In a recent incident at Harvard University, a video capturing a confrontation between a graduate student and a professor's wife has gone viral, shedding light on the ongoing tensions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on campus.
Verbal exchange on political symbols
According to reports by the Middle East Eye, Eve Gerber, wife of Harvard professor Jason Furman, can be seen in the video criticizing a student for wearing a keffiyeh, a traditional West Asian scarf associated with the Palestinian struggle for a homeland. In the video, Gerber is heard saying, "Thank you for walking through neighbourhoods and making families feel unsafe with your terrorist scarf."
The student, unfazed by the accusation, responds, "Palestinians felt pretty unsafe when Israelis occupied their country, you know." Gerber retorts, stating, "I'm glad you're so proud of the slaughtering of civilians."
Campus Climate: A Microcosm of Broader Tensions
This incident adds to the escalating tensions on campuses across the United States, including Harvard, where pro-Palestinian student groups claim to face censorship, while pro-Israeli student groups report an increase in antisemitic rhetoric. The video is the latest in a series of incidents at Harvard, following the mobbing of a student by pro-Palestinian demonstrators on campus in October. The earlier incident involved demonstrators surrounding a student, holding keffiyehs to his face, and yelling "shame."
These incidents highlight the challenging atmosphere on campuses as students engage in discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, navigating the complexities of free speech, and addressing the broader issues of censorship and harassment faced by groups with opposing viewpoints.