Billionaire Bill Ackman has called for the names of the Harvard students who signed a letter holding Israel “entirely responsible” for war with Hamas to be released. — X/@tap Bill Ackman, the billionaire hedge fund CEO, has called on Harvard University to take action in response to what he called a “dire” situation —an increase in “blatant antisemitism” and “anti-Israel attacks” on campus.
The Harvard graduate who earned both his undergraduate and MBA degrees, Ackman, said, warned that doing nothing would jeopardise “important sources of Harvard’s revenues.”
Ackman said that since the surprise strikes on Israel on October 7 and the ensuing Israel-Hamas war, Jewish and pro-Israel students have felt threatened on campus in an open letter to the university’s president, Claudine Gay, which was published on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Saturday.
After meeting with over 200 Harvard students and faculty members last week, Ackman said that the university’s administration was not doing enough to keep them safe.
“Jewish students are being bullied, physically intimidated, spat on, and in several widely-disseminated videos of one such incident, physically assaulted,” he wrote, referring to a video that shows a clash at an on-campus “stop the genocide in Gaza” demonstration.
Business School at Harvard The altercation was “troubling,” said Dean Srikant Datar, who also added that “many of our students were shaken.”
“Reports have been filed with (the Harvard University Police Department) and the FBI, the facts are being evaluated, and it will be some time before we learn the results of an investigation,” Datar wrote.
However, Ackman stated in his letter that further action was required. He stated that regardless of the outcome of the ongoing inquiry, the students engaged in the event should be suspended right now.
“Harvard student disciplinary actions should not be outsourced to the police department,” he wrote.
Ackman went on to say that during demonstrations in favour of Palestine, students who yelled “intifada” and “eliminationist” remarks towards Israel need to face disciplinary punishment as well.
According to him, antisemitic remarks and photos have been posted in various Harvard Slack discussions by students. He suggested that these talks be properly monitored and that individuals who post such things should face consequences.
Upon being contacted, Harvard told CNN about previous remarks made by Gay and Harvard Executive Vice President Meredith Weenick regarding behaviour in the community.
In an earlier statement, Gay claimed to have gathered experts to devise a strategy to counteract antisemitism on college campuses.
“As we grapple with this resurgence of bigotry, I want to make one thing absolutely clear: Antisemitism has no place at Harvard,” Gay said on October 27 in a speech at Harvard Hillel. “For years, this university has done too little to confront its continuing presence. No longer.”