You can’t beat anti-Semitism with ‘diversity’ training

Nov 20, 2023 by

by Sean Collins, spiked:

The DEI ideology is fuelling the explosion of Jew-hatred in elite US universities.

Embattled Harvard University president Claudine Gay thinks she has a solution to the spike in anti-Semitism on her campus: expand the university’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programme. In announcing her education and training plan, ‘Combating Anti-Semitism’, earlier this month, Gay said that Harvard will ‘build on the initial steps taken’ by its DEI office ‘to more fully integrate anti-Semitism into the work of that office’.

This plan makes no sense. If implemented, it will be a disaster for Jewish students and university life generally. After all, the DEI establishment is the main driver of woke anti-Semitism on campuses. It would be like putting foxes in charge of protecting chickens.

Gay has come under heavy pressure to do something about rampant anti-Jewish sentiment at Harvard since the Hamas pogrom of 1,200 Israelis on 7 October. Life for Jewish students has been hellish over the past month or so. They have had to endure physical intimidation, repeated calls to eliminate Jews and Israel, and other forms of abuse. In one incident captured on video last month, a Jewish student was mobbed by a group of pro-Palestine protesters, led by an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Alumni have accused Gay of failing to respond robustly. In an impassioned post on X, Wall Street investor and Harvard alumnus Bill Ackman wrote that he had ‘lost confidence that you and the university will do what is required’.

Gay’s first reactions to the 7 October massacre, and the pro-Hamas sentiment on campus that emerged shortly after, revealed an indifference to the plight of Israelis and Jewish students. Her first statement failed to condemn Hamas. Nor did she distance Harvard from a letter written by the university’s Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and co-signed by 33 other campus organisations, which held ‘the Israeli regime entirely responsible’ for the 7 October attack. A strong backlash led Gay to make further statements a few days later that did denounce Hamas’s terrorism and the students’ letter, but those sounded more grudging than sincere.

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