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Statement from President Lawrence H. Summers regarding invitation to Tom Paulin

Invitations to lecture in Harvard departments are commonly extended by those departments. We are ultimately stronger as a university if we together maintain our robust commitment to free expression, including the freedom of groups on campus to invite speakers with controversial views, sometimes views that many members of our community find abhorrent. We must stand firmly behind that commitment.

On another occasion, I have made clear my concerns about speech that may be viewed as lending comfort to anti-Semitism.

I hope that people who choose to attend the planned reading will respect the rights of those who wish to hear the speaker. And I hope that people with differing points of view will feel free to air them in responsible ways.