PJA's chair Emily Unger makes a strong statement to the Crimson, condemning the swastika as anti-Semitic! (How about that!)
Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg, executive director of Harvard Hillel, condemned the act of vandalism, calling it inconsistent with “the spirit of respect that generally prevails at Harvard.”
Steinberg, who said that he did not know of the incident until The Crimson reached out to him for comment, said that he was not sure what could have compelled a person to graffiti a building with a symbol so often associated with racial bigotry.
“One can only feel pity for someone who is compelled to express hatred in such a way,” Steinberg said.
He added that he plans to bring the incident to the attention of the College chaplains, who he expects will collectively issue a response to the incident.
Like Steinberg, Emily S. Unger ’13, incoming chair of the Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance, said that she was not aware of the incident until informed by The Crimson.
“This is the first instance of anti-Semitism that I think I’ve seen while at Harvard,” Unger said. “I just hope that the Harvard community will come together in response to this and make it clear to the world that this is not acceptable in our eyes. It is not something that we will tolerate.”
Unger said that she thought the College should release a statement condemning the act of vandalism and the implicit meaning behind such a symbol.
“There’s nothing more strongly anti-Semitic than a swastika,” Unger said.