A video of a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) delivering an impassioned speech about Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in the middle of a mathematics lecture has gone viral on social media. In over a minute-and-a-half-long video, the student, standing in the right corner of the screen, asked the lecturer if he could say something. The professor asked, “Can I just finish this line?”
After the maths teacher completed his explanation, the student read from a piece of paper, “As you witness an ongoing genocide of Gaza in MIT silence – I’m joining hundreds of students city-wide walking out of class. We stand for the liberation of Palestine against active genocide that is perpetuated by MIT, Israel and the United States.”
Showing a Palestinian flag, the student-led chants of “free, free Palestine” alongside fellow protestors.
His outburst was captured in a video where he also accused MIT, Israel, and the US of “perpetuating genocide”.
On X, though, Professor Retsef Levi, MIT Expert in Analytics, wrote, “Today, Jewish and Israeli MIT students were physically prevented from attending class by a hostile group of pro-Hamas and anti-Israel MIT students that call themselves the CAA. This is after students from the CAA harassed MIT staff members in their offices for being Jewish and interrupted classes in the past few weeks. All of this has occurred with no clear response from the administration. With each passing day, MIT admin’s silence makes Jewish and Israeli students feel unsafe at MIT.”
This is the reality that MIT President wants to hide. A letter from Israeli & Jewish MIT students:
To all students at MIT,
Today, Jewish and Israeli MIT students were physically prevented from attending class by a hostile group of pro-Hamas and anti-Israel MIT students that…
— Retsef Levi (@RetsefL) November 10, 2023
Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman criticised MIT, sharing the post and accusing the institution of failing to “discipline protesters.” “The failure of Harvard, MIT and other universities to discipline protesters who violate their rules emboldens the protesters to more aggressive, disruptive and antisemitic actions. This has created a climate of fear that is not conducive to a university education. The failure to discipline students who have bullied, assaulted or otherwise been abusive to Jewish students under the guise of free speech or a supposed requirement to wait for the completion of a police and FBI investigation is similarly absurd,” he wrote.
The failure of @Harvard, @MIT and other universities to discipline protesters who violate their rules emboldens the protesters to more aggressive, disruptive and antisemitic actions. This has created a climate of fear that is not conducive to a university education.
The failure… https://t.co/yGHGotbR6q
— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) November 10, 2023
This incident reflects the heightened tensions surrounding the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Over 11,000 people have been killed in incessant Israeli airstrikes in Gaza since October 7, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza claimed, when Hamas targetted a music festival, killing over 250 people.