Harvard University
Harvard UniversityiStock

Prominent Harvard University alumni have denounced a pro-Palestinian Arab statement from students who blamed Israel for the Hamas attack on southern Israel which has resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 Israelis, Reuters reported.

The uproar came after a coalition of 34 Harvard student organizations said they "hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence" following decades of occupation, adding that "the apartheid regime is the only one to blame."

The organizations signing the letter included Muslim and Palestinian Arab support groups plus others named for a variety of backgrounds including the Harvard Jews for Liberation and the African American Resistance Organization, according to Reuters, which could not verify how many students supported the letter.

Harvard President Claudine Gay and senior leadership including 15 deans issued a statement on Monday that said they were "heartbroken by the death and destruction unleashed by the attack by Hamas that targeted citizens in Israel this weekend."

The statement avoided direct references to the student letter or the reaction to it.

Harvard President Emeritus Lawrence Summers, a former US Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton and former university president, was one of several Harvard graduates to criticize the current Harvard leadership for failing to respond.

"The silence from Harvard's leadership ... has allowed Harvard to appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel," Summers wrote on X, adding, "I am sickened."

Elise Stefanik, a Republican US Representative from New York and a Harvard graduate, called the statement "abhorrent and heinous" for excusing the "slaughter of innocent women and children."

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a Harvard Law School graduate, wrote on X: "What the hell is wrong with Harvard?"