Major Israeli donor to Harvard resigns from board after president's 'insensitive' response to student groups' pro-Hamas letter

Idan Ofer and his wife, Batia, called Gay's handling of the situation "shocking and insensitive."

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
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On Thursday, one of Israel's wealthiest couples resigned from their positions on the executive board of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in response to President Claudine Gay's less than adequate response to a statement signed by dozens of student groups about Hamas' massacre of civilians.

Idan Ofer and his wife, Batia, called Gay's handling of the situation "shocking and insensitive," saying that she took far too long to condemn the statement, which openly stated that Israel, not the Iranian-backed Palestinian terrorist group, was to blame for the attacks that killed hundreds.

"We resigned as a protest against the shocking and insensitive response of the university president who did not condemn the letter of the student organizations that held Israel solely responsible for the massacres," Mrs. Ofer said in a statement.

According to The Marker, along with resigning from their seats on the board, the Ofers have also withdrawn a multi-million dollar donation they had planned to give Harvard.

The Ofers have an estimated net worth of $14 billion, and own a controlling share of ICL Group, a subsidiary of the Israel Corporation.

In her original statement released on Sunday, Gay said she was "heartbroken" by the violence, and vowed to assist those in the Harvard community who were impacted, however, she failed to address the student groups.

On Tuesday, she issued a follow-up, distancing the institution from the dozens of student groups who claimed Israel was "entirely responsible" for Hamas' attack.
 

"On this matter as on others, that while our students have the right to speak for themselves, no student group — not even 30 student groups — speaks for Harvard University or its leadership," she said.

In their joint statement, the aforementioned groups called Israel an "apartheid regime," and said it was "the only one to blame" for the terror.

"Israeli violence has structured every aspect of Palestinian existence for 75 years," they added. "From systematized land seizures to routine airstrikes, arbitrary detentions to military checkpoints, and enforced family separations to targeted killings, Palestinians have been forced to live in a state of death, both slow and sudden."

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