seeing crimson

Larry Hogan withdraws from Harvard fellowships over handling of pro-Hamas letter

The former Maryland governor called the Harvard administration's lack of a swift and decisive response 'a moral stain on the university'

Wade Vandervort/AFP

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 18, 2022.

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is withdrawing from two fellowships at Harvard University over the university’s handling of a controversial statement signed by dozens of Harvard student groups claiming Israel was “entirely responsible” for Hamas’ terrorist attacks, he wrote in a letter sent to Harvard President Claudine Gay on Monday.

“While these students have a right to free speech, they do not have a right to have hate speech go unchallenged by your institution,” Hogan wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Jewish Insider. “Harvard’s failure to immediately and forcefully denounce the antisemitic vitriol from these students is in my opinion a moral stain on the university.”

Harvard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The university’s leadership has faced intense backlash from donors, alumni and other high-profile critics in recent weeks over its delayed response to the conflict between Israel and Hamas and the uproar surrounding the student groups’ letter. 

In statements earlier this month, Gay condemned Hamas’ atrocities as “abhorrent” and said that “no student group — not even 30 student groups — speaks for Harvard University or its leadership.” 

But in his letter, Hogan, a Republican who had accepted fellowships at the Kennedy School of Government and the Chan School of Public Health this fall, said that such statements did not go far enough.

“The lessons of history are clear: we must all do our part to take a clear stand in the face of genocidal acts against the Jewish people or any group,” he wrote. “There is no ‘both sides’ when it comes to the murder, rape, and kidnapping of innocent women and children. I believe very strongly that in this matter there is no room for justification or equivocation.”

Hogan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly,” he wrote in his letter, “but it is my hope that it may help further spur you to take meaningful action to address antisemitism and restore the values Harvard should represent to the world.”

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