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Somebody has it in for Harvard enough to spend money to hire a plane to fly over Boston

Plane banner reading: Harvard hates Jews

Just in: This photo of the banner being pulled by a small plane flying over downtown and Boston Common, neither of which is home to Harvard. However, the pilot did eventually get his bearings and headed over to the Harvard athletic fields in Allston.

The flight coincides with news that Republicans in the House plan to investigate anti-Semitism specifically at Harvard.

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Comments

Imagine being a Palestinian and seeing this . It’s like if you lived in another country and people wrote “such and such hates blacks” and put an American flag next to it .

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You've got people implying that it's OK if Jews are raped or killed and that you somehow have influence over the Israeli government. (This is on top of the normal, constant remarks about how Jews have undue influence.)

Meanwhile you have another set of people who are using your ancestry as a justification to say all sorts of bigoted things against Arabs in general. These are the types who hate Jews but hate them less than Muslims so they think you should be thanking them for their "support".

I won't claim to have it worse than others but it's a scary time to be a Jew in Boston.

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Nothing in the last two months has changed any of the way I behave or feel when generally walking around or attending events here. I don't live in fear.

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It's pretty common for people outside the US to think all Americans support Trump or his policies since he was elected president. Not uncommon for people to point at all sorts of shit the America government has done and imply that you, as an American, must have some responsibility for it.

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I think people around the world stand with the US against Trump, seeing the backlash in the 2020 election.
Many folks in other countries are also hoping that the American voters will keep him from getting back in.
At least people who think.

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and I could read the words, that means the view from the properties that Harvard owns over that way (you can't see me pointing) would have seen the words from the reversed perspective...

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testimony was disgusting.

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because students want to make it all about themselves through extravagant performances. Same with climate protesters vandalizing paintings in art museums.

Because the students are clumsy and lack message discipline, they're easy targets for a more sophisticated state-led but decentralized messaging apparatus.

This messaging apparatus, of which this plane is one example, wants to make the controversy about protests by picking nuts on US campuses saying dumb things and alleged hurt feelings and fear as a result of those dumb things. Beyond that, they want to frame rhetoric resisting the war and the occupation in I/P as anti-semitic, often baldly, without citation to examples.

It's clear they want to increase the fear. What else is the message of that banner? If you think about it, it's ridiculous. Harvard does not hate Jews.

If you throw Ivy League schools into the mix, you can excite class resentments. That was done during the Vietnam War protests.

If the focus is on US campus and street protests, nobody pays attention to the bombing.

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It also creates a visceral knee jerk reaction. When I see climate activists destroy art it makes me very angry. I a consider myself an environmental advocate and I still find myself saying screw them I don't deal with people like that.

The other issue you encounter when people outside of a group takes the reigns instead of follows the lead of those most impacted is you end up with an all or nothing situation. There are solutions to this that would benefit the Palestinian people but the protest types , who are generally not affected by any of this directly, find it easy to just keep upping the ante. The pain inflicted in response will not affect them. It is easy to be extreme and demand 100 percent when it is not your life , your family or your world on fire.

My friends who are actually Palestinian or adjacent are much more humble and amiable to finding a solution that those who are not connected. The same goes for Jewish people I know. Notice how some of the most aggressive people are the white Christian right wingers or wealthy Jewish people who do not have any real reason to negotiate.

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This is a confusing banner. The inclusion of the Palestinian flag is what is confusing to me. The text suggests that they disagree with Harvard for not cracking down on pro Palestinian stuff BUT the inclusion of the Palestinian flag in that case is just odd. It could be interpreted as the flyer wants Harvard to hate Jewish people , I guess?

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I think this is a theater of the absurd. We are living in fraught times. Jews have the right to demonstrate. Palestinians have the right to demonstrate. College students WILL demonstrate because that is what people do at that age.

It would be much better if the people in these rallies reigned in their rhetoric. But at the same time, we should stop amplifying it. I don't think this congressional hearing helped in any way.

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How common is it to get a flight plan for a low flight (low enough for readable banner) over downtown and the Common?

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based on the number of banners I've seen at Fenway, over the Charles and along Carson Beach over the years.

You don't see it much now because it's old-timey compared to LED billboards on trucks and highways. Probably expensive too.

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There are obviously companies that routinely fly advertising banners (as deselby mentioned, often around Fenway). They clearly know how to get permission to fly the route they are hired to cover. This isn't "some guy with a plane" who decided to air his thoughts via a banner.

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Jews have been prominent in the Harvard administration, Harvard's various faculties, and the Harvard student body for decades.

There's nothing behind this but the usual right-wing anti-intellectualism.

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I don't think there's anti-Semitism at Harvard

Depends on what is meant by "anti-Semitism[sic] at Harvard". If an antisemitic person is a member of the Harvard community, does that count? Does it count if there's antisemitism in the curriculum? Does it count if there's antisemitism in university policies? Does it count if highly placed members of the administration are antisemitic?

"tHeRe Is AnTiSeMiTiSm On CoLlEgE cAmPuSeS" is the right's latest "four legs goooood, two legs baaaaad", and it's just as reeking of bad faith and low cunning as all the ones that preceded it.

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