Former Harvard President Larry Summers ‘Sickened’ By School’s ‘Neutral’ Stance On Anti-Jewish Terrorism

Larry Summers
Larry Summers / Getty Images
October 9, 2023

Former Harvard University president Larry Summers said he was "sickened" by the school leadership’s silence on Hamas’s mass terrorist attacks in Israel, after a coalition of student groups released a statement claiming that the Jewish state deserved to have its civilians slaughtered by terrorists.

Summers, who also served as secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton administration, said he has "never been as disillusioned and alienated as I am today" during his five decades of affiliation with Harvard.

"The silence from Harvard’s leadership, so far, coupled with a vocal and widely reported student groups' statement blaming Israel solely, has allowed Harvard to appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel," he wrote on Twitter.

"Instead, Harvard is being defined by the morally unconscionable statement apparently coming from two dozen student groups blaming all the violence on Israel," he added. "I am sickened. I cannot fathom the Administration’s failure to disassociate the University and condemn this statement."

Summers’s comments come after more than 30 Harvard student groups signed an open letter calling Israel an "apartheid regime" that is "entirely responsible for all unfolding violence." The dean of Harvard's Graduate School of Education also blamed both "Hamas and the Israeli government" for the outbreak of war in Israel, in an email to students on Sunday.

At least 800 Israelis were killed and more than 100 kidnapped by Hamas this weekend in the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust.

Harvard’s leadership, including its new president, Claudine Gay, have yet to comment. Summers noted that such silence is unusual for the administration, contrasting it with "[former Harvard] president [Lawrence] Bacow’s strong statement of support for Ukraine...or Dean Gay’s powerful statement on police violence."

"[W]e have as yet—48 hours later—no official Harvard statement at this time of moral testing," said Summers.

Harvard did not respond to a request for comment.