A Harvard University student is not pleased with the Ivy League school president’s attempt to clean up statements she made to Congress after she had a chance to condemn calls for violence against Jewish people under oath.
Jacob Miller, a junior at Harvard, explained to Fox News Digital on Wednesday that an attempt to clean up the statements she made in front of Congress yesterday was not “sufficient.”
“I think she bungled her questioning today and her two-sentence clean-up attempt is insufficient,” Miller said.
He reacted to Harvard President Dr. Claudine Gay posting a statement on X to clarify that the university had a clear position against calls for violence against the Jewish community after she appeared to be ambivalent on the issue while testifying before Congress a day earlier.
“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,” Gay said in a statement posted to Harvard’s X account.
“When she went before Congress and had numerous opportunities to clarify that calls for genocide are harassment and bullying –each time she was asked, she refused to state the obvious answer and the correct answer,” Miller said.
Miller explained further that she wouldn’t make clear that such remarks are harassment, bullying, and incitement of violence against a population of students on campus.
“There are students on campus who are chanting for an intifada and chanting from the river to the sea,” Miller said.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, “‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ is an antisemitic slogan commonly featured in anti-Israel campaigns and chanted at demonstrations.” The organization added that “it is fundamentally a call for a Palestinian state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, territory that includes the State of Israel, which would mean the dismantling of the Jewish state.”
Miller’s comments came after Gay and the presidents of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Pennsylvania testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday about the widespread antisemitism on their campuses following Hamas’ October 7 terror attack in Israel.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., pressed Gay during a House committee hearing on the rise of antisemitism on college campuses.
Stefanik, a Harvard alumna, asked Gay if she was familiar with the term “intifada,” which she described as “the use of the term intifada in the context of the Israeli-Arab conflict is indeed a call for violent armed resistance against the state of Israel, including violence against civilians and the genocide of Jews.”
The New York lawmaker pressed the Ivy League school leader further by asking “will admissions offers be rescinded or any disciplinary action be taken against students or applicants who say ‘From the river to the sea’ or ‘intifada,’ advocating for the murder of Jews?”
“As said, that type of hateful, reckless, offensive speech is personally abhorrent to me,” Gay said.
However, Stefanik pushed further, demanding to know what action will be taken specifically against “students who are harassing and calling for the genocide of Jews on Harvard’s campus?” Gay deflected but added that measures were underway and declined to explain further.
“When speech crosses into conduct that violates our policies, including policies against bullying, harassment or intimidation, we take action, and we have robust disciplinary processes that allow to hold individuals accountable,” Gay said.
“We embrace a commitment to free expression, even [if they] are objectionable, offensive, hateful. It’s when that speech crosses into conduct that violates our policies against bullying,” Gay said.
After she would not say that the calls for the genocide of Jews violated the Ivy League university’s code of conduct, the local campus Jewish organization, Harvard Hillel, called on the president to “take action” to protect Jewish students.
Miller, the president of Harvard Hillel, added that there’s been a lot of frustration and a feeling of betrayal among Jewish students from the university and their peers.
He added that a lot of those people who have been chanting slogans during the protests or who signed on to the statement that attributed blame for Hamas’s massacre to the state of Israel are their peers.
Miller said that the president does not seem to be taking Jewish student concerns seriously.
“Harvard is one of the most prestigious institutions in our country. It’s supposed to be a place of enlightenment. And the inability to properly condemn calls for genocide is extremely surprising and shocking,” Miller said.
He went on to say, “I think President Gay was right to say that education needs to play a key role in combating antisemitism. But that’s not it. Because, you know, Harvard is a leading university that educates and yet it has still become this haven for hate.”
He continued, “And we need more than just education. We need to firmly not tolerate speech that’s hateful and antisemitic.”
Fox News’ Kendall Tietz contributed to this report.