Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Harvard medical, dental students complain school censored anti-Israel ‘welcome’ video

Medical and dental students at Harvard are miffed that Palestinian solidarity messaging was edited out of a “welcome” video they created for newly admitted students.

According to The Crimson, the original version of the video showed a poster with “MDS4P” on it (Medical and Dental Students for Palestine) and a “drawing of a watermelon” which has “emerged as a symbol of solidarity with Palestine.”

The report notes MDS4P was advised in January that its welcome video “should not be the space for any political messages.”

Apparently the group believed the abbreviation and watermelon were cryptic enough to avoid attention, but the images ultimately were excised from the video’s final version after a March 19 screening.

After inquiries into the edits by Medical and Dental Students for Palestine and the HMS Chapter of the Student National Medical Association, Deans Bernard Chang and Fidencio Saldaña said the original was “inappropriate” and would “likely be perceived as representing a political viewpoint and could alienate some members of the student body.”

Members of MDS4P told the student paper the issue wasn’t really the video, but the “principle.”

“The censorship is unacceptable, regardless of your opinions about Palestine,” one member said. “This has never happened before.”

The group noted last year’s welcome video included a sign which read “abortion is healthcare.”

MORE: Anti-Israel Harvard Medical School students, faculty protest AMA president

From the article:

The HMS/HSDM Student Council — which helped organize the music video team and posted the final project to its YouTube account — wrote in an emailed statement to The Crimson that “we are committed to creating an environment where all voices are heard and respected.”

“The removed scene was designed to celebrate ‘the rich tapestry of identities and interests within our student body’ and that the administration’s directive is antithetical to our mission of ‘creat[ing] an environment where all voices are heard and respected,’” they wrote.

In a Sunday Instagram post, the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee posted about the allegations of censorship around the music video, circulating a MDS4P statement and the statement signed by multiple HMS and HSDM student groups.

Harvard Medical School spokesperson Ekaterina Pesheva said in a statement that while Harvard “unequivocally” has a  “commitment to free expression and public discourse […] there is a place and space for protest and expression of political advocacy” — and a “celebratory” and “festive” video which is supposed to be inclusive and welcoming of new students doesn’t qualify.

MORE: Harvard Medical School adds climate change to its curriculum

IMAGE: Shutterstock.com

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.