Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Leslie Wexner, American billionaire founder of the Bath and Body Works brand, is one of the figures in the business world who is fiercely defending Israel.
Wexner himself built his wealth as CEO of L Brands, the leading company that oversees Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. In 1983, he launched The Wexner Foundation with the goal of “strengthening Jewish leadership,” according to the foundation’s website.
Most recently, Wexner came into the spotlight after he cut ties with Harvard University because he thought the world’s top campus was more pro-Palestinian. With the termination of this relationship, Harvard will no longer receive funding from The Wexner Foundation, which has been one of their largest donors.
“We are shocked and disgusted by the failure of Harvard leadership to take a clear and unequivocal stance against the barbaric murder of innocent Israeli civilians,” said Wexner Foundation leaders, as quoted by CNN InternationalTuesday (21/11/2023).
“The values we espouse are no longer in line with Harvard.”
According to them, in recent years Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) is no longer a safe place to voice diverse perspectives. And because of it, Wexner’s colleagues feel like their voices are being silenced.
“Many of our Israeli colleagues no longer feel marginalized at HKS,” the statement said. “They feel abandoned.”
Responding to this incident, representatives from the Harvard Kennedy School referred to statements by the President of Harvard, Claudine Gay, and the Dean of the Kennedy School, Doug Elmendorf, who said that the university rejects all forms of cruelty and terrorism.
“People ask me where we stand. So, let me be clear. Our university rejects terrorism, including the barbaric atrocities committed by Hamas,” Gay said.
“Our university rejects hatred, including hatred against Jews, hatred against Muslims, hatred against any group of people based on their religion, national origin, or any aspect of their identity,” Gay continued.
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