After writing an anti-Israel letter, Harvard students are doxed


By Anemona Hartocollis

On a campus already bitterly divided, the statement poured acid all over Harvard Yard. A coalition of more than 30 student groups posted an open letter on the night of the Hamas attack, saying that Israel was “entirely responsible” for the violence that ended up killing more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians. The letter, posted on social media before the extent of the killings was known, did not include the names of individual students.


But within days, students affiliated with those groups were being doxxed, their personal information posted online. Siblings back home were threatened. Wall Street executives demanded a list of student names to ban their hiring. And a truck with a digital billboard — paid for by a conservative group — circled Harvard Square, flashing student photos and names, under the headline, “Harvard’s Leading Antisemites.”


The war between Israel and Hamas has heightened emotions, threatening to tear apart already fragile campus cultures.

At the University of Pennsylvania, donors are pushing for the resignation of the president and the board chairman, after a Palestinian writers’ conference on campus invited speakers accused of antisemitism. At Harvard, a billionaire couple quit an executive board. Another donor pulled money for fellowships. And Lawrence Summers, a former Harvard president and Treasury secretary, criticized the leadership for a “delayed” response to the Hamas attack and the student letter.This is not the first time that Harvard students have taken up an unpopular view. But those involved with the letter had not anticipated that their statement would go viral and unleash such repercussions.


The students had to contend with “people’s lives being ruined, people’s careers being ruined, people’s fellowships being ruined,” said one student whose organization signed the letter, in an interview.


©2023 The New York Times News Service

First Published: Oct 20 2023 | 0:02 AM IST


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