Sullivan visits his alma mater Harvard, and comes away shocked at what he witnesses

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Widener Library at Harvard. Photo credit: Sen. Dan Sullivan

Sen. Dan Sullivan visited Harvard University last week, and came away stunned at what he saw. While he was there for the Army-Navy football game, he decided to walk the campus to see what had changed at Harvard, where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1987.

A lot had changed, evidently. Sullivan wrote up a debriefing of his visit in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, focusing on his trip to the university’s library, where he was accosted and badgered by radicalized students.

“When I walked upstairs to the famous Widener Reading Room, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Nearly every student in the packed room was wearing a kaffiyeh [Palestinian scarf]. Fliers attached to their individual laptops, as well as affixed to some of the lamps in the reading room, read: ‘No Normalcy During Genocide—Justice for Palestine.'”

He observed a woman handed the fliers to all who entered, and massive banner hung across one end of the room, which had, in red letters, “Stop the Genocide in Gaza.”

Curious about what was going on, he engaged in a discussion with two of the organizers of this anti-Israel protest inside of one the world’s great libraries—not outside in Harvard Yard, where such protests belong.

“They told me they were from Saudi Arabia and the West Bank. I told them I was a U.S. senator who had recently returned from a bipartisan Senate trip to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I mentioned the meetings I had. I expressed my condolences when they told me their relatives had been killed by Israeli military action in Gaza,” he said.

“One then asked whether I supported a cease-fire in Gaza. I said I didn’t, because I strongly believe Israel had the right both to defend itself and to destroy Hamas given the horrendous attacks it perpetrated against Israeli civilians on Oct. 7,” Sullivan wrote.

That’s when things got ugly for him.

“You’re a murderer,” one said to him.

“You support genocide,” the other told him.

“Excuse me, what did you say?” Sen. Sullivan asked in disbelief.

The organizers repeated their charges.

“I tried to debate them, noting the Israel Defense Forces don’t target civilians, and that the only group attempting to carry out genocide is Hamas. But civil debate with these women was pointless. As I was leaving Widener Library, they pulled out their iPhones and continued taunting: ‘Do you support genocide? Do you support genocide?'”

The Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee posted some of this exchange on Instagram, Sullivan wrote.

“As a U.S. senator who has been through two election campaigns, I’ve had plenty of iPhones aggressively shoved in my face by members of radical groups,” he wrote.

Indeed, during his 2020 campaign, a radical Native activist in Anchorage tried to shove a raw caribou heart at him during a campaign event. For Sullivan, a cell phone being shoved in his face is par for the course in Washington, D.C.

“Nevertheless, I was shocked and, again, ashamed of my alma mater. All of this—the anti-Israel protests, the big banner, the fliers, the iPhones, the taunting questions—took place inside the Widener Library, a revered place of quiet study for tens of thousands of Harvard students and alumni,” he wrote.

Would you feel welcome in Harvard’s most famous library, he asked, if you were an Israeli or a Jew facing the same situation? Or would you feel rattled, intimidated, and harassed by the anti-Israel banner screaming “Stop the Genocide in Gaza”?

“As Jason Riley has written, ‘If accusing Israel of genocide isn’t defamation of Jewish people, I don’t know what is,'” Sullivan wrote.

“If you were that 18-year-old student, would you believe the vacuous statement recently put out by the Harvard Corp., after it decided not to fire Ms. Gay, that “disruptions of the classroom experience will not be tolerated”?

“Is this what [Harvard President] Gay when she testified that ‘it depends on the context?”

Sullivan concluded his op-ed condemning the Ivy League institution: “Not all university leadership is so craven, morally bankrupt and afraid of the most vocal, radical sects of their own student bodies. I serve on the board of visitors for the U.S. Naval Academy, which is the No. 1 public university in America. The contrast couldn’t be starker between the service academies and the Ivy League on issues like civil discourse, so-called safe spaces, trigger warnings, American history and our unique and, yes, exceptional place in the world.

“America’s so-called elite universities used to be a positive source of our nation’s power, strength and influence. No longer. I believe over the past several weeks a bipartisan consensus has emerged: It is time for Congress to save these important and once-respected institutions from themselves and their weak leaders who have lost their moral compasses. I intend to work with my colleagues in the Senate to do so.”

