(Please credit this blog post for two Facebook photos exclusively broken here.)
(5 p.m. update) Thanks to Harvard attorney Ed Whelan for his extensive commentary on this post on his Twitter feed, in particular this aptly titled tweet: “Harvard Law School tried to conceal Husam El-Quolaq’s identity.”
(4/21, 11 p.m. update) Thanks to Harvard attorney John Hinderaker for his blog post summarizing and commenting on our work: “Harvard Law Anti-Semite Revealed: No Surprises.”
(4/22, 10 a.m. update) Hinderaker’s co-blogger, attorney Scott Johnson, has now published on this sorry affair. In a post aptly titled “Harvard’s Disgrace,” he observes that “Harvard Law School is drinking deeply from El-Qoulaq’a Kool-Aid,” and concludes that the Law School “is the friend of those who hate [Jews], treating them with the deference and protection that is manifest in their actions” (emphasis added).
[end of updates]
After a flurry of activity in launching this blog, in early December we suspended our blogging after learning of the Royal Asses’ efforts to have us investigated by federal officials — merely for writing about, and mocking, key students involved in a protest movement that almost certainly staged a hoax to gain attention for the movement’s cause.
We decided, at least for the time being, not to give anyone any further excuse or incentive to investigate us. Later we might elaborate further on how we learned of the efforts to have us investigated.
We now break our silence to comment on the third-year Harvard Law School student who, at an official Law School event on April 14 featuring prominent Jewish leader Tzipi Livni, made a crude anti-Semitic remark, twice asking her why she was so “smelly.”
We doubt federal officials will be interested in investigating our writing about, and mocking of, this student, who at the close of this post we officially designate as Royall Ass # 5.
Harvard attorney John Hinderaker has a good summary of the April 14 incident on Powerline, which mentions the Law School’s failure to name the student or release video of the incident. Particularly informative press reports are here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Remarkably, the Law School didn’t simply decline to publish any video of the event, in hopes of protecting the student’s identity and not calling further attention to this incident. Rather, as Tablet writer Yair Rosenberg apparently was the first to notice, yesterday the Law School published video of the event which edited out the incident, as if it never happened! (George Orwell, call your office.)
So the best we can do at this point (presumably pressure on the Law School will inevitably force it to release its video of the incident), in terms of conveying what the student said, is this transcript obtained by the Tablet:
For six days after the incident, administrators, professors, and fellow students at Harvard Law School did their best to protect the student’s identity (the school newspaper even went so far as to disable comments on its story, as various commentators began naming him).
The student apparently hoped that his “apology” would make the story go away — an apology which so far has received mixed reviews (in part because it is impossible to judge the sincerity of the apology without the ability to watch the video of the student’s controversial comments to evaluate whether the comments had a premeditated and malevolent tone, as some students who were at the event say they did, or whether the comments had a relatively innocent, confused, tone, as the student claims in his “apology”).
The student’s hopes of avoiding accountability for his crude mocking of a prominent Jewish leader came to an end yesterday evening, through the magic of Twitter, when Noah Pollak, who writes for Commentary and the Weekly Standard, published his name (initial coverage of Pollak’s post here and here) It’s Husam El-Qoulaq (last name spelled slightly differently in some places, apparently to aid English speakers with pronunciation).
Here’s a collection of bios and photos which have so far have been publicized on Twitter — most subsequently deleted by El-Qoulaq, in his frantic, but doomed, belated efforts to lower his profile.
Bio on website of Harvard Arab Students Association (which apparently once appeared here, but has been scrubbed):
Similar bio which appeared on a HLS website:
That’s it in terms of our collection of photos of El-Qoulaq that have surfaced to date.
But we’re not done. Because it so happens that we copied the photos on El-Qoulaq’s Facebook account last November, well before he deleted it during this past week — photos which, it appears, only we (and El-Qoulaq) now have.
Why? Because it turns out that the apparent reason that Harvard Law School administrators, professors, and students have been so protective of the identity of the law student who publicly mocked a leading Jewish official as “smelly” is that Husam El-Qoulaq is one of the leaders of the “Royall Must Fall” and “Reclaim Harvard Law School” movements. We investigated him in detail back in November because it was obvious, even at that early stage, that he was a key figure in the protest movement that we were blogging about.
