Critics Call Dr. Claudine Gay’s Menorah Lighting ‘Performative’ Amid Anti-Semitism Backlash

Critics Call Dr. Claudine Gay’s Menorah Lighting ‘Performative’ Amid Anti-Semitism Backlash

Dr. Claudine Gay attended Harvard University’s menorah lighting ceremony on Dec. 13, and critics weren’t too happy about it, Fox News reports.

The ceremony, celebrating the Hanukkah holiday, was organized by the Harvard Chabad organization, with close to 100 students present. After the group announced Gay would be present at the daily lighting ceremony on Instagram, harsh comments flooded the post, labeling her appearance as “performative” and “disgraceful.” “Why is Dr Gay Hamas joining the candle lighting? What tf!??” a comment read. “Disgraceful.”

Another comment called Gay a “Jew hater” and said her being at the menorah lighting is “embarrassing.”

Gay has been at the center of controversy amid the antisemitism backlash she received for her remarks on Capital Hill. However, the Ivy League school’s first Black President is standing tall through the calls for her to resign. The ceremony took place just one day after the University’s highest governing body announced Gay would be staying in her post and has their full support. “Our extensive deliberations affirm our confidence that President Gay is the right leader to help our community heal and to address the very serious societal issues we are facing,” Harvard Corporation wrote in a statement.

“In this tumultuous and difficult time, we unanimously support President Gay. At Harvard, we champion open discourse and academic freedom, and we are united in our strong belief that calls for violence against our students and disruptions of the classroom experience will not be tolerated.”

Some students, who say they still feel uncomfortable on campus, are still not sold on Gay’s leadership and prompting for her to be removed. One student wants to see what actions Gay will take to make them feel safe. “If she’s willing to take action actually to protect us, that’s fine. If not, she needs to go,” the anonymous student said. Another student, identified as Olivia, says the school should take the same measures put in place for other groups of minority students.

“If any other minority group says they don’t feel safe, the administration would take steps to make sure they have a safe space,” Olivia said.

“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.”