Israeli Harvard Business School Student Accosted and Harassed Amid Gaza ‘Die-In’ on Campus

Harvard University leaders have no comment.

October 21, 2023

A first-year Israeli student at Harvard Business School was shoved and accosted amid a "die in" protest held on Wednesday to assail Israel’s retaliatory attacks on Hamas.

The incident, captured on video reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, shows the student saying "don’t grab me" and "don’t touch my neck" as protesters surround him, blocking his view and their own faces with keffiyehs.

Eventually, the student tells them, "I live here," as he tries to make his way through the crowd.

"You’re grabbing me," he says, amid shouts of "SHAME!"

The student, who asked to remain anonymous, described being pushed and shoved as he tried to film them with his phone. A report to the FBI identified two of the people laying hands on him as fellow Harvard University graduate students, one a law student, Ibrahim Bharmal, a member of the Harvard Law Review, and the other a divinity school graduate student, Elom Tettey Tamaklo, who lives with Harvard undergraduate students in supervisory role known as a proctor.

Bharmal and Tamaklo did not respond to requests for comment.

A report has been filed with the Harvard University Police Department and the FBI’s Boston office. "An Israeli student on his way to class pulled his phone out to film the rioters and he was attacked. He was assaulted both physically and verbally. Throughout the assault he kept calm, but was aggressively attacked by Pro-Palestine rioters," reads the report to the FBI, which was reviewed by the Free Beacon. "At least 2 of those involved have been identified as employees of the University and have not yet been dismissed from their posts."

The FBI declined to comment.

It is unclear how or whether Harvard plans to address the incident, which was reported to Harvard Business School administrators. Neither the executive director of Harvard’s MBA program, Jana Kierstead, nor Harvard University president Claudine Gay responded to a request for comment.

The episode is the latest conflagration on the Harvard University campus since Hamas’s terrorist rampage on Israel and rising campus hostility to Jews. The Harvard donor and billionaire investor Seth Klarman, whose name adorns a Harvard Business School auditorium and conference center, said this week that Harvard has become "exceptionally hostile" to Jews.

His remarks came after statement signed by 34 student groups laid blame for Hamas's terrorist atrocities squarely with Israel. Harvard president Claudine Gay’s equivocal statements—which did not denounce the views of those groups—since have also drawn ire from former college administrators like Larry Summers and prompted some donors to cut their ties with the school.

Jewish students and administrators are also expressing concern about the the university’s lax response to expressions of hostility toward Israel and the Jewish people. "This morning I was reflecting on the lengths to which Harvard went to try and penalize students who were members of off-campus Final Clubs. Yet, beyond saying that they don’t speak for the university, it says and does nothing about students and Harvard entities who support Jewish murder, and call for more of it," Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi, the founder and president of Harvard’s Chabad wrote in an email obtained by the Free Beacon. "It severed its ties with single-gender Final Clubs in 1984, but in 2023 allows student organizations to maintain their Harvard affiliation while supporting terror and calling for more of it."

In correspondence with law enforcement, the victim of Wednesday’s bullying identified two of assailants as law school student Ibrahim Bharmal, a member of the Harvard Law Review and a Stanford University graduate, and Elom Tettey Tamaklo, a divinity school student who lives alongside first-year students and "host weekly study breaks" to "help with your adjustment to Harvard. You'll find they are an excellent source of information about academics, extracurriculars, social life, and College resources."

Bharmal in 2018 won Stanford’s Sterling award for service. The citation recognized his work "with the American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford, including serving as global engagement chair" and noted that he was active with "Markaz, the Muslim Student Resource Center and has been a voice of honesty and compassion around issues within the Muslim community.