Harvard Decides Not to Honor a Leading Proponent of Attacks on Israel

(JNS-Israel Hayom) Jonathan S. Tobin - Harvard's move to deny a fellowship at its John F. Kennedy School of Government to Kenneth Roth, the former head of Human Rights Watch (HRW), is a rare instance of a leading academic institution's taking a stand against antisemitism, rather than tolerating it. By denying Roth the honor of a fellowship, the Kennedy School was rightly seeking to distance itself from a person who is one of the leading proponents of antisemitic attacks on the State of Israel. Roth turned HRW, a group that prior to his becoming its head was respected as an unbiased advocate for human rights around world, into an organization obsessed with the cause of delegitimizing Israel and valorizing those seeking its destruction. Robert Bernstein, HRW's founder, wrote that Roth had hijacked HRW and turned it into an anti-Israel activist group that focused disproportionately on efforts to support the Palestinian war on Zionism. HRW is an avid supporter of the antisemitic BDS movement and "lawfare" efforts aimed at manipulating international law to make Israel a pariah. An honest assessment of Roth's record must lead to the conclusion that he isn't a "critic" of Israel's, but rather someone who regards its existence as a crime that must be atoned for by its destruction. It is to the credit of Harvard's Kennedy School that it drew the line at giving him the kind of honor he clearly doesn't deserve.

2023-01-16 00:00:00

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