I was in Boston last weekend for the Army-Navy game. The day after the game, five days after Harvard President Claudine Gay’s disastrous testimony before Congress, I decided to walk the campus to reminisce about my time at Harvard, where I earned my undergraduate degree in 1987, and reflect about what had gone wrong at this once-great university.

52 COMMENTS

  1. Wow. What a ghastly experience. The library is blockaded. How can one study in there? They have resegregated the library? How can you get your monies worth. Terrible.

  2. What has happened at Harvard, is happening to our country while you have been our Senator.The deficit spending, the border, the persiqution of Trump, the “woking” of our military, the Trans men bashing our female athletes, on and on, all done on your Watch, Senator.

  3. No Doubt, we are at that “Point of Inflection” whereby it is beyond clear and evident, that actions must be taken in order to restore America First values. I hope that it’s quite clear that the solution to this morass we find ourselves in will require a heavy hand of Righteous Indignation … that mere letters, memos, public statements, etc are insufficient, resulting in less than desirable outcomes.
    Sen Sullivan … “Drop the Hammer!”

  4. Swampy, if you’re just now discovering how bad Harvard is, it’s not a good look for you. Are you happily oblivious or just not real observant of the world around you?

    Next will you discover Alaska gets cold?

  5. “I tried to debate them,…” Maybe Sullivan learned a valuable lesson that he can take back to the Senate – you cannot reason with emotional liberals because logic doesn’t work on them. Evidence doesn’t sway them. They’re spoiled children in grown up bodies. When they don’t get their way they become angry and nasty, even violent. They lack impulse control and they lash out with words and fists and when negative consequences result it’s your fault, not theirs. Sullivan should recognize this behavior from his interactions with Democrats in Congress, who are just a more polished version of the angry liberal student. When faced with a child who’s throwing a tantrum, crying over not getting the treat they wanted, kicking and thrashing about, screaming how they hate you the only response, if it’s important, is to educate them in the only way they can understand – punishment. Liberals aren’t rational human beings who have moral and ethical boundaries, they’re more like vicious animals who only behave because they fear painful consequences. The United States would be a better country without any of these liberals around.

  6. Soon these Harvard Hamas activists will be coming to Alaska to run for Anchorage Assembly seats and work on Forest Dumbar’s staff in Juneau.

  7. Our culture’s decline has been trending since the early 1960s… especially during the last decade. All patriots are fully aware of the trend by paying cursory attention to the myriad sources: media, internet, fellow citizens. We didn’t need to visit the Harvard campus to realize its one of the epicenters of cultural decline. Its troubling to think our senator needed to. After all, we are depending on him to be informed.

  8. In a library, a place of study, at one of the most revered institutions of higher learning in the world…abject thuggery.

    It’s amazing the inroads the antisemitic leftists, and all antisemites are leftists, have made in the last few decades.

  9. Anyone who doesn’t support a ceasefire is sick in the head. Almost 20,000 casualties so far, 70% being woman and children.

    • Okay B. let the Palestinians set the example by laying down their weapons, rockets, bombs and turning over every single Hamas terrorist.
      You see it is always nice to sit there and demand that the other guy does this or that, but the only person you have control over is you. So if the Palestinians want a cease-fire then they need to step up and do as suggested above.

    • Why is it B, that Egypt, also an Arab nation, refused to open its gates to Palestinian refugees. Perhaps it’s because they understand the need to eradicate the evil within Palestine, that being Hamas. I do not support the unnecessary killing of the innocent, but thru omission, are there less innocent within Palestine then those like you protest for. The one thing I know is the Lord rewards us (said positively) for our actions in this life. It is not for me to judge, but he will reward justly those on all sides. Israel should mitigate the impact on “ the innocent” but they do have agency to act according to their dictates and they will be held accountable by a higher authority should they miss the mark.

  10. Thank you, Senator Sullivan, for sharing your experience with us! We should not accept nor condone this type of behavior. We need to better protect our universities. What we really need is some better leader ship.

  11. Senator Sullivan, this isn’t just beginning at the universities. It has been ongoing for years. It has just now got the attention of the media, government officials, etc. It began in the 1960’s, history tells us the marxist regime started tromping through our country and has just made larger and larger steps toward ruining our country. Now I won’t say it is impossible to cure, but if we don’t have different leadership in the Whitehouse AND congress, it will be near impossible.

