Letters to the Editor: Record made wrong decision in anti-Semitism controversy

After a recent controversy, in order to respect the Jewish Law Students Association’s decision not to name the student involved and in furtherance of the Record’s policy on fostering “respectful” ideologically-diverse discussion, the Record has decided to decline to publish the identity of the student involved, or to allow comments containing the speaker’s identity. Readers respond below.

To the editor:

Today I learned that an HLS student asked an Israeli speaker why she “smelled so bad.” The question was not pertinent to anything the speaker had said. It is easy to infer that the question was meant to be offensive, nothing more.

I am unable to learn the name of this student. Why? Seriously, print the name. When a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma sang a racist song on a fraternity bus, his name and picture and high school and home town were instantly known. He was expelled days later. Either “speech and conduct” codes are really about civility or they are just about silencing certain people, end of story. On what side of that divide does your “independent” paper fall?

Matthew Horan is a 1976 graduate of Harvard Law School.


To the editor:

Shame on the Harvard Law Record for refusing to reveal the name of the student who publicly said the anti-Semitic remark to Mrs. Livni.

The remarks were made in a public forum (and indeed made in front of cameras and 150 people). As an adult, the student has to face the consequences of his actions (his paltry apology notwithstanding).

Censoring the identity of the student, including scrubbing the shameful statements from the posted online video, is an attempt to sweep a serious problem under the rug. It makes the Record complicit in hiding the virulent anti-Semitism that infects many so-called “Justice for Palestine” organizations.

Shame on you!

Alon Navon

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