Larry Summers rescinds 'antisemitism' against Rashid Khalidi

MONEY & BUSINESS: Larry Summers rescinds ‘antisemitism’ against Rashid Khalidi

Former Harvard President Larry Summers apologized to a Palestinian American scholar for suggesting he was an antisemite.

Summers had criticized his alma mater for inviting Prof. Rashid Khalidi, who teaches modern Arab studies at Columbia University, to speak at the Ivy League school twice since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre.

“In my Tweet on Monday I made the mistake of linking Professor Rashid Khalidi with antisemitism,” Summers, the former treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, wrote on Thursday.

“While I disagree with Prof. Khalidi and have deep frustrations with Harvard’s actions since October 7th, my comments were inappropriate.”

Summers wrote that he “reached out directly to Prof. Khalidi to apologize.”

“This was a violation of my general policy of avoiding ad personam comments and I regret it,” according to Summers.

Khalidi declined to comment when reached via email by The Post.

Larry Summers apologized for calling a Palestinian American scholar an antisemite. Getty Images
Prof. Rashid Khalidi teaches modern Arab studies at Columbia. AP

Summers had written that while “everybody should be free to speak or invite speakers,” Harvard “has not had speakers…who take pro-Israel positions.”

“My confidence in Harvard leadership’s ability and will to confront anti-semitism and the demonization of Israel continues to decline,” he added in his initial X post.

The Post has sought comment from Harvard.

Khalidi, who has written books and scholarly works on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has denounced Israel for its “apartheid.”

Khalidi is a scholar of the Middle East. He has denounced Israel as “an apartheid system in creation” and a “racist state.”

During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Khalidi, who taught in Beirut at the time, was quoted in the press as an expert on Palestinian affairs, though he has denied being a spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Famous Harvard alumni like Summers and hedge fund billionaires Ken Griffin and Bill Ackman have blasted the school for its response to antisemitic incidents on campus in the wake of Oct. 7.

Summers, the former Harvard president, has been critical of his alma mater for its handling of pro-Palestinian protests. REUTERS

Griffin told a conference in Miami on Tuesday that he would halt financial support for Harvard unless it undertakes significant changes to its policy regarding antisemitism as the hedge fund billionaire lamented the “whiny snowflakes” that were being produced by Ivy League schools.

Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, was one of the leading voices calling for the ouster of Claudine Gay, the Harvard president who resigned earlier this month after it was learned she had plagiarized several academic papers.

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