Summers Was A Harvard Bully For Israeli Right Wing
May 7, 2009 • 9:22AM

Throughout his presidency of Harvard University (2001-2006), Lawrence Summers bullied and tried to intimidate faculty and student critics of the right-wing Israeli policymakers. Summers' aggressive tactics on behalf of the Israeli right were an important factor in the uprising that led to his forced resignation, equal to other causes of the anger against Summers such as his infamous 2005 speech implying women were not fit to learn science.        

The faculty members of Harvard College and Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, assembled on March 15, 2005, passed a "lack of confidence" resolution against Summers. Early in 2006, when Summers had not stepped down, the faculty was threatening to take a second no-confidence vote by the end of February. Summers resigned February 21, 2006.        

Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, a supporter of extreme right Israeli politics, pointed to the Israel issue as key in an article in the Boston globe the day after Summers quit.        

Dershowitz complained that the professor who had introduced the no-confidence motion, J. Lorand Matory, had explained it in part by saying that Summers "was telling us that people who insist that Palestinians have rights should be quiet because they're being anti-Semitic." Matory had circulated an explanatory note before the vote on the motion, stating "The assembled faculty wish officially to register dissent from Mr. Summers' stated opinions regarding the innate capacities of subordinate populations ... and the proposition that the criticism of Israeli military policy toward the Palestinians is inherently anti-Semitic."        

Early in 2002, as drums were beating in Washington and Israel for spreading war, Harvard faculty members had begun circulating a petition calling on the government and universities to stop aid to and divest from (stop investments in) Israel, to shift Israel to a peace policy.        

Summers, Harvard's new president came down so hard on this divestiture petition that his tactics scared its proponents at Harvard and at colleges across the country.        

A Harvard professor who signed the petition told Executive intelligence Review today that he was shocked at Summers' intervention on the issue, at his dishonesty — "he was a charlatan" —  in labeling Jews and moderates as "anti-semites" for their pro-peace stand.        

African-American-studies professor Cornel West, whom Summers badgered and forced out of Harvard, said in an April 15, 2002 NPR interview, "Larry Summers is the Ariel Sharon of American higher education. He acts like a bull in a china shop; he acts like a bully in a very delicate and dangerous situation...."        

As the Israel issue erupted, Summers critics' were labeled anti-semites by the U.S. radical right, the National Review, the Murdoch papers and the campus McCarthyite goons associated with Mrs. Lynne Cheney and David Horowitz. Until he himself had to leave, Summers and his rightist backers said that critics of Israel and of Summers whom Summers had forced out of Harvard were not being silenced — they were each and all "professionally incompetent."