Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Suspended Pro-Hamas Protestors at MIT Allowed to Graduate

This information is only known through social media posts by those suspended: no official admission of leniency

Boston Globe

Pro-Hamas protestors at the Kresge Oval days before police were finally called in. Note the wall of people and air of fortification and impending violence

May 29, 2024 - In an email to alumni, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Hillel Rabbi, Michelle H. Fisher, politely expressed her concerns about ongoing anti-Israel protests at the university and expected disruptions at the upcoming graduation ceremony. A large pro-Hamas encampment had been installed in April, contrary to Institute policy, on the Kresge Oval, an expansive grassy area connecting the dorms to the student center and classrooms. Outside agitators contributed to the general atmosphere of potential violence. The police were called in to disperse the encampment on May 10 after serious provocation from protestors toward the public. 10 people were arrested.

"...ending the encampment did not end protests or challenges," Fisher wrote. "Multiple times since the encampment was removed, non-student groups from Boston and anti-Israel MIT students and faculty held protests on Mass Ave and other streets around campus."

Fisher expressed, again politely, her dissatisfaction with the way the Institute handled students suspended for their violent antisemitic activity. Apparently, "pro-encampment" faculty, as Fisher tactfully puts it, introduced a motion to repeal the interim suspensions of students who had violated rules to the point of actually receiving discipline. This probably meant not leaving an area they should never have been after repeated warnings to do so, such as the April-May encampment or leaving the main Lobby 7 entrance in November after an antisemitic takeover of that area (bullhorns were used to ask for the elimination of Jews).

MIT Hillel

Students celebrating Israel Independence Day at the same Kresge Oval. Note the open tent and appeal to all to join in

The initial motion by pro-Hamas faculty to drop the interim suspensions failed, but since then the faculty-run Committee on Discipline has apparently resolved some of the cases in favor of the suspended students. "Some of those students have advertised on social media that they have been allowed to graduate," Fisher wrote.

The graduation itself is expected to be a focus of additional protests. Fisher wrote we "have been proactively working with MIT to ensure that if the spirit of joy is broken – as we expect it will be – we can make every effort to minimize the disruptions." Though she expected campus police to provide a safe environment, she noted, "there is an emotional toll when time/place/manner rules for protests are repeatedly and deliberately violated."

Rabbi Michelle H. Fisher

As the months have progressed, Fisher's always-diplomatic and polite missives have grown nevertheless increasingly exasperated with the leadership at MIT and their inability to provide as welcoming an environment for Jews as it does for those who support barbaric rapists and murderers. But Rabbi Fisher would never put the matter so bluntly. Instead she said, "... it is clear that much more work, especially in the realms of education and community building, is needed for MIT to regain a sense of belonging, trust, and shared purpose."


Reader Comments(1)

microcosme writes:

Bunch of cowards