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Ackman says Harvard has done very little to stop antisemitism on campus

2023-12-17 (216)

I’m an activist, but my activism today is probably not in the corporate boardroom — it’s on campus,” Bill Ackman said on The David Rubenstein
Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV.

Video Transcription:

one of the institutions you've been very

philanthropic with is your alma mater

Harvard but recently you've been very uh

public about your criticism of the way

Harvard handled the uh events of October

7th and their aftermath could you talk

about that now the first reaction of a

group of 34 Harvard student clubs on the

morning after uh October 7th was to put

out a statement saying that Israel was

100% responsible uh for the acts of

Hamas and uh my view on that uh was you

know that's ridiculous and that's more

than ridiculous I would say and you know

these students need to have some you

know judgment and perspective you can

come out and say look uh I'm very

unhappy about Israel's uh how treatment

of Palestinians and the West Bank or you

can say you know we can talk about uh

the Gaza Strip um but you can't support

terrorists and particularly terrorists

that rape and pillage and you know

Murder and burn and take hostages I got

a actually a text from a CEO in my

industry he's like Bill you know you're

you know the people at Harvard I'd like

to know who the students are Behind

These clubs so I make sure I don't

inadvertently hire them and so I tweeted

out that uh sort of made that point and

uh caused a bit of a firestorm and I got

a lot of push back uh oh why are you

picking on students I said look you

can't hide behind a corporate entity if

you're going to support terrorism you

know that's a that's a major decision so

that was sort of my first uh initiative

if you will at Harvard and then you know

there were protests on campus um and the

protests weren't uh the protests were

supportive of terrorism and uh

supportive of things like you know when

you have a group of students shouting

inata inata uh you know let's free

Palestine from The River To The Sea the

meaning of inata means to kill Jews when

I raised this issue Harvard said well we

have a commitment to free speech and

that's why we have to allow this well

there's certain speech that is certainly

permissible under the First Amendment

and then there's certain speech uh that

I would say is undesirable on a campus

have you said you're not going to donate

to Harvard anymore or have you said I'm

not going to hire people from these

Harvard students anymore or people like

those people no uh well one we're not

going to hire anyone that supports

terrorism at persing Square um I haven't

made any statements about um you know

economic support for Harvard I want

Harvard to do the right thing I don't

want to threaten

one way or another that's not my kind of

approach but I do think Harvard needs to

do a deep examination of you know one

there's been a meaningful rise in

anti-semitic incidents on campus so

you're going to continue to be involved

in this issue and try to push Harvard to

do what you think they should be doing

absolutely uh you know I wrote a pretty

thoughtful letter uh that was you know I

think 25 million people saw it on

Twitter uh and uh remarkably I did not

get a response which to me uh is a very

very bad uh

um and weak uh approach literally no

response no acknowledgement no dear bill

I hear what you're saying but um nothing

so uh yes I'm an activist uh but my

activism today is probably not in the

corporate boardroom uh it's it's on

campus and uh and this is not just the

Harvard problem uh you know there's and

it's an NYU problem it's the University

of Pennsylvania problem uh it you know

the the more I examine the issue

the more woke the more left leaning the

institution the more anti-Semitism uh

which is a a very unfortunate thing

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