Israeli Harvard Student Harassed at Gaza Protest
A confrontation unfolded at Harvard University involving a first-year Israeli student from the Harvard Business School who faced harassment during a protest against Israel’s actions in response to Hamas. The incident, which was captured on video, shows the student being surrounded by protesters, who were using keffiyehs to conceal their faces.
The video captures the Israeli student expressing his discomfort as he’s shoved and accosted. He repeatedly requests, “don’t grab me” and “don’t touch my neck” while trying to navigate through the crowd. At one point, he says, “I live here,” emphasizing his connection to the situation.
Amid shouts of “SHAME!” and protests, the student continues to document the incident with his phone. The report filed with the FBI identifies two individuals involved in the confrontation as fellow Harvard graduate students. One of them is Ibrahim Bharmal, a law student and a member of the Harvard Law Review. The other is Elom Tettey Tamaklo, a graduate student at the divinity school who serves as a proctor for Harvard undergraduate students.
While the student faced verbal and physical aggression, he managed to remain calm throughout the ordeal. The incident has been reported to the Harvard University Police Department. It’s worth noting that at least two of the individuals involved in the confrontation were identified as university employees, though their employment status remains unchanged.
Harvard University has not issued a public response regarding the incident, and it remains unclear whether they plan to address it in the future. This incident is yet another in a series of tensions on Harvard’s campus related to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and the university’s handling of these situations has drawn criticism from some students, donors, and outside observers.
Billionaire investor Seth Klarman, whose name adorns a Harvard Business School auditorium and conference center, has expressed concerns about what he perceives as Harvard’s increasing hostility toward Jews. He raised these concerns after a statement signed by 34 student groups blamed Israel for Hamas’s actions, and Harvard President Claudine Gay’s response to the situation was seen as equivocal by some.
Jewish students and administrators have also voiced concerns about the university’s response to expressions of hostility toward Israel and the Jewish community. They argue that while Harvard has taken strong measures in the past against certain student groups, it has not done enough to address student organizations that support and advocate for harmful actions.
In this specific incident, the victim identified two of the assailants as Ibrahim Bharmal, a law school student who is part of the Harvard Law Review, and Elom Tettey Tamaklo, a divinity school student who is involved in campus life and provides support to first-year students. The incident underscores the broader challenge of addressing tensions and conflicts related to international issues and free expression on college campuses.
While Harvard has faced criticism and scrutiny over its handling of these matters, it remains to be seen how the university will respond to the recent confrontation and whether it will address concerns about maintaining a respectful and inclusive environment for all students.