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Business News/ News / World/  Wexner Foundation pulls support from Harvard University over ‘unequivocal stand against murder of Israelis’
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Wexner Foundation pulls support from Harvard University over ‘unequivocal stand against murder of Israelis’

Harvard faces backlash over response to Hamas attack on Israel. Wexner Foundation withdraws support from Harvard University.

File Photo of Harvard University. (AP)Premium
File Photo of Harvard University. (AP)

The Wexner Foundation on Monday pulled support from Harvard University over its reaction to the Hamas rocket attack on Israel that has killed over 1,200 people and left many injured. The philanthropy, chaired by Leslie Wexner and Abigail Wexner, wrote a letter to the Harvard Board of Overseers.

In the letter, the philanthropic organization said it was ending its financial and programmatic relationship with the university.

Currently, the Wexner Foundation is supporting up to 10 government and public service professionals from Israel each year to pursue a one-year degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.

“We are stunned and sickened at the dismal failure of Harvard’s leadership to take a clear and unequivocal stand against the barbaric murders of innocent Israeli civilians by terrorists last Saturday, the Sabbath and a festival day," the letter read.

Harvard President Claudine Gay, who took office in July, has struggled to placate some critics, who initially included former university president Larry Summers, Bloomberg reported.

Summers said he was outraged by Harvard’s initial silence after more than 30 student groups issued a statement blaming the violence solely on Israel, and not Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union.

Harvard and the Kennedy School have “made clear our rejection of the terrorist atrocities perpetrated by Hamas," a spokesperson for the public-policy institution said in an email, pointing to statements last week by Gay and Kennedy School Dean Doug Elmendorf.

The Kennedy School expressed gratitude to the Wexner Foundation “for its very longstanding support of student scholarships."

It is pertinent to note that donors and alumni at some US colleges have been pulling support over the institutions' response to the Hamas attack on Israel. The latest break follows a move by Israeli businessman Idan Ofer, who with his wife quit board posts at the Kennedy School last week.

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Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 06:27 AM IST
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