by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Ever since October 7, the antisemitism that’s long been festering beneath the surface at Harvard University has been on plain view. Whether it was the anti-Jewish genocidal chants from pro-Hamas protestors or Claudine Gay’s insistence that the “context” behind those chants was insufficient to trigger Harvard’s speech codes, Harvard was exposed as a hotbed of virulent antisemitism. In the latest news out of Harvard, it turns out that an appointee to Harvard’s antisemitism task force is…yes, an antisemite.
Just yesterday, Harvard’s interim president proudly announced the formation of a “Presidential Task Force on Combating Antisemitism.” Just to keep things equitable, though, he also created one dedicated to “combating Islamophobia and anti-Arab bias.”
I can help just a little bit with the latter issue. Islamophobia arises because at least 10% of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims actively subscribe to Sharia law, which explicitly calls for the forced conversion or execution of non-Muslims. For those who resist but are not executed, slavery (sexual or otherwise) and a complete lack of rights (property, financial, tax, etc.) are their mandated fates. Anti-Arab bias arises because Arab-majority countries are overwhelmingly Muslim, so much so that other faiths are banned or deeply oppressed. …
… The co-chair of the task force on antisemitism is Derek Penslar, William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. As a Professor of Jewish History, you might think that Penslar has an affinity for all things Jewish. You’d think wrong, though. You see, first and foremost, before being Jewish, Penslar is a leftist—and leftists, whether Jewish or not, hate Israel. …
… “Harvard University’s newest appointee to its anti-Semitism task force has called Israel an ‘apartheid regime’ and defended disgraced former Harvard president Claudine Gay amid calls that she be fired for her failure to condemn anti-Semitic protesters at the school.”