Fallout from the war between Israel and Hamas continues to reverberate across college and university campuses. Here are the latest developments.
The University of Vermont canceled a long-planned speech this week involving a Palestinian poet and journalist, citing safety concerns, VTDigger reported. The university’s division of safety and compliance alerted the event’s organizers Saturday that it could not proceed with the speech scheduled for Thursday by Mohammed El-Kurd because “based on global, national, and local events … we cannot adequately provide safety and security for this event as it is currently planned.”
The email, which the local newspaper received, said the university had “attempted to work with” the organizers to reschedule the event for a later date, “but you were unable or unwilling to reschedule.”
One of the event’s organizers, the Will Miller Social Justice Lecture Series, said in a statement that it would hold the event as planned, but online. “We were feeling confident that UVM would stand up and support free speech on their campus and then … they cancelled the event by claiming safety issues. This way, they can say they didn’t cancel it because they wanted to block Mohammed from speaking. Mohammed will not be silenced. We will not be silenced.”
Larry Hogan, a former governor of Maryland, became the latest high-profile figure to distance himself from Harvard University over what he called “the dangerous anti-Semitism that has taken root on their campus.” In a letter posted on X (formerly Twitter), Hogan, a Republican who presided over the blue mid-Atlantic state from 2015 to 2023, said he could not participate in fellowships he had committed to at the university this fall. He specifically criticized Harvard’s perceived failure to forcefully denounce a letter in support of Hamas signed by student groups.
More than 1,000 academics and others have signed a letter that both condemns Hamas “for its heinous crimes against humanity” and pleads with Israel to refrain from punishing “Gazan civilians for the crimes of Hamas” and to end the “violent oppression of the Palestinian people.”
Another letter, from nearly 2,000 sociologists and others, “unreservedly condemn[s] the latest violence against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank at the hands of the Israeli regime.”