Following strong protests, Harvard University Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf announced Thursday that he would reverse his decision to deny a fellowship to the former head of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Kenneth Roth, the Harvard Crimson newspaper reported.
Earlier this month, the Harvard Kennedy School vetoed Roth’s appointment to a fellowship at HKS’ Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.
Recognition that the Israeli government is committing the crime of apartheid has become the mainstream understanding within the human rights community. I don’t know any serious human rights activist who’s involved in this issue who doesn’t believe that. https://t.co/4pcw9uXIAo
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) January 14, 2023
At the time, Roth told The Guardian that “the move amounted to ‘donor-driven censorship’ over HRW’s exposure of Israel’s human rights abuses and the group’s recent report accusing Israel of practicing a form of apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories.”
However, in an email sent to KKS affiliates, Elmendorf explained that the decision to block Roth’s appointment was based on the “evaluation of his potential contributions to the School” and not influenced by donors, according to The Crimson.
My statement in response to the decision by Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf to reverse his decision to block a fellowship for me proposed by the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. pic.twitter.com/cGW3oP3GrV
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) January 19, 2023
“I now believe that I made an error in my decision not to appoint him as a Fellow at our Carr Center for Human Rights,” Elmendorf wrote on Thursday.
Elmendorf wrote in the email that he reversed his decision after discussions with faculty members.
(The Palestine Chronicle)