Harvard President Claudine Gay Lights Menorah With a Tiki Torch

Harvard President Claudine Gay Lights Menorah With a Tiki Torch

Harvard President Claudine Gay Lights Menorah With a Tiki Torch

In the history of tone-deaf actions this incident goes to new heights: on Wednesday evening Harvard University president Claudine Gay lit the school’s menorah. With a Tiki torch no less.

Gay, as you’ll recall, was one of the three Ivy League professors who weaseled through explanations before Congress about the antisemitism that was prevalent on their campuses. And why calls for genocide of Jews didn’t rise to being a violation of the schools’ code of conduct.

It was all about the context, they explained in lawyerly fashion.

Then, for Harvard president Claudine Gay, her situation got even hotter. Not only was she unable to defend her inaction in protecting the Jewish students at her college, documents showed that Gay had plagiarized parts of her Ph.D. thesis.

You’d think that would be enough to sack her. But no — the Harvard Corporation announced on Tuesday that she would remain — despite the fact that the school had lost $1B over the scandals.

Outrageous, to be sure. Carol Swain, former political science professor at Vanderbilt University and one of the scholars whom Gay plagiarized, explained why:

Obviously, the Harvard Corporation did not have the courage to fire its first black president, someone who should never have been elevated in the first place.

Meanwhile Megyn Kelly erupted with fury over Harvard’s cowardice in her Tuesday podcast.

Which leads me to the tone-deaf menorah lighting in which Gay participated on the Harvard campus.


Lighting the Harvard Menorah

Despite the controversy surrounding her, Gay was an honored attendee at the Harvard Chabad’s menorah lighting on Wednesday.

Harvard menorah

Screenshot: @GlobalRabbi/X.

So even though she had never attended one before, Gay showed up as one of 100 who participated in the lighting. Perhaps she thought she could buy some good will.

However, not everyone bought her act. Comments at X/Twitter included the following:

SamAntar: Hey Claudine Gay: That will do it. Do a photo op lighting a menorah to counter criticism for allowing calls for genocide against the Jews at @Harvard. Most people are not as dumb as you. 

Ed Burke: Claudine Gay attends menorah lighting so I’m now convinced she’s not a raging anti-semite. And, since she hung out with Jews for one night, I now disbelieve the mountains of evidence that she plagiarized the few shitty papers she claims to have written.

Isaac Seliger: I’m reminded of attorney Joseph Welch to Sen. Joe McCarthy at the Army Hearings: “Have you no sense of decency.” Offensive to us #Jewish folks. @Harvard must fire #presidentgay now.

And finally, Stephen Miller, aka redsteeze:

Yes, that’s Harvard president Claudine Gay trying to ingratiate herself among the Jewish community on campus by using a Tiki torch to light a Menorah. The same object that neo-Nazis used in the Charlottesville, VA, “Unite the Right” rally of August, 2017. The same object they hoisted while chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

To be fair, I’ve seen images of outdoor menorah lightings where the rabbi used such a torch to light a candle. But for Claudine Gay, with her history, this was not a good look. It’s the context, right?


Jewish Students Still Not Feeling the Love

Gay can try to show the love by participating in a menorah lighting, but a lot of Jewish students aren’t convinced. Instead, they remain suspicious.

One student, who spoke anonymously, said:

If she’s willing to take action to actually protect us, that’s fine. If not, she needs to go. 

Another student, identified only as Olivia, added:

If any other minority group says they don’t feel safe, the administration would take steps to make sure they have a safe space. Now Jewish students are saying they don’t feel safe. I don’t want to be coddled, but if you’re going to protect some minority groups but not other minority groups, that’s underlying antisemitism.

Meanwhile, “Harvard Doxxing Trucks,” sponsored by the watchdog group Accuracy in Media, have been driving around Cambridge. Their signs call Gay “the best friend Hamas ever had,” along with calling for her to resign.

AIM president Adam Guillette explained his motive:

I think [Gay] needs to, one, put a greater focus on protecting Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus and, two, stand up to terrorist sympathizers on campus. If she’s not going to do that, then she should get similar treatment that those students received. 

Perhaps Claudine Gay thought that participating in a menorah lighting on the seventh night of Hanukkah would wipe away all the bad blood between her and Jewish students who don’t trust her. But if so, she was sadly mistaken. And using the hated Tiki torch didn’t help either.


Featured image: “Happy Chanukah: Snow Covered Chanukah Menorah” by Dominic’s pics is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Cropped.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

1 Comment
  • G says:

    She lit the Menorah with the torch she was handed. This is stupid. She needs to go but this is nonsense and we need to do better

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