FIRST ON FOX: Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, along with several other GOP Harvard graduates in Congress, have sent a letter to the president of Harvard University demanding a clear condemnation of antisemitism after more than 30 student organizations said Israel was “entirely responsible” for “unfolding violence” against the country by Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists.
“As Harvard University alumni, we write today to express our outrage and profound disappointment over the statement made by over thirty Harvard student organizations that blames Israel for the Hamas terrorist attacks brutally carried out against Israeli civilians,” Cruz and Stefanik, both graduates of Harvard, wrote to university president Claudine Gay this week.
The letter was also signed by Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Rep. Kevin Kiley, Rep. Brian Mast, Sen. Mike Crapo, and Sen. Dan Sullivan.
“This statement is abhorrent, and we demand that you immediately condemn it publicly and clarify that Harvard University strongly opposes this dangerous antisemitism.”
The Harvard student organizations‘ statement, released on the day of the Hamas attacks, said the events did not occur “in a vacuum.” The groups who signed the letter included the Harvard Islamic Society, the Harvard Jews for Liberation, the Society of Arab Students and the Harvard Divinity School Muslim Association.
“We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” the message says.
Harvard released a statement two days after the controversy that did not condemn Hamas specifically or antisemitism and “emphasized” their “commitment to fostering an environment of dialogue and empathy.”
Following that statement, Gay released a statement on Oct. 10 that condemned the actions of Hamas but did not mention antisemitism. The group of Harvard Republicans in Congress wrote in the letter that the response was not adequate and did not go far enough.
“This should have warranted an immediate unequivocal condemnation from yourself and Harvard University leadership,” the Republicans wrote. ” Instead, you waited two days to release an initial statement that failed to even condemn the terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, much less address the antisemitism on your campus.”
“Your original statement claims that Harvard is committed to fostering an environment of open dialogue and empathy. However, your delayed response makes it clear you are only committed to intentionally fostering an environment that allows rampant and dangerous antisemitism on Harvard’s campus.”
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Rep. Crenshaw said, “What we are seeing at campuses across the United States is disgusting, but it speaks to a deeper long standing post-modernist rot in academia. There is debate and the free exchange of ideas – and then there is what we are seeing this week.”
“These same students probably scream about microaggressions and implicit bias, but now celebrate actual aggression based on [antisemitism] against women, children, and the elderly. At Harvard, students should be learning the university motto, truth – but in reality they are propagandizing for terrorism, and they should be denounced for their actions.”
Rep. Mast told Fox News Digital that when he was a student at Harvard, pro-Palestinian protesters harassed his family when they found out he was a veteran.
“There’s no logic with these people – if there was, they’d realize there is no equivalency between Israelis defending themselves and terrorists beheading children. But Harvard leadership should know better,” Mast said.
“They need to make it clear that antisemistism will not be tolerated within the halls of one of the world’s most established institutions.”
Harvard did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Several student groups at Harvard withdrew their signatures from the controversial document following the backlash it received.
“We regret that our decision to co-sign the latest PSC statement to call attention to historical injustices against Palestinians, with an earnest desire for peace, has been interpreted as a tacit support for the recent violent attacks in Israel,” The Harvard Undergraduate Nepali Student Association posted in a statement to Instagram.
Campus newspaper The Harvard Crimson reported Wednesday that at least five of the document’s original 34 signatories had withdrawn their endorsement of the polarizing statement.
“The leadership at Harvard University should be ashamed. After over thirty Harvard student organizations released an antisemitic statement blaming Israel for Hamas’ vicious terrorist attacks it took Harvard President Claudine Gay three days to even condemn Hamas’ attacks,” Rep. Stefanik told Fox News Digital.
“Harvard leadership has still not denounced the students’ statement, this is morally sickening. Any voice that can defend the raping, killing, and kidnapping of innocent women and children has chosen the side of terrorism. I am proud to lead my colleagues and fellow Harvard alumni in demanding better from our alma mater.”
Sen. Cruz, in a statement to Fox News Digital, said, “Sadly, there are few places on earth with more vicious antisemitism and hatred of Israel than American ‘elite’ universities. It’s disgusting, and it’s dangerous. I’m particularly ashamed that student groups from my alma mater, Harvard, blamed Israel for the genocidal war that Hamas terrorists are brutally waging.”
“It is past time for universities to stand up and squarely address the antisemitism that they have been breeding and unleashing, including on their own Jewish students. Harvard must decide whether it wants to be a true institution of higher learning or an incubator of bigotry and antisemitism whose students try to rationalize and justify child rape and mass murder.”
On Friday morning, shortly before the letter was sent, Gray released a video message that said the school rejects “terrorism” and “hate.”
“Our university embraces a commitment to free expression,” Gay said. “That commitment extends even to views that many of us find objectionable, even outrageous. We do not punish or sanction people for expressing such views.”
Fox News Digital’s Kristine Parks contributed to this report