Harvard To Host Summer Program at Palestinian University

Harvard University will host a summer program where students will be briefed on “settler colonialism” at a Palestinian university that called for “glory to martyrs” after the October 7 terrorist attack in Israel.

The institution’s “Palestine Social Medicine Course” will send students to Birzeit University in the West Bank, according to the program’s website.

The website explains the program as a “three-week intensive summer course is designed to introduce students to the social, structural, political, and historical aspects that determine Palestinian health beyond the biological basis of disease.” 

The curriculum will also include hearing from health practitioners, academics, and activists about various topics including “Settler colonialism and its manifestations in Palestine” and “Health and racism.”

According to The Jerusalem Post, in 2022, Birzeit student activists were arrested for helping to launder money from Gaza to Hamas members in Turkey to fund terrorist attacks.

Harvard’s Dean for Communications and Strategic Initiatives, Stephanie Simon, acknowledged the student body’s association with Hamas, but said it has not affected its program.

“Student government elections at Birzeit typically involve candidates affiliated with each of the major political parties in the region, including Hamas,” Simon said. “These student government elections are not germane to and have not affected the FXB Center’s work with the scholars and students at Birzeit’s Institute of Community and Public Health.”

“Nevertheless, Harvard Chan School will continue to regularly evaluate the collaboration with Birzeit,” she continued.