Taking a Stand: A Compilation of Letters to American Universities on Anti-Israel Bias

Updated November 17, 2023.

After the Jewish people suffered their darkest day since the Holocaust, insult was added to injury on many American campuses. Rather than straightforward condemnations of the horrifying attacks committed by Palestinian terrorists, many universities, faculty members, and students either openly glorified and justified the atrocities or made obscene equivalences between the Jewish state and the genocidal terrorist organization, Hamas.

Fortunately, many fought back. Provided below is a list of letters and statements issued by university leaders, faculty members, students, business leaders, and politicians. These individuals took a stand at a crucial moment in time against those institutions that are equivocating, or worse, in the face of hatred and terrorism. They serve as examples, and hopefully inspiration, for others to speak up and do what is right.

Jewish Students and Alumni of Brown University

November 15, 2023

Open Letter in Support of Israel

Excerpt: “We will not be silenced. We are devastated by the horrific loss of life in Israel and Gaza, but lasting peace is impossible as long as Hamas remains in power in Gaza. We stand with the State of Israel and its right to self-defense. And we urge Brown University to actively combat the recent unprecedented rise of antisemitism we have seen on campus.”


Ron Liebowitz, President of Brandeis University

November 8, 2023

Letter to the Brandeis Community

Excerpt: “It is critical that all students, and all of their diverse experiences and viewpoints, be allowed to engage in constructive dialogue and live together as a community, in an environment that is free of intimidation and harassment. A commitment to openness is one of Brandeis’ founding values, but that openness is challenged when speech is used to intimidate and silence others.”


Harvard Law School Alumni

November 8, 2023

Open Letter to Harvard Law Dean John Manning

Excerpt: “Harvard permitted this situation to escalate to the point of criminality. It must not tolerate the presence on campus of a law student who openly assaults other students on the basis of their Jewish identity. It should not tolerate the presence of a student who assaults anyone for any reason. That type of behavior – behavior that could result in disbarment in any jurisdiction – cannot be allowed to mar the legacy of Harvard Law School.”


Isaac Herzog, President of the State of Israel

November 7, 2023

Letter to American university and College Presidents

Excerpt: “Debate is welcome on any topic, including Israel’s actions. This goes without saying. As America has learned in its own wars, the trial of fighting heartless terrorists who hide among civilians is agonizing and offers no easy choices. But the events on campus are not debate but a defilement of the university and its principles. How can anyone endorsing, excusing, or glorifying the Hamas atrocities have a place in any college, or in the civilized world?”


William A. Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management

November 4, 2023

Letter to Harvard University President Claudine Gay

Excerpt: “History has taught us that when the sparks and initial flames of antisemitism emerge, we must promptly put out the flames before a conflagration begins. It is therefore critically important you act with alacrity in addressing these issues. I encourage you to act boldly and promptly to eliminate this scourge at Harvard… Successfully addressing antisemitism at Harvard and creating an environment with true freedom of expression will become a critically important part of your legacy as the Harvard community works together to address these challenges at a difficult time in world history.”


Yale Law School Alumni

November 3, 2023

Letter to Yale Law School Dean Gerken

Excerpt: “Nothing about Yale Law School’s appropriate commitment to the principles of free speech relieves it of its obligation to educate students, particularly when they are under the misimpression that the atrocities and war crimes committed on October 7, 2023 are justifiable or that Jewish students who expressed sadness and concern should be mocked and belittled. And when such statements are considered acceptable by the student body generally, the law school has a responsibility to take more significant measures.”


Dozens of Top Law Firms

November 1, 2023

Letter to Law School Deans

Excerpt: “Over the last several weeks, we have been alarmed at reports of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assaults on college campuses, including rallies calling for the death of Jews and the elimination of the State of Israel. Such anti-Semitic activities would not be tolerated at any of our firms. We also would not tolerate outside groups engaging in acts of harassment and threats of violence, as has also been occurring on many of your campuses.”


Leaders of Israeli Universities

November 1, 2023

Letter to American University Leaders

Excerpt: “It’s unsettling to note that many college campuses have become breeding grounds for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments, largely fueled by a naïve and biased understanding of the conflict. It is ironic that the very halls of enlightenment in America and Europe, ostensibly the bastions of intellectual and progressive thought that are your campuses, have adopted Hamas as the cause célèbre while Israel is demonized. Universities, as hubs of enlightenment and rational discourse, must take responsibility for the views they perpetuate.”