Here’s the first of the two Facebook photos he had posted at that point, which perhaps aptly captures his apparently twisted mentality:
Here’s the second Facebook photo, depicting him during calmer times:
But we’re not done. Why did we focus so early on Husam El-Qoulaq during our initial investigation of the Royal Asses? In part it was because he frequently organizes left-wing events on campus (see for example here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).
But also because he was prominently identified, by name (through a link to his Facebook account) as one of the members of the Royall Must Fall movement who led the kickoff rally. When we did our initial research in November, El-Qoulaq was identified by name in the caption to this photo, which is still on the Royall Must Fall Facebook page (minus El-Qoulaq’s name, given that he’s deleted his Facebook account):
He also appears in this photo (also still on the group’s Facebook page), third from right:
In addition to his early participation in the Royall Must Fall movement, Husam El-Qoulaq has been active in the followup Reclaim Harvard Law School movement which has, since February, been occupying the main student lounge.
Indeed, it appears that El-Qoulaq may be largely responsible for this student movement being criticized as anti-Semitic. El-Qoulaq is a campus leader in the BDS movement, which is pressing a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions targeting Israel. In early April, the Reclaim Harvard Law School students, presumably influenced by El-Qoulaq, invited a BDS leader to speak at the Law School, which prompted Jewish students to post this flyer attacking the BDS movement, and the BDS activist who was invited to speak, as anti-Semitic.
We don’t necessarily fault the members of the Reclaim Harvard Law School movement for inviting the BDS activist to speak. But we do fault them for doing nothing after one of their own members, one week ago, commandeered a public forum to mock a prominent Jewish leader for being “smelly.” Rather than identify the student, condemn his action, and remove him as a member, they remained silent.
If these students — who, collectively, we continue to call the “Royall Asses,” because their actions since December continue to justify that moniker — thought that by their remaining silent, perhaps the student would never be identified and his connection with them would never be learned, they thought wrong. And now those following the ridiculous and counterproductive protest activities at Harvard Law School in the past few months can take the true measure of one of the protest leaders, Husam El-Qoulaq, and his cohort.
We now realize we were wrong not to individually single out Husam El-Qoulaq as a “Royall Ass” back in November. At the time, based on what we knew about him, we did not think he could hold a candle to the radical left-wing weirdness of the four misfits we did name.
- A #BlackLivesMatters/Ferguson activist who had the remarkable luck of getting to campus a couple of hours before her first class on a Thursday morning, just in the nick of time to discover, and prevent a professor from removing all evidence of, a “hate crime” — which she then quickly publicized on social media (Derecka Purnell).
- An L.L.M. student from Ghana who has called for a military coup to kill everyone in his country, and who mocks Christians for believing that Jesus is “the messiah . . . who’s [sic] fart raises the dead and cures schizophrenia” (Mawuse H. Vormawor).
- A J.D. student with a degree in English who’s a horrible writer, and who feels inanimate objects at the Law School commit microaggressions against him — he gets “freaked out walking down the hallway lined with portraits of white man after white man,” and he feels it’s racist that there’s an “enormous white marble statue of Joseph Story” in the library, but no statue of a black man (Alexander J. Clayborne).
- An intellectually vacuous, morally messianic gay activist who has been a leader in students’ selfless fight against student debt, and who bragged about starting a bar in Uganda before coming to law school, but left out the part about writing fake TripAdvisor reviews praising his own bar, and about how the bar ultimately failed (Brian Klosterboer).
Although El-Qoulaq didn’t make the cut last November, given his decision on April 14, speaking in a public forum while being videoed, to mock a prominent Jewish leader for being “smelly,” he now easily meets our criteria for individual recognition as a leader of the many “Royal Asses” which, unfortunately, presently infest Harvard Law School.
Therefore, today, April 21, 2016, we officially designate HUSAM EL-QOULAQ as ROYALL ASS # 5. Congratulations!