ILF warns that appointing PLO official as Harvard fellow might be in violation of law

Saeb Erekat, the Chief Palestinian Negotiator for many years, as well as the secretary-general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was recently appointed as a fellow at the Harvard University Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.


Erekat has promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories about Israel and Jews and dismissed Jewish history as “fake” and “based on a lie”. Moreover, in his official capacity as a PLO and PA official, Saeb Erekat has a long history of defending, praising, and supporting Palestinian terrorists who have carried out deadly attacks on Israeli civilians. However, worst of all is the fact that Erekat, as a high-ranking member of the PLO and PA’s leadership, plays a critical role in an entity that incentivizes, promotes, and rewards the murder of men, women, and children, with the heinous policy now known as ‘Pay-for- Slay’. 


As a result of Pay-for-Slay, the Taylor Force Act requires the American government to end economic aid to the PA until the PA ceases paying stipends to individuals who commit acts of terrorism and their families. 


The ILF points to three possible violations of American law, in addition to the moral issues that should be taken into account when enabling a man like Erekat access to young American students and leaving him free to disseminate violent, anti-democratic, and anti-American terror propaganda. 


  • A possible violation of Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act against Jewish students, according to the Executive Order on Combatting Anti-Semitism.

  • Erekat may be prohibited entry into the United States under 8 U.S. Code § 1182 - Inadmissible aliens, as it unequivocally prohibits the entry of PLO officials.

  • The Taylor Force Act -it is inconceivable that, while American law prohibits economic support to the PA and PLO, Harvard University will be offering one of their senior officials a prestigious teaching position.


In a detailed letter, the ILF asked to expose these facts and possible violations and prevent the appointment from happening. 

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