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Larry Hogan Withdraws From Two Harvard Fellowships, Citing ‘Dangerous Anti-Semitism’ on Campus

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, right, speaks at a 2022 Harvard Institute of Politics forum.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, right, speaks at a 2022 Harvard Institute of Politics forum. By Cory K. Gorczycki
By Thomas J. Mete and Asher J. Montgomery, Crimson Staff Writers

Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Monday that he will withdraw from two Harvard fellowships, citing a wave of “dangerous anti-Semitism” on campus.

Hogan’s announcement — shared in an open letter to Harvard President Claudine Gay — adds to the intense criticism and backlash brought by politicians, alumni, faculty, and other affiliates against the University over its response to the Oct. 7 invasion of Israel by the Islamist militant group Hamas.

Hogan wrote that a statement penned by the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and originally co-signed by more than 30 student organizations played a substantial part in his decision to back out of the two fellowships. The statement held the Israeli government “entirely responsible” for the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza.

“Harvard’s failure to immediately and forcefully denounce the anti-Semitic vitriol from these students is in my opinion a moral stain on the University,” he wrote.

The former two-term Republican governor accused the student organizations of “attempting to justify and celebrate Hamas’ terrorism” and lambasted students and the University for not condemning the terrorist attack as “pure evil.”

“While these students have a right to free speech, they do not have a right to have hate speech go unchallenged by your institution,” Hogan wrote.

“There is no ‘both sides’ when it comes to the murder, rape, and kidnapping of innocent women and children,” he added.

In a previous statement, a spokesperson for the PSC wrote that the organization “staunchly opposes violence against civilians — Palestinian, Israeli, or other.”

“It is unacceptable that Palestinians and groups supporting them are always expected to preempt their statements with condemnation of violence,” the PSC spokesperson wrote.

Hogan was initially appointed to serve as a fall 2023 Harvard Kennedy School Hauser Leader, a program that invites high-profile leaders and practitioners — this year including former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern — to spend time on campus advising students and engaging with faculty. Hogan was scheduled to visit the school for two days in November.

Hogan also agreed to serve as a fellow at the School of Public Health. Due to Hogan’s limited availability, he was instead scheduled to participate in a live-streamed Q&A and hold private meetings and round-table conversations with students and faculty.

During an alumni reunion event Monday, Gay reaffirmed her commitment to making the University a safe space for Jewish affiliates, and she again distanced the University from the student group’s statement.

“Let me say this unequivocally — I condemn antisemitism in all forms and it has no place at Harvard,” Gay said. “I am 100 percent committed to making sure that Jewish life thrives here on our campus.”

“I am determined to do more to make sure all members of our community know and feel that they belong,” she added.

Hogan’s withdrawal is the latest in a series of severed ties between high-profile affiliates and the Kennedy School following the University’s response to Hamas’ attack on Israel.

Last week, the Wexner Foundation severed its programmatic and financial links to Harvard, calling the University’s response to the Hamas attack, “tiptoeing, equivocating” and a “dismal failure.”

A few days prior, CNN reported that Israeli billionaires Idan and Batia Ofer had quit the Kennedy School’s executive board, citing similar concerns.

—Staff writer Thomas J. Mete can be reached at Follow him on X @thomasjmete.

—Staff writer Asher J. Montgomery can be reached at Follow her on X @asherjmont or on Threads @asher_montgomery.

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