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Harvard University’s commencement speaker compares Israel to Nazi Germany in op-ed

Philippine journalist Maria Ressa accuses Israel of 'targeting' journalists, failing to differentiate between Hamas and civilians in Gaza

Philippines Nobel laureate Maria Ressa speaks tothe media after she and her news site Rappler were acquitted of tax fraud by a trial court in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines, Sept. 12, 2023. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

Philippine journalist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa was named as the principal speaker for Harvard University's commencement on May 23. She received this honor in March despite publishing an op-ed one month after Hamas' Oct. 7 attack, in which she compared Israel's actions to those of Nazi Germany.

In her editorial, Ressa wrote that Israel's actions were "about to reach genocide,” according to a translation posted to the Washington Free Beacon. Her controversial remark comes at a time when several Ivy League institutions have been facing backlash over the spread of anti-Israel protests and allegations of antisemitism on university campuses.

"It is a great irony that the [Jewish] race that suffered centuries of oppression, even genocide at the hands of Adolf Hitler, is now [denying] the same aspirations [for] the Palestinians," Ressa wrote on Rappler, the Philippines-based news site she co-founded and leads as CEO.

"We like to think that our world is more modern, more aware, and more compassionate, compared, for example, to the time of Adolf Hitler, or the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima," she added.

Ressa accused Israel of lacking “the effort to differentiate between civilians and its enemy Hamas” and of “targeting” journalists in an unprecedented manner.

"What Israel is doing is clearly a disproportionate response and its intention is not simply to retaliate, but to launch an all-out war,” she further claimed.

In response to the publication, House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) wrote on 𝕏: "Harvard chose an antisemitic commencement speaker. The university has failed to stand up for Jewish students at every turn, revealing the depths of its moral delinquency."

Stefanik told TIME magazine: "The moral rot is clear for all to see that even amidst Harvard's institutional crisis for their failure to condemn antisemitism, Harvard doubled down and chose an antisemitic speaker for commencement. It is a disgrace."

The New York representative has been at the forefront of a congressional push to investigate and crack down on campus antisemitism. She led the charge in several Republican-led House Education Committee hearings of university presidents on Capitol Hill which resulted in the resignations of Claudine Gay from Harvard and Liz Magill from the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more: ANTI ISRAEL

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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