In Anonymous Vote, Harvard Law School Student Government Calls on University to Divest From Israel

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