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Jack Levy
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A plea for moral clarity and leadership at Harvard

The president of America's premier university should speak forcefully and unambiguously against terror - or what's an education for?
Harvard University's Widener Library, draped with flags with the university's motto, 'Veritas,' meaning, 'in truth.' (X, formerly Twitter, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Harvard University's Widener Library, draped with flags with the university's motto, 'Veritas,' meaning, 'in truth.' (X, formerly Twitter, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Dear President Gay:

I am an alumnus of Harvard College 1992, Government. My tutor and thesis adviser was Dame Louise Richardson, who I am sure you know went on to be the head of Oxford, and whose academic scholarship is on terrorism. I am also an Israeli citizen and have resided in Israel for the past 20 years. This week, my best friends lost their son when he was fighting Hamas terrorists. Another colleague lost his elderly parent to Hamas butchery, and other friends have a son who attended the rave party, was severely wounded and is being held captive in Gaza by Hamas. There were 13 funerals in my relatively small city Ra’anana this week alone.

I am deeply troubled by what is missing in your statements around these terrorist events. You condemn the Hamas barbarism, but you speak mostly about listening to each other in the Harvard community. While that is important, now is the time for you, as the leader of Harvard, to speak much more clearly and forcefully against terror. Harvard exists not only to foster dialogue among its students; rather, Harvard’s alumni and students, certainly of the Government department and the Law, Business, and Kennedy Schools, are and will be leaders of governments, corporations, international organizations, and more. Harvard’s mission is to create actors, and not only talkers, on the world stage as a force for good.

In order to do this, you, as Harvard’s leader, must speak more forcefully and unequivocally. Not just to condemn the barbarism. Your message should be clear and unambiguous, not just to support Israeli victims, but to SAVE GAZA AND THE PALESTINIANS FROM HAMAS!

Hamas’s horrific crimes against Israelis this week and over the years are secondary only to their horrific crimes against their own people since their founding. Alongside Islamic Jihad and other smaller terror groups, they have too effectively prolonged the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, wreaking death and destruction upon their people, all while profiting — be it in capital for the pockets of their leadership or murderous suicide missions for their nihilistic ideology. Hamas also threatens to drag the world into a global conflict. This is all historical truth, not “perspective.” Harvard must stand for truth.

Palestinians who say that Hamas represent them have made a clear choice — they choose and support terrorism, which Harvard must reject. To do so, the university’s position must be definitive. It is time for moral clarity to prevail. Harvard is a bastion of education. Harvard leadership should be screaming from the top of its lungs to end the education of hate and antisemitism that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have perpetrated upon Palestinian children for decades.

Hamas has brought ruin to the Palestinian cause, to the cause of peace and coexistence. That message must be clear to the entire educated world, and you should lead it. Please consult Dame Richardson and her 2006 book, What Terrorists Want. There is much to learn from her.

Jack Levy
Harvard A.B. 1992, Government

About the Author
Jack is one of the founding partners at MoreVC, a leading venture capital firm in Israel which pioneered climate-tech investing in Israel. Prior to co-founding MoreVC, Jack was vice president and general counsel of Register.com, and a corporate attorney with the New York law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Jack holds a JD from Columbia Law School and a BA in Government from Harvard College.
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