Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Crimson

Five Harvard Experts Weigh in on War in Israel and Gaza

| Oct. 13, 2023

As the war in Israel and Gaza continues, five Harvard faculty and affiliates with expertise in the region spoke with The Crimson about their views on the future of the conflict.

Early Saturday morning, members of the militant group Hamas — which the United States has designated a terrorist organization — attacked Israel, killing and kidnapping civilians en masse. In response, the Israeli government declared war. By Monday, Israeli missiles had hit more than 1,000 targets in Gaza while Hamas fired back toward Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

As of Thursday afternoon, 1,300 Israelis and 1,500 Palestinians had been killed in the conflict, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials. The U.S. State Department verified 22 Americans had also been killed.

The Crimson spoke to five scholars who offered their analyses of the past week’s events: Stephen M. Walt, a Harvard Kennedy School professor of international affairs; Edward P. Djerejian, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and an HKS fellow; Kenneth Roth, an HKS fellow and the former executive director of Human Rights Watch; Harvard Law School professor Noah R. Feldman ’92; and History professor Derek J. Penslar.

They said several factors contributed to what has been widely described as an Israeli intelligence failure to anticipate Hamas’ attack: internal political strife in Israel, a focus on establishing settlements in the West Bank, and a lack of personnel on the Gaza-Israel border....

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For Academic Citation:Five Harvard Experts Weigh in on War in Israel and Gaza.” Harvard Crimson, October 13, 2023.