Harvard Professor Steps Down Following Backlash Over Antisemitic Post

(ReliableNews.org) – Harvard is one of the most prestigious universities in America. It has educated multiple presidents and Supreme Court justices. In recent months, it has been a source of outrage for people who support Israel. A recent controversy surrounding a professor once again highlighted the issues at the school.

On February 21, Harvard’s newspaper, The Crimson, reported Walter Johnson, a professor of African American studies and history, resigned from pro-Palestine groups. The professor had been serving as a faculty adviser to the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) and on the Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine.

The professor decided to leave the groups after they faced backlash for sharing an antisemitic post. The image was shared on Instagram and was reportedly from a June 1967 Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee newsletter. The photo showed a hand branded with the Star of David with a dollar sign in the center of it. The hand was holding a noose around the necks of former Egyptian President Gamal Nasser and Muhammad Ali.

The student groups claimed the image highlighted black people’s “profound understanding of apartheid and occupation.” After backlash over the image, PSC uploaded another depiction and stated that “an earlier version of [the] post” contained an image that went against the organization’s values. The group claimed the post “inadvertently” contained “antisemitic tropes.”

Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine apologized for sharing the image.

PSC issued a statement saying Professor Johnson made “a personal decision” to step down from his position with the group. It said his term with the organization was ending in spring, and he let them know he didn’t intend to renew. The statement said the professor “remains supportive of [the group’s] goals as an organization.”

Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned in January amid backlash over her handling of antisemitism on campus. Multiple billionaire donors have also paused their donations to the school.

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