A first-year Israeli student at Harvard Business School was physically and verbally assaulted during a protest against Israel's retaliatory attacks on Hamas. The incident, which was captured on video reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, took place on Wednesday during a "die-in" protest organized by student groups on Harvard University's campus.
The student, who has chosen to remain anonymous, can be seen in the video being surrounded by protesters who were wearing keffiyehs and blocking his view. He can be heard saying "don't grab me" and "don't touch my neck" as he is pushed and shoved by the demonstrators. The student can also be heard saying "I live here" as he tries to make his way through the crowd.
According to a report filed with the FBI and the Harvard University Police Department, the student was attacked by at least two individuals who have been identified as employees of the University. One of the assailants, Ibrahim Bharmal, is a law student and member of the Harvard Law Review. The other, Elom Tettey Tamaklo, is a divinity school graduate student who lives with undergraduate students as a proctor.
The student has expressed concern about Harvard's response to the incident and has called for the dismissal of the two identified assailants. In a statement to the FBI, he wrote, "At least 2 of those involved have been identified as employees of the University and have not yet been dismissed from their posts."
Harvard students protesting against Israel surround a Jewish student and stop him from being able to leave.
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) November 1, 2023
The FBI is currently investigating the incident and declined to comment further.
This is not the first instance of hostility towards Israel and Jews on Harvard's campus. In response to the recent attacks by Hamas, 34 student groups released a statement blaming Israel for the violence. Harvard president Claudine Gay's equivocal statements and failure to denounce these views have drawn criticism from former college administrators and donors.
Billionaire investor and Harvard donor, Seth Klarman, stated that Harvard has become "exceptionally hostile" towards Jews. Other donors have also expressed concern and some have even cut ties with the university.
Jewish students and administrators are also calling for stronger action against expressions of hostility towards Israel and the Jewish people on campus. In an email obtained by the Free Beacon, Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi, the founder and president of Harvard's Chabad, expressed his disappointment with Harvard's response to the incident. He wrote, "It says and does nothing about students and Harvard entities who support Jewish murder, and call for more of it."
The victim of the assault has called for Harvard to take stronger action against individuals and organizations on campus who support violence against Israel and the Jewish people. The university has not yet responded to these calls for action.
In the meantime, the Harvard community is coming together to support the victim and denounce the violence and hostility displayed towards him. The incident has raised concerns about the safety and inclusivity of the university's campus and many are calling for a stronger stance against hate and discrimination.