Real headline or satire?

October 17, 2023 • 10:00 am

See the first headline below to answer the title question. You already know the answer from the headline itself, but if you don’t, have a look.  Real or satire?

Of course it’s real, and you can click on it to go to the source. It’s the Daily Fail, but if you reject the reporting because of that source, you’re making a mistake. Proof is below!

Excerpts. First the background (also see my posts here and here).

Harvard’s Arab Alumni Association has appealed for donations to help students’ mental health after they were subjected to ‘relentless bullying and intimidation’ for blaming Israel for the Hamas terror attacks.

The Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee issued a letter on October 7, co-signed by 33 other Harvard student organizations, stating: ‘We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.’

The students leading the 33 organizations and the Solidarity Committee were named and faced calls to be blacklisted from future employment. They included the son of British businesswoman Jo Malone.

As I wrote, some people started doxxing the students by publishing their names online (note that the Fail named one above!), which of course could hurt their job prospects. It was at that point that the groups took down the letter, with several of the student organizations withdrawing their signatures.

More from the Fail:

On Wednesday, the Harvard Arab Alumni Association wrote to members appealing for help in supporting the students.

‘They may require legal counsel, healthcare, mental health support, financial aid or mentorship to navigate these turbulent and uncertain times.’

‘They have been subjected to relentless bullying and intimidation,’ the association wrote, in a letter obtained by reporter John Hasson.

‘This situation is rapidly deteriorating as some students find their names on watchlists, creating severe risks for their immigration status and future career prospects.

‘Our ask and plea to you all is to extend your hand to these students and provide the vital assistance they need within your capacity and scope of influence.’

Neither Harvard nor the association have responded to’s request for comment.

 The mother of the doxxed student was “heartbroken” at the situation and presumably mad as hell at her son.

Among those signing the letter was perfume tycoon Jo Malone’s son, who helps lead a pro-Palestinian Harvard group behind the letter.

Josh Willcox, 22, is listed as one of three students who run the Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee, according to Harvard’s directory of student groups.

His mother, Jo, a British perfume giant founder who sold her eponymous company to Estee Lauder in 1999, refused to address her son, simply saying the war in the Middle East had left her ‘heartbroken’ as she branded the attack by Hamas as ‘abhorrent.’

If you don’t believe all this, here’s the letter as tweeted by John Hasson, with the HAAA begging for money for legal help, healthcare, and mental health support, as well as financial aid. Health and mental-health support are of course available free for students from the Harvard health service.

This is an instantiation for “snowflake”.  In no uncertain terms, the student groups promulgated their views to the world, holding Israel responsible for Hamas’s acts.  They should have known that people would be able to find out who were members of those groups, and that that would have consequences.  If they aren’t willing to stand behind their words with their names, then they shouldn’t have signed on (even as groups) in the first place.  And of course their legal and mental-health/health issues come solely because they were doxxed.

The “relentless bullying” no doubt involved both public pushback against the letter not involving doxxing (and there was plenty of such pushback), as well as the doxxing itself.

I wouldn’t have doxxed them, but that outcome was pretty predictable. And once they were doxxed, it’s perfectly legal for any employer not to hire them based on what they said.  (This is something I recently learned.)

More backlash from The Fail (click to read):

Just a brief summary:

A prominent benefactor to Harvard, who made a donation of over $500 million, with a commitment of $300 million this year alone, pressured the university to speak out in defense of Israel following last weekend’s terror attack that killed more than 1,300 Israelis, it has emerged.

Ken Griffin, who built his wealth on Wall Street, reached out to the head of the university’s board, Penny Pritzker, requesting that the educational establishment take a strong stance in defense of the country.

His call came after a letter from student groups blamed Israel for the attacks, but before university leaders had responded publicly.

As you know, Harvard President Claudine Gay issued not one but TWO statements clarifying an early and somewhat weasely letter from nearly the entire Harvard administration about the war. The first letter was rife with “both-side-ism”, while Gay’s two followups assured people that Harvard really did condemn Hamas’s acts. I’m wondering whether letters from donors played a role in her decision. (Surely a letter signed by more than 350 Harvard faculty members, criticizing the admin’s initial letter, did play a huge role.)

I can’t help but find this letter more ironic than funny. The irony is what makes this an “oddity” post. If the students are truly traumatized, I’m sorry for that. But on the other hand, they should be willing to stand behind their statements with their names. That’s why I never post anonymously, and urge readers here to use their names if they have no good reason to be anonymous or pseudonymous.


h/t: Jay

28 thoughts on “Real headline or satire?

  1. Well, the student organizations do need their mental health checked, but it’s for supporting Hamas, not for the alleged bullying.

  2. I have read that some donors intend to cut-off donations to universities tied to Hamas. My response amounts to ‘finally’. For better or worse (worse), universities have been bastions of extremism for some time now. Let me use UPenn as a bad example. UPenn has a history of extremism that predates (by years) its ties to Hamas. UPenn actually nominated a man (William Thomas) as NCAA ‘Woman of the year’ back in 2022. UPenn actually hosted a pro-Hamas conference before Hamas attacked Israel.

