The Wexner Foundation, a philanthropic organization owned by Victoria’s Secret billionaire Leslie Wexner and his wife Abigail, has decided to cut ties with Harvard over its response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. According to the New York Post‘, the Wexner Foundation wrote to the Harvard board on Monday ‘formally [end] its financial support” after the school failed to condemn a student organization’s statement that held Israel “fully responsible” for the violence.
In a letter, the organization said it would sever its financial and programmatic relationship with Harvard and the Harvard Kennedy School.
“We are stunned and sickened by the sad inability of Harvard’s leadership to take a clear and unequivocal stand against the barbaric murders of innocent Israeli civilians by terrorists last Saturday, Sabbath and festival day,” the statement reads. letter from the Wexner Foundation.
Wexner Foundation cuts ties with @Harvardsaying:
“We are stunned and sickened by the Harvard leadership’s woeful inability to take a clear and unequivocal position against the barbaric killings of innocent Israeli civilians by terrorists last Saturday.” pic.twitter.com/eYhuPtSVuB
—Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) October 16, 2023
“Harvard’s leaders were indeed tip-toeing and ambiguous, and we, like former Harvard President Larry Summers, cannot condemn ‘the administration’s failure to dissociate the university and the statement’ that was quickly issued by 34 student groups that hold Israel fully responsible for the violent terror attack on his country do not ‘fathom’. own citizens,” the letter continues.
“In the absence of this clear moral position, we have determined that the Harvard Kennedy School and the Wexner Foundation are no longer compatible partners. Our core values and those of Harvard are no longer aligned,” the letter concluded.
Notably, the Wexner Foundation supports up to ten government and public sector professionals from Israel each year to pursue a one-year degree at the Harvard Kennedy School. According to Forbes, the Wexners’ fortune is estimated at $6 billion
Last week, Idan Ofer, an Israeli shipping magnate with a multi-billion dollar fortune, and his wife Batia also resigned from their positions as board members of Harvard’s Kennedy School. The Hebrew-language news site reports this The highlighter, the couple said they left the board “in protest against the shocking and insensitive response of the university’s president, who did not condemn the letter from student organizations that blamed Israel for the massacres.”
Contents of the controversial letter
According to The guard, A letter signed by about 30 Harvard student organizations was released Sunday in the wake of the Hamas attacks.
The letter states that the groups “hold the Israeli regime fully responsible for all the unfolding violence,” adding that millions of Palestinians are being forced to live in an “open-air prison” with no way to escape retaliatory airstrikes that have killed more than 1,000 have cost people their lives. many more displaced as entire neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble by the Israeli army.
“We call on the Harvard community to take action to stop the continued destruction of Palestinians,” the letter concludes.