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Harvard Commencement Speaker: Israel Targeting Journalists

By    |   Friday, 03 May 2024 09:46 PM EDT

The guest speaker for Harvard's commencement ceremony in May is a Nobel Peace Prize winner who has accused Israel's military of intentionally targeting journalists in the Gaza Strip and whose media outlet has voiced opposition to how the Jewish state has conducted its war against Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists.

This comes as the House Committee on Education and the Workforce is investigating Harvard over its handling of on-campus antisemitism and as pro-Palestinian protests have roiled college campuses across the nation, leading to thousands of arrests.

Maria Ressa, CEO of the Philippines-based news outlet Rappler and who shared the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, is tapped to be the guest speaker at commencement on May 23. Harvard Interim President Alan Garber said March 19 in Harvard Magazine, "For nearly 40 years, she has dedicated herself to truth — its pursuit, its advocacy, and its defense — no matter the repercussions."

Under Ressa, Rappler in November published an editorial that criticized Israel's military response in the Gaza Strip to Hamas' Oct. 7 terrorist attack in which at least 1,200 Israeli civilians were massacred and about 250 others were taken hostage as "clearly a disproportionate response and its intention is not simply to retaliate, but to launch an all-out war."

The editorial also likened Israel's oppression of Palestinians to Adolf Hitler's oppression of Jews in Germany, stating, "It is a great irony that the race that suffered centuries of oppression, even genocide at the hands of Adolf Hitler" is denying the same aspirations to Palestinians.

Harvard Magazine reported Ressa in July will join Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs faculty as a professor of professional practice. Columbia has been the site of the most high-profile pro-Palestinian campus protests.

Ressa in January signed on to a letter by members of the International Press Institute (IPI) global executive board, of which she is a member, calling on Israel to stop the targeting of journalists in the Gaza Strip.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement Dec. 16, according to The Times of Israel, it "has never, and will never, deliberately target journalists." There have been several cases in which the IDF said slain individuals identified as journalists were operatives of terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

"We call on Israel to respect the rules of war, which oblige states to protect journalists and civilians in times of armed conflict," the IPI letter that Ressa signed stated. "We also call on the Israeli authorities to transparently and credibly investigate all instances of the killing of journalists by its forces.

"We underscore that deliberately targeting journalists is a war crime, and IPI will work with our partners to pursue accountability before a court of law for those who do so. We also call on Israel to immediately grant international journalists access to Gaza and allow them to report freely and independently."

The Committee to Protect Journalists reported Friday at least 97 journalists and media workers were among those killed since the war began, adding the IDF "told Reuters and Agence France Press news agencies in October that it could not guarantee the safety of their journalists operating in the Gaza Strip, after they had sought assurances that their journalists would not be targeted by Israeli strikes."

Newsmax reached out to Harvard for comment.

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
The guest speaker for Harvard's commencement ceremony in May is a Nobel Peace Prize winner who has accused Israel's military of intentionally targeting journalists in the Gaza Strip and whose media outlet has voiced opposition to how the Jewish state has conducted its war.
harvard, commencement, maria ressa, israel
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2024-46-03
Friday, 03 May 2024 09:46 PM
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