    1. Would you be good enough to provide information about the conference you mean? I know there was a scheduled conference at Penn on Palestinian writers. But I haven’t seen details of the program. It would be useful to have more information about it so readers of this website could follow up and see what was included in the conference schedule.

      1. You can find a good article over at “Why is UPenn hosting a festival of antisemites?” ( The following quotes are from the article.

        “Most notably, British musician and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters is set to speak despite his recurring antisemitic rhetoric and actions. For instance, Waters has a history of comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and using antisemitic imagery during his concerts. It has become so abhorrent that after a May show in which Waters dressed in a Nazi-style uniform, the State Department released a statement alleging that his performance had “minimized the Holocaust,” also noting Waters’ “long track record of using antisemitic tropes.””

        “Another participant is Marc Lamont Hill, who gained notoriety for being fired from CNN after he gave a speech calling for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” — an antisemitic chant used to call for the destruction of Israel. Neither Waters nor Hill is Palestinian, which raises the question of why either would appear at an event ostensibly dedicated to Palestinian writers.”

        “The event also features researcher Salman Abusitta, who previously echoed the antisemitic falsehood that “Jews were hated in Europe because they played a role in the destruction of the economy in some of the countries.” The festival’s primary organizer herself, Susan Abulhawa, also has a track record of antisemitism. For example, she tweeted that Israel is “worse than Nazis,” and that she “takes comfort in knowing” that the Jewish state will eventually be “wiped off the map.””

  3. The leaders of the signatory groups ought to stand behind their public statements since they are responsible for those statements. Rank and file may never have been consulted.

    Promoters of Cancel Culture have stated many times that the freedom to hold a position or take an action does not insulate one from consequences.

    I just read an article on-line that Leslie Wexner is withdrawing financial support from Harvard. The comment section was full of anti-Jew comments. (I am not referring to comments referencing his relationship with Epstein.) There will be a backlash to the backlash. It is very ugly and depressing.

    1. I just posted on that report from CNN but I didn’t read the comments (if there were any). Any NYT article on the war will have lots of anti-“Zionist” comments, and the “reader’s choices” will be enriched in them.

    2. “Promoters of Cancel Culture have stated many times that the freedom to hold a position or take an action does not insulate one from consequences.”

      The irony would be most satisfying were it not for the miseries involved.

    1. Age-wise I’m slap bang in the middle of the boomers and this bunch of fragile and entitled wantwits. As I’m getting old and decrepit this lot will be running the world, and there’ll be no grown-ups supervising them. Christ, the absolute horror of it!

  4. We can expect the pro-Hamas student groups to complain to mental health providers that criticisms of their proclamations were “Islamophobic”; next they will complain to the DEI office that statements of support for Israel (e.g., by President Biden) make them feel unsafe. Surprising, really, that Linda Sarsour hasn’t yet responded to the Mahsa Amini protests in Iran by offering fashion advice on the correct way to wear the hijab.

    1. Linda Sarsour – there’s a name I haven’t thought of in a long time, thankfully.

      And LOL@the correct way to wear the hijab. Good one.

  5. I’m with Dave (above). These are “crybullies” wanting protection now for not having the stomach to take accountability.

  6. So, a group of snivelling, privileged antisemites are concerned for their future job prospects after they all publicly defended and backed a Nazi-inspired Islamofascist group of rapists and baby-killers.

    I’m sure they would all be welcomed to blog at FreeThoughtBlogs if they got turned down elsewhere…

  7. I wouldn’t have doxxed them

    If the organisations are properly instituted, it should be fairly easy to find out the names of those in leadership positions. At least it would be in normal times. Their online presence, including their web page is locked down at the moment and Google is swamped with this story.

    Edit: if you are in the leadership of such an organisation, the expectation must surely be that your occupancy of the position id public knowledge.

  8. The “accountability” that the internet doles out is swifter, broader, and harder than what would otherwise be normally expected, for that is the nature of the beast. I pity anyone undergoing its savage grinding, including those who deserve censure.

    The irony is that it’s likely that at least some of the people who signed the letter condemning Israel looked down on the soft and naive who failed to anticipate or appreciate the justification of a righteous fury striking back. “This is what de-colonization looks like, wimps. What did you expect? Steel yourself against pity.”

    But not if it’s us.

  9. A good outcome, I guess. A shame that wealthy individuals hold such political power over universities though. But since they do, could they please use their leverage to ensure freedom of speech on other issues on campus?

  10. I agree with Ceiling Cat and am against students using the brands of universities the way masked antifa members and anonymous X troll demons act. (And I believe Jerry knows why I’m anonymous on WEIT.)

  11. If these privileged Harvard snowflakes are that troubled by getting doxxed for backing the unprovoked murder of innocent Israelis and compromising their future job prospects, they can always go to Palestine and apply their skills to helping those people.
    Talk about moral blindness and tone deafness in the valley of entitlement during a snowflake storm.

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