Harvard president claims her controversial remarks on genocide calls were misconstrued

Harvard President Claudine Gay, left, speaks as University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill listens, during a hearing of the US House Committee on Education on Capitol Hill, December 5, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Mark Schiefelbein)
Harvard President Claudine Gay, left, speaks as University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill listens, during a hearing of the US House Committee on Education on Capitol Hill, December 5, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Mark Schiefelbein)

In an apparent attempt at damage control, the president of Harvard University, Claudine Gay, issues a statement signaling that people have allegedly misunderstood her widely-panned remarks during a US House hearing yesterday, when she said that calls on campus for genocide against Jews are not necessarily harassment.

When New York Republican Representative Elise Stefanik asked directly whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” is against the codes of conduct at Harvard, Gay pointedly refused to answer affirmatively, and said: “When speech crosses into conduct, we take action.”

In her new statement, Gay claims that “there are some who have confused a right to free expression with the idea that Harvard will condone calls for violence against Jewish students.

“Let me be clear: Calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any religious or ethnic group are vile. They have no place at Harvard, and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held to account.”

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