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Statement from President Lawrence H. Summers Regarding Petition “for Divestment from Israel”

I have received various inquiries about the petition signed by a number of individuals at Harvard and MIT urging the universities to “divest from Israel.” Let me state clearly that Harvard has no intention of doing so. Members of our community are free as individuals to express their diverse views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the conduct of the parties involved. The university protects that freedom, and affirms its proper role, by resisting calls to issue institutional judgments on that conflict through the act of divestment. Harvard is first and foremost a center of learning, not an institutional organ for advocacy on such a complex and controversial international conflict. On that proposition I hope we can all come to agree.