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Wexner Foundation cuts ties with Harvard for not condemning Hamas’ barbaric actions

Harvard University (Dreamstime/TNS)
October 17, 2023

The Wexner Foundation, a nonprofit created by Victoria’s Secret founder Leslie Wexner, has taken a bold step by severing its connection with Harvard University as a result of the university’s “dismal failure” to condemn the brutal killing of Israeli civilians by Hamas.

In a firm letter dispatched to Harvard’s board on Monday, the foundation, started by Wexner and his wife Abigail, stated, “We are stunned and sickened by the dismal failure of Harvard’s leadership to take a clear and unequivocal stance against the barbaric murders of innocent Israeli civilians.”

The letter, later shared by StopAntisemitism, further detailed how the lack of condemnation from Harvard against the brutal Hamas attacks against Israel left Israeli students at the college feeling “abandoned.”

The issue was intensified when 34 student groups published a letter that held Israel “entirely responsible” for the attacks on its citizens. “In the absence of this clear moral stand, we have determined that the Harvard Kennedy School and the Wexner Foundation are no longer compatible partners,” the foundation’s letter stated.

The Wexner Foundation’s disassociation with Harvard is not the first demonstration of disapproval towards the school’s response. Previously, Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer and his wife, Batia, resigned from the executive board of the Harvard Kennedy School, echoing similar disappointments, according to The New York Post.

READ MORE: Harvard anti-Israeli letter led by perfume icon’s son: Report

A representative from Harvard conveyed gratitude to the Wexner Foundation for support over the years in a statement to CNN, saying, “We are grateful to the Wexner Foundation for its very long-standing support of student scholarships.”

The Harvard spokesperson also referenced a video statement from Harvard University President Claudine Gay. In the video, Gay emphasized Harvard’s commitment to free expression, even if those views are “objectionable” or “outrageous.” She noted, “We do not punish or sanction people for expressing such views, but that is a far cry from endorsing them.”

The university’s response also faced backlash from former university president, Larry Summers, and Bill Ackman, the founder of the multibillion-dollar hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management. Both demanded a clear stance from Harvard on the issue.

“In nearly 50 years of @Harvard affiliation, I have never been as disillusioned and alienated as I am today,’ Summers tweeted.

Ackman has also urged for the release of names of students associated with the anti-Israeli statement.

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.