Universities United Against Terrorism (Coalition of 100+ Institutions)

October 26, 2023

Statement Regarding Hamas’s Terror Attack

Excerpt: “The basis of all universities is a pursuit of truth, and it is times like these that require moral clarity. Like the fight against ISIS, the fight against Hamas is a fight against evil. We, the presidents and chancellors of universities, colleges and higher education associations across the United States of America and the world, stand with Israel, with the Palestinians who suffer under Hamas’ cruel rule in Gaza and with all people of moral conscience.”


Larry Hogan, Governor of the State of Maryland

October 23, 2023

Letter to Harvard University

Excerpt: “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. 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. I am hereby withdrawing from my participation in the Harvard University fellowship programs.”


Yale Law School Students

October 20, 2023

Letter to Yale Law School Alumni

Excerpt: “Law schools—like all institutions of higher education—are sites of moral formation. In the Tocquevillian mold, the inculcation of these values is needed to create a virtuous citizenry. This process is especially important for lawyers, whose avocation is inextricably linked to the integrity of moral republican governance. By not speaking more strongly and unequivocally, this community has done a great disservice to this country and its legal profession.”


The Wexner Foundation

October 16, 2023

Letter to Harvard Board of Overseers

Excerpt: “We are stunned and sickened at the dismal failure of Harvard’s leadership to take a clear and unequivocal stand against the barbaric murders of innocent Israeli civilians by terrorists last Saturday, the Sabbath and a festival day. Since then, many of our Israel Fellows no longer feel marginalized at HKS. They feel abandoned. That feeling is shared by our HKS Israeli Alumni, Foundation staff, and our chairmen…While we intend to develop new strategies and initiatives to develop Israel’s civil service leaders, The Wexner Foundation is formally ending its financial and programmatic relationships with Harvard and the Harvard Kennedy School.”


Jewish Studies Zionist Network

October 12, 2023

Statement Regarding Jewish Studies and the Hamas War

Excerpt: “And with Jewish studies remaining silent, justifying Hamas, and, finally, impugning American Jewry for funding Jewish supremacy in Israel, we Jews in the diaspora now face the prospect of increasing violence from Palestinian activists and their supporters on the militant left. The campus community has brought the war in Israel to the American academy. And Jewish studies has given our enemies a green light.”


Harvard University Student Organizations, Faculty Members, and Affiliates

October 10, 2023

Joint Statement Regarding Hamas’s Terror Attack

Excerpt: “The statement signed by the Palestine Solidarity Committee and dozens of other student groups blaming Israel for the aforementioned attacks is completely wrong and deeply offensive. There are no justifications for acts of terror we have seen in the past days. We call on all the student groups who co-signed the statement to retract their signatures from the offensive letter. We also call on the Harvard University administration to join the United States and countless other governments and universities around the world in condemning the terror attacks against innocent and unarmed civilians. Failure to denounce these atrocities unequivocally is a moral stain on the university and its leadership.”


Marc Rowan, Chairman of the Board of Advisors of The Wharton School

October 10, 2023

Letter to The Daily Pennsylvanian

Excerpt: “Elite academic institutions hold a special place in our society, with their pedigreed histories, impressive faculties and extensive resources. The embrace of antisemitism and other forms of discrimination by these institutions legitimizes and reinforces hate, racism and, ultimately, violence. UPenn is not alone among academic institutions in its failure to condemn all forms of hatred, including antisemitic hatred.”


Columbia University, Barnard College, and Teacher’s College Faculty Members

October 2023

Open Letter on Campus Conversation About Hamas’s Atrocities

Excerpt: “We ask the entire University community to condemn the Hamas attack unambiguously. We doubt anyone would try to justify this sort of atrocity if it were directed against the residents of a nation other than Israel.”


University of Pennsylvania Faculty Members

October 2023

Open Letter on Recent Events in Israel and Gaza to the UPenn Community

Excerpt: “We hear words of hate on our campus, praising violence against Jews. These words should not be met with silence. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. We must not tolerate hateful speech on campus. We insist on respectful and civil discourse, and we condemn any forms of Islamophobia or anti-Semitism.”


Harvard Business School Alumni

October 2023

Open Letter to Harvard Leadership Regarding Antisemitism on Campus

Excerpt: “Without steadfast leadership, Harvard will not produce ethical and wise leaders. Ethical leadership requires a strong moral compass and a deep and committed understanding of what one’s mission is. Real leaders can move to action quickly because their values are authentic, and they are deeply committed to their mission. The prolonged silence from you all after multiple violent pro-Palestinian protests and “die-ins” are proof enough that Harvard’s leadership does not know how to lead or model true leadership.”

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