Large donation canceled after Palestinian event

Milbank international law firm cancels $1 million pledge to Harvard after some of the money was used for pro-Palestinian student event.

Raphael Poch ,

The Statue of Harvard University's first benefactor, John Harvard, sits in Harvard Yard
The Statue of Harvard University's first benefactor, John Harvard, sits in Harvard Yard
Bryan Sneider/Reuters

An international law firm has ceased their sponsorship of student activities at Harvard Law School following an incident in which some of the money it donated for the students was used to pay for an pro-Palestinian event by a student group on campus.

The student group “Justice for Palestine” had used $500 from the fund to pay for pizza for students who participated in a "pro-Palestine" discussion that took place in the fall of 2015. Soon after, students were told by the University that the fund was no longer available for their use.

The Toronto Star reported that the firm, Milbank, previously pledged $1 million (U.S.) over five years to pay for student conferences at Harvard Law School, but following the pro-Palestinian event, the Milbank fund has ceased to provide money for student activities on campus and has withdrawn its donation pledge. The firm has now decided the money will be allocated for other purposes.

The withdrawal of the pledge has not stopped the school from allowing the student activities to run, and the law school said that it will pay for student events using money that comes from other sources.

Calls to the New York City-based Milbank were not returned and no official comment was made by the law firm. Hence, it is unconfirmed as to whether or not the event was the direct cause of the withdrawal of support. A Harvard spokesperson told reporters that the firm wishes to avoid the impression that it takes a stance on any political issue.