Bill Ackman slams Harvard: University has 'turned a blind eye' to anti-semitism - Hindustan Times
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Bill Ackman slams Harvard: University has 'turned a blind eye' to anti-semitism

Dec 04, 2023 10:15 PM IST

Bill Ackman criticizes Harvard for turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism on campus.

Hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman has continued to slam his alma-mater Harvard University, accusing the school and its president of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism on campus in the wake of Hamas' barbaric assault on Israel in October.

Bill Ackman, chief executive officer and portfolio manager at Pershing Square Capital Management(REUTERS)
Bill Ackman, chief executive officer and portfolio manager at Pershing Square Capital Management(REUTERS)

On Sunday, Ackman, 57, posted a video showing a pro-Palestinian student disrupting a class with a bullhorn, ranting about protests and chanting: 'Free free Palestine.'

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'This is what you get for $73,600/year at ⁦@Harvard,' Ackman wrote in the caption. The Pershing Square Capital Management founder, who has a net worth of $3.8 billion, graduated with a degree in social studies from Harvard in 1988 and later attained an MBA in 1992.

The school's official rule book bans the disruption of classes and is 'regarded as unacceptable obstruction of the essential processes of the University.'

This weekend saw a mob of University of Pennsylvania students chanting 'intifada,'meaning 'uprising,' through the streets. Ackman too posted that video which was accompanied by the caption: 'Stop telling American Jews not to worry.'

Meanwhile, campus Jewish student organization, Harvard Hillel, said in an Instagram post that students were disrupted in classes by protesters who made calls to 'globalize the intifada' and for the elimination of Israel 'from the river to the sea.'

'These calls for genocide and anti-Jewish violence throughout the world represent antisemitic speech and are not protected by the University's community standards,' the Hillel statement read.

Last week, Ackman took aim at Harvard President Claudine Grayover her 'failed leadership' and called the decision not to attend an 'insult'. Ackman, 57, offered to fly Gay to Washington D.C. immediately after the documentary is screened at Harvard, where she is due to testify to Congressabout the explosion in anti-Semitism at the college.

But the university leader has declined the invitation, with her chief of staff stating she is 'out of town' in an email reply.

'I can’t imagine anything more important for the Harvard President to do now than to bear witness to the atrocities before testifying about the Hamas protests and antisemitism on campus,' Ackman wrote on X.

Also Read | ‘Harvard situation dire, getting worse’, Bill Ackman writes to its President over growing anti-semitism on campus

'It may be true that she is "out of town" as I am sure she is flying to DC that day, but it sure sends a bad message to the students, the faculty, and the alumni community about the seriousness with which she is taking the issue of antisemitism on campus.

'And it is an insult to the Israeli Ambassador who is flying to Boston just to present the documentary at Harvard.'

Ackman said he offered to provide dinner and a flight so the two could discuss the kinds of questions Gay may face at Congress on Tuesday.

However, gifts such as a this from a donor seeking to influence university policy may or may not be prohibited by school regulations.

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