  12. CORRECTED – Hamas’ strategy of embedding themselves in the general population is wicked, yet ruthlessly effective. They understand that international pressure will eventually result in calls for Israel to scale back any retaliation, as the footage of bloody and burned children hits the World’s television screens. Israel is right to defend itself, of course, but in the end it is unjust to injure and kill a large population of innocents in order to exterminate a few evildoers. The US faced this same dilemma in the firebombing of German cities during WW2, and of course when the Bomb was dropped on Japan. So, Israel soon will scale back at US and foreign insistence, many Hamas will survive, and the memories of conflict will be planted afresh in the minds of the young thereby assuring that conflict continues on into the next generation. The only hope for a real solution lies in a two-state solution, hopefully preceded by a Truth and Reconciliation effort, such as was undertaken in South Africa after the end of Apartheid.

    • Hans, those Atomic bombs dropped on Japan saved millions of lives, mostly Japanese lives. Without dropping those bombs the war might have never ended.

      The U.S. Army Air Corp targeted industrial infrastructure in Germany by means of precision daylight raids. I think you have confused Hitlers Blitz on London’s East end with the principled and disciplined actions of the 8th and 15th U.S. Bomber forces.

      My Grandfather left Germany for America in 1906 and returned to France in 1917 as a member of the U.S. Army. One of his sons went on to fly bombers in WWII his other sons fought the Japanese for 3 bloody years in the Pacific. My Grandfather, Grandmother both immigrants from der old country as well as my American born Uncles were good Germans Hans and they fought on the right side!

  13. Gay is a disgrace not only to Harvard but to young people everywhere! Fire her.
    Also, I want to know, how many of these protestors know the history of WW11? And what do the protestors know about Hamas and if Hamas would accept them or torture or kill them?
    Good luck protestors, you are going up against the side of peace.

    • 1-Gay won’t go anywhere until Harvard bleeds money. Harvard knew who/what she was when the made her the affirmative action hire she is.

      2-The protesters neither know nor care about History.

      3-The side of peace loses until rough men enforce it via violence.

        • That’s not the money in question.

          As long as Harvard has the multiple multimillion dollar endowments, it can ride out donors dropping out. Start taxing those endowments, then you hurt them.

  14. A Jewish person would indeed feel intimidated and not welcome here. In fact they would be in danger. We are creating “the worst generation” fomented by the spineless leadership at these universities. Donors must stop their generosity because Harvard is most UNDESERVING of support.

  15. Hasn’t Sullivan been watching the news, or reading anything? Harvard and its president have been in the news for weeks. Did he just find this out? Well, maybe this will wake him up. After this visit he should go visit the southern border.

  16. One of these moron students was from Saudi Arabia? Huh. Human Rights Watch perfectly describes life for women in Saudi Arabia (and most Muslim countries):
    “The Saudi state essentially treats women as permanent legal minors.” Every woman is required to have a male guardian. She has no freedom to travel or get a passport. If she wants to get married, she needs permission from a male guardian. She can get a beat down from her husband… as he determines… and much more. These protestors- especially the women- should live in Gaza for while to get educated on the hellish life in a Muslim nation- for women.

    They should also spend more time, much more time, on their studies. Their poster is grammatically incorrect. “No normalcy…” The word, if you are not a moron, is “normality”.

    And I find it hard to believe Sullivan was shocked by what he saw. We just witnessed the minority hire president of Harvard refusing to reject genocide in a congressional hearing. And she wasn’t fired for it. Worse, hundreds of “professors” backed her. Sullivan should return his degree.

  17. Sorry , Sen. Dan your Alma Mater is a losing cause! On the subject of “Genocide per say” the UN has identified both Palestine/rulers & Israel/rulers have had complaints of Genocide/Crimes against humanity filed & numerous other countries including America … no not America but …. the Corporate USA! Very few Americans ( individual citizens) have conducted these atrocities! Get a grip Senator! They really brainwashed you at Harvard so many years ago and still are today!! Don’t misunderstand my Love for & to America & my Loyalty ,to step up to her defense if called upon, even at 68 years old! God save this Republic !

