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I once ran Human Rights Watch. Harvard blocked my fellowship over Israel | Kenneth Roth

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I was told that my fellowship at the Kennedy School was vetoed over my and Human Rights Watch’s criticism of Israel

During the three decades that I headed Human Rights Watch, I recognized that we would never attract donors who wanted to exempt their favorite country from the objective application of international human rights principles. That is the price of respecting principles.

Yet American universities have not articulated a similar rule, and it is unclear whether they follow one. That lack of clarity leaves the impression that major donors might use their contributions to block criticism of certain topics, in violation of academic freedom. Or even that university administrators might anticipate possible donor objections to a faculty member’s views before anyone has to say anything.

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