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Harvard Jewish students form pro-Palestine, 'anti-Zionist' group

The group was formed by undergraduates at Harvard University [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 February, 2020

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A group of Jewish students at Harvard University have come under fire from the institutions Hillel over their pro-Palestine and pro-BDS stance.
A group of students at Harvard University have formed a pro-Palestine group with the aim of showing solidarity with the Palestinian cause and combatting anti-semitism.

The 'Harvard Jewish Coalition for Peace' has positioned itself as an “anti-Zionist Jewish organisation.”

“Harvard Jewish Coalition for Peace is a new organisation founded in the idea that Jewish liberation is inextricably bound up with the liberation of all people,” a statement posted to the group's Facebook page said earlier this week.

The group also identifies itself as aligned with the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to apply pressure on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian land.

“We build on a long history of Jewish anti-Zionism which teaches us that Jewish safety or liberation will never come at the expense of other people’s lives and land, and are committed to following the leadership of Palestinians in supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on and off Harvard’s campus,” the group said in a statement.

The pro-BDS stance contrasts that of the Harvard Hillel, the university's Jewish students' association, which has rejected BDS as a legitimate means of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

“Israel is a vital crucible of modern Jewish culture and the home of nearly half of the world’s Jewish population,” Hillel President Rebecca S. Arate was quoted by the Harvard Crimson as saying. “We oppose BDS and all efforts that seek to delegitimise the State of Israel."

The Harvard Jewish Coalition for Peace, meanwhile, has said it does not claim to represent all Jewish students and provides a space for those who have felt "alienated" by the Hillel.

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