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Harvard reverses course on human rights advocate who criticizes Israel

Harvard reverses course on human rights advocate who criticizes Israel

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Kennedy School, a confederation of 12 centers and dozens of other initiatives, is one of the leading public policy schools in the nation. It is also no stranger to controversy, which often stems not from its regular faculty but from its more than 750 visiting fellows, which include prominent figures in politics, government and the media.

In 2017 Elmendorf terminate scholarship suggested to Chelsea Manningthe former military intelligence analyst who in 2010 leaked archives of military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks after criticism from Mike Pompeo, then-CIA director, and others in the intelligence community. In 2019, Rick Snyder, former governor of Michigan, withdrew of scholarship after his appointment sparked a backlash on social media and from students who cited his role in Flint water crisis.

As for partisan voices on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the school has hosted a variety of fellows in recent years, including Amos Yadlinretired senior Israeli general, and See Erkatthen chief Palestinian negotiator and secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Roth was appointed to the non-teaching fellowship by Matthias Riese, director of the Carr Center. In an email to Carr Center students, faculty members, fellows, alumni and others after the Nation article, Risse called him “one of the most prominent human rights leaders of our time” and said the denial of the fellowship was “one of the worst moments of my professional life.”

In interviews and emails with The Times, Risse and another faculty member, Catherine Sikkink, said that Elmendorf, in explaining his rejection of Roth, cited the perception that Human Rights Watch was “biased” against Israel. He told them he became aware of the problem after discussions with unnamed people at the university, they said.


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