  18. First and foremost, no one in the United States has a right to say anything about what is going on in Israel, except those that have lost loved ones and those living the nightmare. However, now we have people who are not in control of themselves, now do they UNDERSTAND what is really going on?
    A pampered college liberal idiot, going around with pro Palestine crap? THAT says how messed up colleges are.
    They are hovels of hate, where the stupid protesters think they have a voice and they have nothing. They do not know how to communicate properly, just sling mud.
    Hmmm why are they not more concerned about what is going on in their own country where they live? Their studies? Do they have a brain beyond the Woke ideology??? Hell no they don’t!
    This is where all this Anti American, Bullying and do what I want or I will scream generation resides! Stop sending your kids to college unless it’s a vocational school to actually learn something.
    Had I been Sullivan? I would have went to the Headmaster whatever and give him a piece of my mind as an alumni! They allow this bs to blossom instead of focusing on WHY THEY ARE THERE! FOR AN EDUCATION!

    • As citizens of the United States, they have the right to comment on any damn thing they please.

      No matter how stupid.

      Your assertion contrary puts you in the sane camp as the pronoun Nazis.

  19. The only way to educate these young people would be a course requirement to travel and actually live for a time in the troubled countries during the college breaks. Then they would an educated viewpoint that might win respect.

  20. The sad thing is that Senator Sullivan seems to have just noticed all the problems with what we wish were institutions of higher learning.

  21. My good friend shared with me the following on this subject: “This nonsense has been going on for some time, but just not raising to the level of visibility as it is now. The Harvard faculty and board of directors voted adamantly in favor of their president, even though it also has now come to light that she plagiarized repeatedly in her PhD thesis (for which they are now saying that she will make some corrections!). Of course, her being a black woman had nothing to do with her hiring or their standing behind her now. At least there is a good thing in all this: The extent of hypocritical, actual racism (against Caucasians) in U.S. “elite” universities has now become so obvious to everybody that it can’t be avoided anymore. Of course, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that anything is going to change for the better as long as the same players are left in position. Now, think of young people being “educated” in today’s universities.”

  22. Interestingly Senator Sullivan did not immediately pick up the phone and demand that Madam President of Harvard, join him in the library and explain how this is NOT harassment and intimidation.
    It is further noteworthy, that Harvard is trying to oust Mrs. Gay for plagiarism. It maybe in an attempt to thread the needle of getting rid of her, just not for supporting students, who think terrorists are okay if they fight the politically correct foe, but stealing intellectual property from others for her own aggrandizement.

  23. What a wonderful feeling it is to visit his Alma Mater?
    Such fond memories of what it was…..
    Long gone and replaced by indoctrination handbooks being passed out by the regime as classes commence daily.

  24. The questions no one is asking is how these people were admitted to Harvard ahead of people who love the U.S. and want to attend for the education? Second is why their visas have not been canceled and they have not been deported? Third is why these “students” are not delivered to the West Bank so they can support the Hamas fighters that they love so much?

    John Leboutillier wrote about this back in 1978 in “Harvard Hates America, The Odyssey of a Born-Again American.” Let that sink in, boys and girls, 1978.

  25. Well, it’s good Senator Sullivan now knows what we all knew. Now that he’s been offended, he’ll and his wife will encourage his wealthy crowd of parents and grandparents to pay for their kids’ trade school and get their GenZ kids into work faster instead of sending them into a college that’s not Christian. Cause while these kids are wasting their time in school, conservatives/Republicans/democrats kids can be working their way up where power matters more than a college diploma. Those kind of enrolled GenZ students can’t serve and can’t work. What will they do when they graduate when they have no work skills. They’re not going far from their parents home after graduation.

  26. This event is just one indicator at the tens of thousands of Terror cells across America with waiting terrorists waiting for an opportunity to strike unaware Americans just what happened on Sept 11, 2001. When they do strike, they strike hard like we experienced on Sept 11th and like Israel experienced on Oct 7th.

  27. I wanna hear more about how a Democratic Senate staffer managed to make a gay porno video in a Senate Chamber and then post it to Tik Tok without Capitol Police stopping him & his partner, Senator! It appears the Senate has some very troubling activities going on, not just our Universities.

  28. We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
    That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and, to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes. But
    when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
    – The Declaration of Independence, 1776

  29. Senator Sullivan
    Thank you for going to Harvard and especially thank you for your important letter. I hope Harvard changes it’s my bd on keeping Their Pres Gay.

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